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July 09, 2007


Carol D. O'Dell

Hi Shelia,

I cared for my mom full-time for close to three years and we had several home health aids ranging from excellent to so-so.

I'd like to suggest two things that might help decide whether a caregiver is right for your family. Have a "day" test where you are there for a day and you moniter the situation.

While they're going to be on their best behavior, you can't "fake" chemistry for eight hours. By chemistry, I mean that amazing hard-to-describe thing that occurs between people--if you "get" one another and can work together with ease.

The other suggestion is to give them several mock "scenarios." Example:
My mother has just soiled her diaper and she refuses to allow you to change her--what would you do?

Or--my mother insists she has a doctor's appointment and you're supposed to take her, but it's not on the schedule. She's becoming confused and agitated. How would you calm her down?

People try to say the right thing, but their choices/demeanor will show through.

I hope this helps.

I wrote every day my mother lived with me--I wrote our truths, frustrations, hurts, resentments and funny/sweet/tender moments--and it became a book.

MOTHERING MOTHER: A Daughter's Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir by Carol D. O'Dell
Available on Amazon and in most bookstores.


Happy Holidays Sheila:

My name is Lyvonne and I am a employer and would like to know the process for requesting CARE.COM to do reference checks? Thanks

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