HHA Horror Stories?

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Anonymous in Akron, Ohio

37 months ago

I have had to leave early because I didn't feel safe. I've been in several bad situations. One in which the father of a patient I was caring for tried to rape me. I later found out that my scheduler/supervisor knew about his tendencies which was very upsetting to me because she acted so surprised when I told her what happened and even tried to force me to stay on the case.
I've had violent clients that the company didn't know were violent, yet they sent me a small 21 year old into these homes they knew nothing about.
I've heard stories from fellow aides, of clients trying to stab them (happened to me too.) often clients accuse you of things you didnt do. The homes can be over-cluttered and filthy. Literally FILTHY. If you cant take strong overbearing smells, insects, pet dander, etc.. that you cant escape for a 4-8 hour shifts, I would think twice.
I would take time to talk to other HHA's you may know before you venture into this field. It's not for everyone. And you need to consider the fact that you are working alone with just that person you are caring for 9/10 times. That can be very dangerous.
Not everyone has as many bad HHA experiences as some of us do, but you should consider the probability that you will encounter a few.
I wish I'd had someone to tell me this when I first started. I would never have gone into this.

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bigrosie in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

36 months ago

Anonymous in Akron, Ohio said: I have had to leave early because I didn't feel safe. I've been in several bad situations. One in which the father of a patient I was caring for tried to rape me. I later found out that my scheduler/supervisor knew about his tendencies which was very upsetting to me because she acted so surprised when I told her what happened and even tried to force me to stay on the case.
I've had violent clients that the company didn't know were violent, yet they sent me a small 21 year old into these homes they knew nothing about.
I've heard stories from fellow aides, of clients trying to stab them (happened to me too.) often clients accuse you of things you didnt do. The homes can be over-cluttered and filthy. Literally FILTHY. If you cant take strong overbearing smells, insects, pet dander, etc.. that you cant escape for a 4-8 hour shifts, I would think twice.
I would take time to talk to other HHA's you may know before you venture into this field. It's not for everyone. And you need to consider the fact that you are working alone with just that person you are caring for 9/10 times. That can be very dangerous.
Not everyone has as many bad HHA experiences as some of us do, but you should consider the probability that you will encounter a few.
I wish I'd had someone to tell me this when I first started. I would never have gone into this.

I hope you sued the company that sent you in there! I was considering doing this (HHA) after reading this, I think I won't.

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JAS in Bradenton, Florida

27 months ago

I've been a CNA/HHA for about 6 years now. The key is getting a good assignment and holding onto that person for dear life. It can be a good job if you find a good client that doesn't mistreat you.

The worst part of the job is that it is so dysfunctional. It's very hard starting new clients. You will have to make judgment calls and it seems like I always make the wrong ones! (damned if you do, damned if you don't kinda thing). My advice would just to be drop a bad/ abusive client fast. Find a good agency as well. Be choosey if at all possible.

I've been in filthy homes, nasty smokey homes, had knives wielded at me more than once, had family members come in and blame me for everything! Heck, I have even had a live-in son bring in a prostitute and do drugs in the bedroom, then come out of his filthroom and blame me for the house being disgusting and cluttered! And it's back to the damn if you do, damned if you don't. If you would have started clearing out the house and cleaning up, they'd be like "You're throwing all my stuff away what are you doing! You just come in here and move EVERYTHING !!" You are pretty much considered a moron by doctors, nurses, family members no matter how well of a job you do. I think it makes people feel better about themselves. But like I said, the absolute key is finding a good client. An easy client. I know people need help and I don't mean to sound lazy, it's just not worth it if it's a difficult client.

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anonymouslytellingmyside in Reidsville, North Carolina

23 months ago

so ive had a few cases here and there for a few hours a day and then i got one case where they didnt want me back so i lost that one and it was over something really silly more than likely family related comments, then i got another client and it was just a day or two case for me so my checks were really crappy, and then i finally got the news i got another regular full time case and i was extremely happy, had met the client a few times before and had mentioned that if anybody full time came avaliable that i would gladly take it and so this client did and after working only a few days as their new full time aide, it was brought to my attention they no longer wanted me, im becoming more and more frustrated seeing that i can never seem to get on my feet and make enough money to pay what I should have already been able to long ago, this is my only downfall in being a hha is the fact that people drop you over the silliest most unneccesary reasons, like for example well you didnt cook my food exactly the way im used to eating it. Well if you havent ever cooked for that person before you don't exactly know what they like and do like its all in getting to know them but if you're not given a good amount of time to do so in each area, then whats the point, I know theses clients have their rights, but where is ours? Everybody is different and if these clients are well enough as far as their mentality goes and most of the clients i have had are younger than the typical patient, they should you would think understand that not just them but us as hha are strangers to everything and were not gonna be perfect and certainly not know everything about them based on a tiny check sheet that isnt accurate half the time. So how many aides must be in circulation to that one patient before they are satisfied, if they arent being abused or mistreated and getting every little thing they want and need, then wheres the problem exactly they are just abusing us everyway they can.

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Sacha10461 in Bronx, New York

23 months ago

I hear you! I have been there so many times!
Like I had one patient that was so proud that she went through at least 100 aides in 3 years. She was more interested in how I cooked her food and how I cleaned her place then her back issues!

What we need to do as HHA's is to form our own union! Plain and simple. Or some sort of agency that will look after us. The Home care agencies will NEVER look out for us!

And maybe even report these patient for possible fraud? If my tax money is paying for a patient that claims she needs a HHA because her back is hurting but yet she does all her ADL's on her own and I'm there only to cook and clean then she committing insurance fraud!

Sacha10461

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anonymouslytellingmyside in Reidsville, North Carolina

23 months ago

Has anyone ever had a problem when they first started working for a agency where the agency barely gave you any hours and maybe would say they would call you if someone couldnt take care of their client and you basically became an on call person when they needed someone immediately? Or been told also to find maybe another job to compensate for the lost hours if you're not working any during the week?

