7 Signs of a Bad Caregiver

bad caregiver

No one wants to fire a caregiver, but sometimes after you hire them you find out they’re not the best fit for you or your loved one with a disability. Here are 7 signs of a bad caregiver, and when it might be time to think about hiring someone new.

What are the Signs of a Bad Caregiver?

There are many signs of a bad caregiver which we will explore in great length in this post. The bottom line though is that you know the person receiving care better than anyone else. If you suspect a problem, don’t be afraid to speak up and make changes!

They Cancel at the Last Minute:

A huge issue in caregiving is when caregivers stop showing up for their shifts or cancel at the last minute. It might be fine to give the individual the benefit of the doubt the first 1-2 times this happens, but after a while it may become clear they simply don’t want to be working. As the person in charge, it’s important that you have reliable people in your home so that you can get to work, or do the things you need to get done. Having people show up when they say they will is key.

You Notice Changes in the Person Receiving Care:

Sometimes you’ll notice behavior or mood changes in the person receiving care. This might simply just be an adjustment period as they get used to a new caregiver. However, if they’ve been with one caregiver for a long time and suddenly there is an uptick in difficult behaviors or emotions, it could be a sign that something isn’t going well with the caregiver. Keep an eye on the general happiness and well-being of the person receiving care, and look for any signs that tell you something might not be going well.

bad caregiver

There Isn’t Much Progress on Goals:

There should be goals for the person receiving care to be working on with each caregiving shift. If you notice a sudden slow down in progress being made towards the outlined goals, it could be that the caregiver is neglecting to work on those tasks. The data that is collected through the Giv.care app should be able to give you an idea of the progress being made towards the goals, and what measurable improvements are being made. If you’re seeing a discrepancy from what is being seen in real life, versus what is written in the daily notes, it could be time for a new caregiver.

Frequent Mistakes:

There will obviously be a training period with any new caregiver where you’ll want to give them the benefit of the doubt when mistakes are made during a shift. After they’ve been in your home for an extended period of time and basic mistakes are still being made, it might be time to move onto a new caregiver. Here are some major red flag mistakes:

  • Missed medication doses
  • Errors with tube feedings and other medical devices
  • Person receiving care is frequently late for scheduled appointments
bad caregiver

Suspected Abuse:

As much as no one likes talking about abuse, it is something to be taken very seriously. If you start noticing bruises or other unexplainable injuries, it could be time to have a very serious conversation with your caregiver. This is especially important if the person who is receiving care is non-verbal and unable to tell you their version of what happened.

However, abuse is not always physical. A 2013 study from the National Center of Victims Crime found that out of 10,000 cases of reported caregiver abuse, psychological and sexual abuse ranked just below physical abuse. There were also reported incidents of gross neglect and financial exploitation (CDC, 2015).

They Seem Uninterested in Working:

Do you come home and find your caregiver shoving their phone out of their hand quickly? Does the house seem like it’s falling apart and nothing has been done all day? Do they have an attitude like they would rather be anywhere but caregiving? Do they look like they love and are positively engaging with the person receiving care on a regular basis?

You want the person working with your loved one to be anxiously engaged. The caregiver should be excited to come to each shift. When you get home you should feel like everyone had a great time, and that the important things were accomplished. If you come home and feel like that isn’t what happened, and you feel like that is consistent from shift to shift, the caregiver might not be the best fit.

bad caregiver

Person Receiving Care Frequently Hides:

We learned from a handful of parents that when caregiver fits aren’t right, the person receiving care will frequently hide from the caregiver. If you’re finding that this is happening frequently, a caregiver change might need to be considered. If your loved one is non-verbal, this might be the only way that they’re able to communicate they’re unhappy with the current caregiving situation.

The Benefit of Giv.Care:

The benefit to Giv.care is that you hire people you already know and trust as your caregivers. This means these caregivers already have experience working with your loved one, and hopefully they already have good rapport with the person receiving care.

At Giv.care all hired caregivers must be fingerprinted and have a background check before they can begin caregiving. Caregivers also go through specific trainings before they start working, and they get additional training annually as they keep working for you and your family.

All of these safeguards are in place to prevent these types of neglect and abuse. Since Giv.care is directly responsible for the hiring, training, and pay of caregivers. We always want the person in charge to feel like they can come to us at anytime if they are seeing these signs of a bad caregiver with their loved one.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Understanding Elder Abuse. Retrieved March 08, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/em-factsheet-a.pdf

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