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annoyed in Brooklyn, New York

21 months ago

the worst agency I ever worked for Central home health aide, these people paid me just $9 an hour to work with two severely disabled adults. their disability is one thing. They are a married coupled that like calling the police on the aides and making false accusation, screaming & yelling and sometime hit their aides. while the husband tells you no one will believe you because they are disabled. People will always believe them. Can you believe they expect us to work in this stressful environment, lifting and doing everything for two grown adults who can't even assist you in their care for $9 an hr. With the exception of this couple all their other patients are drug addicts from adult homes which they only pay $8 because its just one patient. Joke of an health insurance that nobody accept, but they keep deducted out of my paycheck. plus they take out for union fees but i never seen this union. i even tried looking them up not even a site.

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Grant013 in Astoria, New York

21 months ago

In this country, seniors have way too many rights. They can accuse you, the worker. They can accuse you, the family member. Some of these nutsos were nutso when they were adults, and never sought help. Maybe they refused or whatever. And the commenter who said "crazy family members.." Let me tell you something, if you're sane and dealing with someone who is not, you will become crazy eventually. It's contagious. It's hard to get them into nursing homes.Some of these mental illnesses run in the family, by the way; so it's hereditary. You'll know it when you see it. And I hope you call ASPCA if you see them abuse animals. That's another thing they do. You guys are going in there at your own risk. And call Adult Protective if you need to.

And don't expect this field to get any better. It's a dead end field. Who can live on $10 dollars? You want to be compassionate and take care of people, become a nurse or doctor. It actually pays!!

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hha2004 in Rochester, New York

19 months ago

i have worked as a home health aide for 8 years. i have been cheated out of my hours,i have gone to an assignment and another aide also assigned to the same client. my experience with agencies were good and bad. the agencies that i worked for are more concerned about the clients then the aides that work for them.you have to find good clients and keep them. in the world of in home care.it is every home health aide for themselves. you have to watch your own back because the agency will not.

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Queenbee75 in Chicago, Illinois

18 months ago

I work as a home health aide and I am ready to leave the job because in the four years that I have worked in this job my clients have been a handful and some of them treat workers very poorly. I had to drop a client because she talked to me any kind of way and insulted me every moment she got and the worst thing is that she even tried to have me fired by lying and saying I wasnt doing my job. This is what home health aides have to endure just to be paid. If there's any justice for home health aides that would be for them to be treated with respect and dignity. Clients treat workers like cheap labor and even going as far as trying to redefine the job for them and not getting that the agency has guidelines that workers have to go by and where I work I am prohibited to climb on chairs, ladders, and stools to clean and I have a client who doesnt understand that and just the other day I told her I can't do it because if I get hurt the agency is not going to pay me workman's comp if I am injured on the job. This is why workers need to have the agency inform the clients of what the parameters of the job is and what they're not allowed to do. My client had the nerve to get miffed when I have to explain to her that I am not allowed to do certain things that goes beyond the scope of the home health aide's job. Even more are the family members of the clients who can be a handful as well. I had been threatened bodily harm by two of my client's grandchildren who nearly got her services revolked. it's amazing at how many people don't see what we deal with on a daily basis just to earn an honest living. Its a nice little job for a high school grad looking to have a small part time job while attending college or a housewife needing to make some extra money. It's not a job you want to be on indefinitely because there's no real growth potential in this field. You're lucky if you can make $10-12 an hour because overall the hours are horrible.

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Queenbee75 in Chicago, Illinois

18 months ago

Sacha10461 in Bronx, New York said: I hear you! I have been there so many times!
Like I had one patient that was so proud that she went through at least 100 aides in 3 years. She was more interested in how I cooked her food and how I cleaned her place then her back issues!

What we need to do as HHA's is to form our own union! Plain and simple. Or some sort of agency that will look after us. The Home care agencies will NEVER look out for us!

And maybe even report these patient for possible fraud ? If my tax money is paying for a patient that claims she needs a HHA because her back is hurting but yet she does all her ADL's on her own and I'm there only to cook and clean then she committing insurance fraud!

My client snapped at me for not washing her dishes citing that it's my job to wash the dishes and do the laundry. Here's the thing my client can do her own dishes and laundry. She really doesnt need a home health aide to clean her house she can clean her own damn house to be honest with you. She just likes having someone there to clean and drive her around. I almost feel like I am in the movie Driving Miss Daisy. Home Health Aides are almost bound into a slave type job which is repetitive. As many other posters said the agencies only care about making money they don't care about the welfare and safety of their workers who give years of their lives to serving clients who abuse and degrade them only to have no support for the very place they should be having someone behind them. You wonder why there's such a high turnover in this field people are sick of making no money since clients are being given services when they really don't need them especially ones who are capable of washing their own clothes and dishes some of them are just being free to run their workers into the ground and they're allowed to because seniors have so many rights and health care workers have no rights to work in a safe and respectable environment.

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Queenbee75 in Chicago, Illinois

18 months ago

Grant013 in Astoria, New York said: In this country, seniors have way too many rights. They can accuse you, the worker. They can accuse you, the family member. Some of these nutsos were nutso when they were adults, and never sought help. Maybe they refused or whatever. And the commenter who said "crazy family members.." Let me tell you something, if you're sane and dealing with someone who is not, you will become crazy eventually. It's contagious. It's hard to get them into nursing homes.Some of these mental illnesses run in the family, by the way; so it's hereditary. You'll know it when you see it. And I hope you call ASPCA if you see them abuse animals. That's another thing they do. You guys are going in there at your own risk. And call Adult Protective if you need to.

And don't expect this field to get any better. It's a dead end field. Who can live on $10 dollars? You want to be compassionate and take care of people, become a nurse or doctor. It actually pays!!

I am going back to school to finish my training as a massage therapist and when my client found out I was going back to school she got silent because she knows I am preparing to leave this job. I am not going to stay bound to the same shoddy routine of cleaning for someone who can clean her own house or better yet get one her lazy no good grandchildren to come and clean her house other than showing up when they need money or food. I am also tired of how she gets miffed when I have to explain to her that there are some things that I can't do because it's going outside the scope of my job and if I get hurt I can't get workman's comp. Not to mention my client's two grandkids threatened me for not cleaning up after them when my job is not to clean up after family members I am not there to serve them. Some of these clients need to be evaluated as to them being able to do their own housechores I can see it if they're needing some light housekeeping, but some of them want a maid.

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Queenbee75 in Chicago, Illinois

18 months ago

hha2004 in Rochester, New York said: i have worked as a home health aide for 8 years. i have been cheated out of my hours,i have gone to an assignment and another aide also assigned to the same client. my experience with agencies were good and bad. the agencies that i worked for are more concerned about the clients then the aides that work for them.you have to find good clients and keep them. in the world of in home care.it is every home health aide for themselves. you have to watch your own back because the agency will not.

You're right about how the agency cares more about the client than their workers and I think seniors got too many rights and half of them can still do a lot for themselves like cook, wash, and clean and just want someone to serve and cater to them. Makes one feel like a slave and so many seniors take advantage of this and their families are just as bad. My client has able bodied grandchildren who could be doing for her other than trolling up in the house when they need money and food. It's very sad workers are treated in the most despicable manner and some clients get off tormenting workers by saying stuff about how they won't sign your sheet if it's not filled in or whatever BS reasons. I know I can do better and that's why I am working on getting out of this job and into something else.

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Queenbee75 in Chicago, Illinois

18 months ago

Just yesterday my client snapped at me saying "you don't get here on time but you want to finish on time" and threatening she was going to call in and replace me and telling me not to have no attitude. So I am supposed to dumb down and smile because I am supposed to cart her around and going over my time. I think she knows I am going to cut her loose because I don't want to stay on this job indefinitely and I have more to do on a job that will pay me right and allow me room to have a vacation since it seems like we're working until many of us fall out from exhaustion. I have had no vacation since I started at the agency I work at and you got to work 400 hours 3 months before the holiday. They're not fair with hours and many of us are working holidays we should be getting off. The way we're paid is BS because we don't get PTO or health insurance which is a joke since they take it out of your check if you want insurance.

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Grant013 in Astoria, New York

18 months ago

I don't know why you or anybody told your client you were going to school.That's asking for trouble. Some of these seniors suffer from major dementia and other mental illnesses.It makes them abusive and moody. And spiteful. Their own kids and grandkids often won't see them as a result. They're nasty, mean and bitter. And they won't go to nursing homes by choice.Many will be forcibly committed.They will be a terror in the nursing home. It's the most underappreciated, underpaid scheit job.

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Queenbee75 in Chicago, Illinois

18 months ago

Grant013 in Astoria, New York said: I don't know why you or anybody told your client you were going to school.That's asking for trouble. Some of these seniors suffer from major dementia and other mental illnesses.It makes them abusive and moody. And spiteful. Their own kids and grandkids often won't see them as a result. They're nasty, mean and bitter. And they won't go to nursing homes by choice.Many will be forcibly committed.They will be a terror in the nursing home. It's the most underappreciated, underpaid scheit job.

My client didnt have a lot to say when I told her I was going back to school because I am not staying on this job indefinitely. Some of these seniors think that you're gonna want to be tied to this job forever and I think she's got some memory issues because she'll ask questions about what day it is and sometimes forgets things. Her grandchildren are lazy and are extremely rude to me and throw their responsibilities off on other people.

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JJ123 in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

18 months ago

Don't EVER leave a nursing shift early with an unsupervised client, that is considered patient abandonment/elder abuse and can get you into serious trouble...

Here's a nightmare story...worked for a lovely lady, 82, 10 years ago recovering from stroke. Her 50 yr. old daughter was POA and 100% certifiable (Bi-Polar with hoarding tendencies). Red flag 1) no references from former caregivers 2) when I first met her she told me all over her personal business 3) she slowly started hoarding junk in her Mom's house 4) she started dropping her children off after school to visit Grandma for "an hour or so". Well, 2 months into this, the daughter had 2 BEDROOMS FULL of crap in her Mom's place (as well as the entire basement--can you say fire hazard?) and the kids would come to visit after school then stay until she picked them up at 10 PM ON SCHOOL NIGHTS. When I protested, suddenly a gold cross "was missing" and I stole it and got fired. She did this when I showed up for work a few days after Mother's Day: the locks were changed and she DUG UP all of the flowers from the front yard (I paid for and planted) for her Mom. She left me a scathing VM. I was devasted but glad to get away from the scary daughter--felt soooo bad for the old lady who was sweet. Anyway, she ended up calling me 3 weeks later as the jewelry mysteriously "turned up" lol and asked me back. In the meantime 2 other CNAs quit. Needless to say, I didn't reply....

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JJ123 in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

18 months ago

learning in Reading, Pennsylvania said: Im a home health aid and needed advise to be assured if the job i chose is the right job for me. Tell you the truth i rather go work in a factory where there was not so many problems like the job i work at now, after reading about what happened at your jobs as home health aides really is helpful and I am very thankful that a client kindly sent me home without yelling, all he did was tell me that he can't have me there anymore if im going to keep on being nervous but hey what are you suppose to do if somebody keeps getting on your case about every little move you make and have you feel stupid like its not good enough they got whats annoying them off his or her chest, verbal abuse is something you do not need at all on the job.

It depends...what made you nervous? Was the client being verbally abusive? It could just be that you are not a good fit for eachother--happens a lot, so when you find the right assignment, it is amazing how much you can enrich a client's life, and they can do the same for you. That being said, if you just need a "job" or a "pay check" (no offense) home health care is NOT for you. There are easier ways to make a living that pay better.

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JJ123 in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

18 months ago

Angelika22 in New York said: I'm about to finish up HHA training and work as a HHA for a couple months before I start my LPN program. I am really nervous about going into peoples house that I don't even know, is it safe? What kind of people have you encountered? Have you ever had to leave early because you didn't feel safe?

Just curious...why go for an LPN and not RN? CNA's are eliminating most LPN jobs?

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Nina99 in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

18 months ago

Angelika22 in New York said: I'm about to finish up HHA training and work as a HHA for a couple months before I start my LPN program. I am really nervous about going into peoples house that I don't even know, is it safe? What kind of people have you encountered? Have you ever had to leave early because you didn't feel safe?

I left a new assignment this last summer on my first weekend shift. Met the family, client week before--everything seemed OK. Came in the house at noon on Friday, was 89 degrees inside, by 3PM, was almost 100. Called the family at noon to let them know the AC was broken (the client was 95 yr. old former stroke patient). They said someone would be out to fix it. Never happened. Oh, also, no FOOD in home, NO SUPPLIES for incontinece, MEDS NOT FILLED. Housekeeper comes in at 5 PM and informs me it's been hot like this ALL SUMMER!!! I used fans to try to cool the place (borrowed from neighbors), BUT WINDOWS WERE PAINTED SHUT!!! I called the family again for the 4th time and explained the gravity of the situation and explained that as the housekeeper is here, I am leaving immediately due to unsafe conditions. Period. They had the nerve to call me the next day threatenting me that I "would be sorry" to which I replied "you will be, too, when I report you to the authorities". *Got real quiet after that*, lol.

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JJ123 in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

18 months ago

Queenbee75 in Chicago, Illinois said: You're right about how the agency cares more about the client than their workers and I think seniors got too many rights and half of them can still do a lot for themselves like cook , wash, and clean and just want someone to serve and cater to them. Makes one feel like a slave and so many seniors take advantage of this and their families are just as bad. My client has able bodied grandchildren who could be doing for her other than trolling up in the house when they need money and food . It's very sad workers are treated in the most despicable manner and some clients get off tormenting workers by saying stuff about how they won't sign your sheet if it's not filled in or whatever BS reasons. I know I can do better and that's why I am working on getting out of this job and into something else.

I feel you. It's difficult to find a good assignment, but if you do, hold on to it for dear life. When I finally left the agency world, another trusted CNA from a former assignment and myself got together to post ads on-line, in papers, fliers, churches, elder community day care centers to offer our services. We get along great and share assignments, and business is good. Once I get my RN I am opening my own agency that offers cheaper and more flexible services (due to less greed and "over head"). Screw the big, bloated, Corp. agencies. Can you imagine them charging a simple care, well-to-do client (and that's who they target) $300/day and paying the caregiver $110 (before taxes)? It's pure robbery for the client, not to mention the workers. WE NEED A UNION. The dirty little secret is CNAs can do the job for half of what the agencies charge, do it better, and make a better living. They just don't want you to know it!

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Miss Lizzie in Somewhere

18 months ago

JJ123 in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania said: I feel you. It's difficult to find a good assignment, but if you do, hold on to it for dear life. When I finally left the agency world, another trusted CNA from a former assignment and myself got together to post ads on-line, in papers, fliers, churches, elder community day care centers to offer our services. We get along great and share assignments, and business is good. Once I get my RN I am opening my own agency that offers cheaper and more flexible services (due to less greed and "over head"). Screw the big, bloated, Corp. agencies. Can you imagine them charging a simple care, well-to-do client (and that's who they target) $300/day and paying the caregiver $110 (before taxes)? It's pure robbery for the client, not to mention the workers. WE NEED A UNION. The dirty little secret is CNAs can do the job for half of what the agencies charge, do it better, and make a better living. They just don't want you to know it!

Good luck with your business venture. We need more people who have actually worked in the 'trenches' opening home care agencies. And I agree 100% about the need for a union.

The SEIU is supposed to have us covered, but as far as I can tell they don't do much of anything of any importance, sadly.

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MarciaW in Wayne, Pennsylvania

18 months ago

anonymouslytellingmyside in Reidsville, North Carolina said: Has anyone ever had a problem when they first started working for a agency where the agency barely gave you any hours and maybe would say they would call you if someone couldnt take care of their client and you basically became an on call person when they needed someone immediately? Or been told also to find maybe another job to compensate for the lost hours if you're not working any during the week?

Oh, that old scam. Sr. Helpers is famous for that. That's why agencies have no value to me: I can find my own jobs, and though agencies say one plus about them is that they can always find a replacement for your shift if you have an emergency or are sick...for me this was NEVER the case. They would call me all hours of the day/night on my days off begging me to show up to cases which I was completely unfamiliar with--dangerous for everyone, esp. the client.

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Salcare Home Health Care Services Inc in New York, New York

17 months ago

annoyed in Brooklyn, New York said: the worst agency I ever worked for Central home health aide , these people paid me just $9 an hour to work with two severely disabled adults. their disability is one thing. They are a married coupled that like calling the police on the aides and making false accusation, screaming & yelling and sometime hit their aides. while the husband tells you no one will believe you because they are disabled. People will always believe them. Can you believe they expect us to work in this stressful environment, lifting and doing everything for two grown adults who can't even assist you in their care for $9 an hr . With the exception of this couple all their other patients are drug addicts from adult homes which they only pay $8 because its just one patient. Joke of an health insurance that nobody accept, but they keep deducted out of my paycheck. plus they take out for union fees but i never seen this union. i even tried looking them up not even a site.

I've never heard of this agency. Is that the Central Manor in Far Rockaway, Queens?

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TRow in Jefferson City, Missouri

17 months ago

Angelika22 in New York said: I'm about to finish up HHA training and work as a HHA for a couple months before I start my LPN program. I am really nervous about going into peoples house that I don't even know, is it safe? What kind of people have you encountered? Have you ever had to leave early because you didn't feel safe?

You will meet all kinds of people. Some will treat you well and then you have some that won't treat you well.

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Queenbee75 in Chicago, Illinois

17 months ago

Angelika22 in New York said: I'm about to finish up HHA training and work as a HHA for a couple months before I start my LPN program. I am really nervous about going into peoples house that I don't even know, is it safe? What kind of people have you encountered? Have you ever had to leave early because you didn't feel safe?

I am about to lose a client because I believe he's angry that I said something about the rodent problem in his house. My advice to you is don't bring a purse just secure it in your car. Hang your coat on a chair if there's a rodent or pest problem and be sure to check your coat before you leave because roaches can get into the pockets and you could bring that home with you so practicing sanitation is key. Bring gloves because you'll have to deal with body waste and soiled linens with blood and other contaminants. Some of these clients you may get are nasty as hell keeping their house in such filth makes it a challenge to clean each time you're there. The client I reported for having an excessively nasty house is not happy because I said something, but I have to if the client won't/refuses to address the issue. I told my supervisor and always be in contact with your supervisor and always keep a log of what you see because you never know how that can save your hide if clients try to lie on you about stuff you did that was not true and trying to get you written up or fired for things that you didnt do. Also watch yourself with clients that have dementia or alzheimers because they'll accuse you of stealing so make sure that if you see things like money laying around take a picture with your camera phone and keep it on record as to prove what you saw and covering yourself. Call your supervisor immediately if you're not comfortable at the client's house.

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heathflax in Worcester, Massachusetts

14 months ago

Hi, and this forum is interesting, as well as pretty amazing as to its contents.
About all I can (partly) figure, assuming the amazing horror stories are true, is that maybe the figuring is that many of the clients are at least somewhat demented, and so it at the outset is a difficult situation all around.

I'm glad I came here and in fact joined so that I could post here--even though I'm not a HHC worker, but newly a client...who thought, before perhaps taking action about apparent abuses BY the worker involved, I'd try to find out what I should or could reasonably expect. Maybe I should mention that the situation is just a "home care" worker I guess, and not really a Health care worker. That latter, may soon be in the offing if I end up switching agencies, as well as keeping the home care part. I do notice that all day home health workers writing here, who I think may in some cases be private workers, seem to work on very very different terms, putting up with much much less difficulty.

Again, let me emphasize in advance that from reading or skimming most of the posts, I notice that most or all are from providers, not clients, so I hope that it'd be okay to post my little tale from the OTHER side of things.If it's not o.k., maybe it'll be automatically removed or something.

First, just for what it's worth, I was told in a pamphlet I received right at the beginning, of things to watch out for from workers--such as , obviously if hopefully not often, the real overall possibility of theft..human nature just being what it is, I guess. I was quickly advised of my own responsibility to keep money and valuables hidden as best possible, as well as to stay physically present, nearby at least...which I have so far, been careful to do, especially not yet knowing the worker too well in maybe two months.
If was advised the worker would provide receipts for all purchases, and shopping yes, is big or very big on my short list of services needed

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heathflax in Worcester, Massachusetts

14 months ago

...(continued from above)

And there were other instructions included, which I think I adhered completely to: for example, provide some money at the outset, if there is any cleaning to be done, for any materials the provider will need. Done on the first day.
And make sure to be home and ready to let the person in, etc.

But what, on my end, have i ended up , so far , getting as to certain details?

First, let me say that the person initially as to appearance, and manner, seemed nice enough although I noticed no great amount of cheer, enthusiam much at all, and apparently no ability or willingness to smile (whcih even if only a little bit, would have meant a lot to me).

And then, despite the initial talking going okay i guess although I sort of seemed to have be the one to "do the work" of figuring out most all the questions to ask, with her volunteering very little if anything.

But then, very quickly starting the first day and continuing, she, quite apparently deliberately, violated the stated policy of receipts for purchases ALWAYS being provided. Over the first four visits or so, she provided none at all. When I started hinting soon thereafter, "gee, i sure hope the store charged the right prices, especially on all the sale items I listed", she somewhat caught the hint, and started sometimes providing them. Also , the first day with no receipts, she also provided no coin change--without mentioning something like, Gee, believe it or not, the amount came to an even dollar amount, so there is no small change, there's just this bill or two.
Any way you look at her performance on this latter one, clearly something missing!

And when I asked her , the second or third visit, to take out the trash like is on her list (I'm recovering from a fracture and complications, and can't always negotiate the stairs and such very well--which is why this got put on the list)

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heathflax in Worcester, Massachusetts

14 months ago

continued from above.

she seemed to hesitate and look annoyed, but did comply that day. Subsequent days, she stood right by the washer by the door, on which was the week's rubbish bags, and while asking if there was any more to do, actually looked right over at the filled rubbish bags. That being the situation, I therefore figured I wouldn't bother asking her to carry it out, since it was so obvious that she was suppposed to.
Again, let me mention that this is no "obvious" harridan witchlike woman or anything. She in appearing is pretty mild mannered looking, and she doesn't yell or anything. So I really never expected the difficulties.

The fourth day, she didn't show up at all. I called the agency, saying in part that I was worried for her welfare...whereupon the agency said, oh, the phone number we have for you must be wrong, since we couldn't reach you. She had some kind of family problem, so is off today.
That day, the agency did get a different worker to come by in the evening, to pinch hit. That at first was impressive, at least until she told me every trouble she had in the world, including that she HATED shopping for people, her main job for me.

The next week, the regular woman showed up TEN MINUTES EARLY. IF wasn't fully dressed or otherwise ready for her, as might be ezpected I think. Whoo shows up early to anything like that ? The person might be unprepared, like I was.
The next time , she was fifteen minutes late. The followed time, about twenty minutes late. The next following time, at fifteen minutes, I managed to make it down the stairs, where I didn't think I spotted her car or her anywhere out front (it's on a busy downtown street.). I just waited ...and promptly she stormed up to me and just stared me in the face...making a face so strong that i didn't at first know it was her (i have poor vision, though, too). It's true I had spotted someone a building or so away, out front of it...but decided it probably wasn't her.

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heathflax in Worcester, Massachusetts

14 months ago

continued/
..Spotted a person standing there smoking a cigarette, while I waited upstairs! And yet SHE was mad about me going out front or something.

During that visit, she announced that, from now on she would be showing out fifteen to thirty minutes later than the original time. But wouldn't be staying longer to make up for it. Said she had gained a new client earlier than me, so could come on time any more. Not that she usually did come on time anyway. Or do more that usually just shopping. True that my bathroom rarely needs cleaning by anyone else, or that I couldn't hang and fold my laundry myself, laundry help being another assignment. It would have helped a little to have minor help with the laundry, but no big deal except, what is she going to do with the unused 45 minutes to an hour, at least , of the scheduled time not needed usually for shopping? I guess the idea is, come late and leave early but still charge for two hours, which is about twice what she's been helping.

I never, at first , would have guessed this about her. Or that she would almost never smile--a little just once after we had been slightly , sort of indirectly, been discussing how to handle some of the questions that were arising.

Sort of truly a wold in sheep's clothing I think. Only maybe five years younger than me ,maybe 55 or so, and who would have thought this from a normal appearing woman.

I happened to talk with some people who are involved with a competing agency, talking mostly by accident since we had been chatting about something else. They immediately assured me that I'm being abused,and that most all these things are important violations, even the second woman telling me she HATED shopping for people, as well as that she basically had had no training for the job. And this is apparently an agency with two or three hundred of these workers! Could a whole bunch of them be like this?

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heathflax in Worcester, Massachusetts

14 months ago

continued/
..Spotted a person standing there smoking a cigarette, while I waited upstairs! And yet SHE was mad about me going out front or something.

During that visit, she announced that, from now on she would be showing out fifteen to thirty minutes later than the original time. But wouldn't be staying longer to make up for it. Said she had gained a new client earlier than me, so could come on time any more. Not that she usually did come on time anyway. Or do more that usually just shopping. True that my bathroom rarely needs cleaning by anyone else, or that I couldn't hang and fold my laundry myself, laundry help being another assignment. It would have helped a little to have minor help with the laundry, but no big deal except, what is she going to do with the unused 45 minutes to an hour, at least , of the scheduled time not needed usually for shopping? I guess the idea is, come late and leave early but still charge for two hours, which is about twice what she's been helping.

I never, at first , would have guessed this about her. Or that she would almost never smile--a little just once after we had been slightly , sort of indirectly, been discussing how to handle some of the questions that were arising.

Sort of truly a wold in sheep's clothing I think. Only maybe five years younger than me ,maybe 55 or so, and who would have thought this from a normal appearing woman.

I happened to talk with some people who are involved with a competing agency, talking mostly by accident since we had been chatting about something else. They immediately assured me that I'm being abused,and that most all these things are important violations, even the second woman telling me she HATED shopping for people, as well as that she basically had had no training for the job.

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heathflax in Worcester, Massachusetts

14 months ago

continued/

And this is an agency that appears to have several hundred of these workers. Sure hope they aren't all like these two appear to be or at least have been behaving so far.
I really so much would prefer not to end up reporting the main woman especially, that I'm thinking, maybe I should just change agencies. But what can you do, when the provider wants to do only about half the job, and from the start pretty clearly was at least setting me up for potential stealing (the no receipts part) if not already stealing. When she did start providing some receipts, promptly I noticed an item I didn't list, or get, initially on the receipt, though it got then, removed and deleted. Maybe she changed her mind on letting it show, now that she might be providing receipts.
If anyone has any advice on anything I should do other than maybe switching agencies, or possibly on trying to just get one of their other workers although that feels very awkward, i'd appreciate it. It's hard because it seems somehow that maybe she just can't help taking advantage and maybe even stealing. I know of the saying, partly true i think, that it's pretty common for petty stealing, to occur by people at work. But I see so little choice, especially since , clearly enough, she's been deceitful from the start in various ways. I'm retired, on a fixed income, and am living in 2 1/2 rooms, one of which is only for storage since it's very cold the whole 8 months or so of heating season. Maybe she just feels superior, because of owning a house, which she told me of. Sad; where is the sympathy for a person. If any choice or other ideas of what I could do other than what i mention, are provided , I'll consider them if i see them. May have to decide within a couple days. Thank you for reading this true testament, and congratulation on all who aren't like my workers.

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Salcare Home Health Care Services Inc in New York, New York

14 months ago

The supervising nurse and the coordinator create a plan of care that involves YOU. All complaints/comments should be directed to them. Receipts are required and is taught to all aides from the onset.

If you receive no satisfaction, change agencies. If your complaints to the agency are unheeded, you don't have much of a choice but to switch, since the direct aide supervision comes from the nursing supervisor. If the nursing supervisor is not doing her job, you can bet the aide won't either.

Good luck!

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Queenbee75 in Chicago, Illinois

14 months ago

Salcare Home Health Care Services Inc in New York, New York said: The supervising nurse and the coordinator create a plan of care that involves YOU. All complaints/comments should be directed to them. Receipts are required and is taught to all aides from the onset.

If you receive no satisfaction, change agencies. If your complaints to the agency are unheeded, you don't have much of a choice but to switch, since the direct aide supervision comes from the nursing supervisor. If the nursing supervisor is not doing her job, you can bet the aide won't either.

Good luck!

As a home health aide for the past four years I have had clients who were a piece of work to deal with. A lot of them don't need us around because many of them don't want you doing things for them and yet what's the purpose of you being there when your job is to service them with homemaker and caregiving services? I had a client I was forced to drop because he had a huge problem with trash being all over the house and wound up having to report him to my supervisor even taking photos to prove what I was talking about and my boss immediately took me off and placed someone else on with this client and she too had quit because everything I said in the notes was exactly what this last aide reported in hers. The client had a rodent problem, the client is a fall risk since he's fallen twice when I worked with him, he has memory issues, his house needs a lot of work because I reported issues with the plumbing, and an overabundance of trash which resulted in the house smelling really bad and attracting rodents. The agency I work for along with who also was funding the client's homemaker services suspended the services until the client makes necessary repairs on his house and has to pass an inspection for services to resume. It comes down to this when clients homes are not safe for them or the worker to be there. My health and safety come first in order for me to do my job.

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Queenbee75 in Chicago, Illinois

14 months ago

cont.

After having several sinus infections due to the rodent droppings and dirt all over the house it became clear that this client is well on his way to a nursing home. I believed he had early mild dementia since some of his memory wasnt all there and he would fall asleep forgetting he left the door unlocked which is a concern because anyone could walk into his house off the street and he wouldnt hear them come in. I was also concerned for my safety because this man also did things that was not normal like hauling his groceries in a trash can that was used to dispose of garbage knowing it's not clean. It's stuff like that which makes you nuts on your job and then they get mad when you let them know you're not putting the food they eat in something to move it to the house. Like one person said you have a lot of judgment calls and I've had my share of making a few of them.

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Anonymous in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

14 months ago

My personal spin: as a former client for my parents, a HHA, and current nursing student (worked private care and agencies) the agency should have been notified ASAP, period. You are paying for a service. Also, just my personal opinion, but agencies suck, overcharge, and hire "warm bodies". You are better off calling a local community college and trying to find nursing students who already have criminal background checks, training, etc. They will charge half of what an agency will...up to them to file taxes as independent contractors, etc.

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Queenbee75 in Chicago, Illinois

14 months ago

CNAs are not eliminating LPN jobs when CNAs don't make nearly as much as an LPN and not everyone can take off the full two years to get their RN credentials. Some people still have to work and go to school and where I live in IL LPNs are a fast growing field for working professionals who want to go to nursing school, but can't take off for two years and still want to work on their RN at their own pace.

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Anonymous in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

14 months ago

That's true, LPNs are in need but it depends on the area of the country you reside. Here in PA, the only LPN jobs are nursing homes and even those are short...in general in PA/Philly the LPN/RN/and BSN market is tough...too many grads and not enough jobs. Most hospitals want nurses with BSN (for magnet status) and won't even hire a BSN out of school without 2 years "experience". It's brutal...how do you get experience without a job, and a job with no experience??? I hope Obamacare broadens hiring but I've been told due to it, the care will be minimal and hospitals will still cut staff/less hiring due to costs and doctors leaving the profession...we will all have to be more open to non-hospital jobs.

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Anonymous in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

14 months ago

learning in Reading, Pennsylvania said: Im a home health aid and needed advise to be assured if the job i chose is the right job for me. Tell you the truth i rather go work in a factory where there was not so many problems like the job i work at now, after reading about what happened at your jobs as home health aides really is helpful and I am very thankful that a client kindly sent me home without yelling, all he did was tell me that he can't have me there anymore if im going to keep on being nervous but hey what are you suppose to do if somebody keeps getting on your case about every little move you make and have you feel stupid like its not good enough they got whats annoying them off his or her chest, verbal abuse is something you do not need at all on the job.

If you are into nursing, go for it. If you just need "a job"--take the factory.

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Bluetea in Texas

14 months ago

Anonymous in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania said: That's true, LPNs are in need but it depends on the area of the country you reside. Here in PA, the only LPN jobs are nursing homes and even those are short...in general in PA/Philly the LPN/RN/and BSN market is tough...too many grads and not enough jobs. Most hospitals want nurses with BSN (for magnet status) and won't even hire a BSN out of school without 2 years "experience". It's brutal...how do you get experience without a job, and a job with no experience??? I hope Obamacare broadens hiring but I've been told due to it, the care will be minimal and hospitals will still cut staff/less hiring due to costs and doctors leaving the profession...we will all have to be more open to non-hospital jobs.

Might depend on the area and the profession but my niece is a medical biller and she says to stay with direct patient care. What is going to be cut will be administration. They will: 1. Consolidate 2. Outsource or 3. Automate it.

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tina in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

12 months ago

I am HHA for two going on two years and I feel for the other HHA like me. I have gone to similar problems but the one I am about to leave know if to me the top of the line. I take care of a rich client. he is a 61 year old man he had a stroke 3 years ago he is parralise from his left side and he has Parkinson decease which of course only shows in his right side it take two people to move him and get this he smoke and I have to hold the cigaret because since his has is constantly moving because of Parkinson decease so I have being twice at the doctors office I expend $150 the first time and $120 the second time I have miss two days from work I have no sick days because we are considered self employees are independent contractors I have miss two days of work each day $132 per day that is $264 and $270 on doctors visits plus medication. I do not get insurance offer by the agency so I am on my own.
This is not all it gets even better I was wearing a masck that I provide myself and the patient does not want me wearing my mask he told me if I could not handle his smoking habits he did not want me there.

I do not know what I was thinking when I decide to get work in this field. I was told it was easy to find a job doing this type of work, but it you loose your job very easy too.
Without even warnings.

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tina in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

12 months ago

I am HHA going on two years and I feel for the other HHA like me. I have gone to similar problems but the one I am about to leave know if to me the top of the line. I take care of a rich client. he is a 61 year old man he had a stroke 3 years ago he is parralise from his left side and he has Parkinson decease which of course only shows in his right side it take two people to move him and get this he smoke and I have to hold the cigaret because since his has is constantly moving because of Parkinson decease so I have being twice at the doctors office I expend $150 the first time and $120 the second time I have miss two days from work I have no sick days because we are considered self employees are independent contractors I have miss two days of work each day $132 per day that is $264 and $270 on doctors visits plus medication. I do not get insurance offer by the agency so I am on my own.
This is not all it gets even better I was wearing a masck that I provide myself and the patient does not want me wearing my mask he told me if I could not handle his smoking habits he did not want me there.

I do not know what I was thinking when I decide to get work in this field. I was told it was easy to find a job doing this type of work, but it you loose your job very easy too.
Without even warnings.

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tina in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

12 months ago

I am HHA going on two years and I feel for the other HHA like me. I have gone to similar problems but the one I am about to leave know if to me the top of the line. I take care of a rich client. he is a 61 year old man he had a stroke 3 years ago he is dead on his left side of the body do to Parkinson decease which of course only shows in his right side it take two people to move him, he likes to smoke and I have to hold the cigaret because since his right hand is constantly moving do to Parkinson decease.

I have being twice at the doctors office I expend $150 the first time and $120 the second time I have miss two days from work. I have no sick days because we are considered self employees are independent contractors I have miss two days of work each day $132 per day that is $264 and $270 on doctors visits plus medication, I do not get insurance offered by the agency so I am on my own.

This is not all it gets even better I was wearing a mask that I provide myself and the patient does not want me wearing the mask, he told me if I could not handle his smoking habits he did not want me there.

I do not know what I was thinking when I decide to get work in this field. I was told it was easy to find a job doing this type of work, but it is very easy to loose it
too without any warnings.

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Jenny in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

12 months ago

WOW.More proof these CNA/HHA jobs are "slave labor".

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Jenny in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

12 months ago

tina in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida said: I am HHA going on two years and I feel for the other HHA like me. I have gone to similar problems but the one I am about to leave know if to me the top of the line. I take care of a rich client. he is a 61 year old man he had a stroke 3 years ago he is dead on his left side of the body do to Parkinson decease which of course only shows in his right side it take two people to move him, he likes to smoke and I have to hold the cigaret because since his right hand is constantly moving do to Parkinson decease.

I have being twice at the doctors office I expend $150 the first time and $120 the second time I have miss two days from work. I have no sick days because we are considered self employees are independent contractors I have miss two days of work each day $132 per day that is $264 and $270 on doctors visits plus medication, I do not get insurance offered by the agency so I am on my own.

This is not all it gets even better I was wearing a mask that I provide myself and the patient does not want me wearing the mask, he told me if I could not handle his smoking habits he did not want me there.

I do not know what I was thinking when I decide to get work in this field. I was told it was easy to find a job doing this type of work, but it is very easy to loose it
too without any warnings.

You should charge $175/day min....any agency would charge $250-257/day for this client!

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Jocelyn in New York, New York

12 months ago

I just posted this under a new thread but wanted to put it here too. Concepts of Independent doesn't pay! Even after you've put in work for them :( anyone else had this experience? I am hoping if some of us get together we can force them

"Hi! I worked as an assistant for Concepts of Independence at 120 Wall Street and have been having a really hard time getting paid. It took hours and hours of work to get my back pay because the "lost" my time sheets, and it's been 7 months and I am still waiting for 450 dollars!!! Nothing I do seems to work and I am wondering if other people are having the same problem. Please please reply if so!"

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Salcare Home Health Care Services Inc in New York, New York

12 months ago

Jocelyn in New York, New York said: I just posted this under a new thread but wanted to put it here too. Concepts of Independent doesn't pay! Even after you've put in work for them :( anyone else had this experience? I am hoping if some of us get together we can force them

"Hi! I worked as an assistant for Concepts of Independence at 120 Wall Street and have been having a really hard time getting paid. It took hours and hours of work to get my back pay because the "lost" my time sheets, and it's been 7 months and I am still waiting for 450 dollars!!! Nothing I do seems to work and I am wondering if other people are having the same problem. Please please reply if so!"

Concepts of Independence is a Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP). They do not have to pay the home care living wage, but they do have to pay the New York City living wage. If I am not mistaken, the agency is a union agency (1199), so find your shop steward. You should write a demand letter and send it certified. If they do not answer you, consider suing them on small claims court (if the union will not intercede).

Good luck!

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Jocelyn in Brooklyn, New York

11 months ago

Thanks Selcare! I did send them a few letters quoting last pay regulations, and it sped things up a little bit, but I was definitely wondering if other people here had worked for them or had similar experience because there is strength in numbers. I was never informed that it was a union shop, not even when I did my paperwork, but that doesn't mean they aren't--however an online search of their website (1199 or SEIU international) didn't turn anything up either. I only worked there for 2 months, do you have any more information or where you heard they were SEIU?

Would still love to hear from others who work or worked at concepts or who had problems with late pay in NYC. Thanks!

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frustrated in Youngstown, Ohio

11 months ago

I am so glad to stumble upon this site. I am a home health aide and to read some of the things that we as HHA's have to go through is refreshing to know that I am not alone. I am a very conscientious worker and like to perform my job to the best of my ability which means well. I get frustrated when I see that I am not able to do my job the way I need to in order to help my client get or feel better. Reason being because the client will not allow you to do their job. But yet they complain about the establishment and other issues that are irrelevant. I started working on the job because I wanted to make a difference in the field. But I feel like I am getting no where fast. I went to school for accounting and am in the process of looking for an internship. But I wish that there is something that we can do to change our situation. My client uses this service as though it is a maid service and it is designed to assist him/her get back own their feet. The individual don't like to cooperate with their therapy. For me I get frustrated because there are things that I can't do even around the house because I am not permitted to do. We don't just need a union we need agencies and all establishments involved to make sure that the clients are complying with the services that they are provided. Most of my clients do but I have a couple clients that are not in compliance. I am frustrated because I feel that it is a disservice to me and well as them. So I am going to pray and ask God what do I need to do to bring about a change if possible.

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Jenny in Berwyn, Pennsylvania

11 months ago

Grant013 in Astoria, New York said: I'm going to tell you all something, folks. Many nasty people become ill with dementia, altzheimers and other illnesses.They hoard things, are dirty and become very abusive verbally and physically. Basically, if someone was mean before that person aged, same person will be twice as hard after they age.They need to go to a nursing home or a mental ward. You can't work with someone like that. Forget about them being a danger to themselves, they are a danger to YOU. Their own children /relatives refuse to take care of them, because of all the problem behaviors. There are many agencies out there who just want to make the money so of course, they won't tell you. This is a low skilled, low paying job working with a very difficult and often dangerous population. I encourage some of you who can get out, to seriously get out before you lose an eye or end up in the hospital . These seniors are crazy. It's going to be too late to look for a better career when you have a scar across your face from some nut with dementia.

I sadly agree...when I worked for an "agency"--the cases were bad, very, very BAD. And the agencies ALWAYS LIED. Even as a CNA, and 2nd year nursing student...NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY, has any business working with above stage 5 Alzheimer's patient's if you have not studied any college level psychology, esp. Abnormal Psychology, or have not completed at least 1 clinical nursing student rotation. It's not safe for ANYONE, and this is what cheapens the CNA/nursing profession.

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