How to Fire a Caregiver
Finding a good CDPAP caregiver is hard, but letting go of one is even harder. When you found your caregiver, they probably seemed like the perfect fit for the job. But now, things are not working out like they used to.
Your caregiver is no longer the right match, and it’s time to replace them. If you are in this predicament, here are a few tips on letting your caregiver go provisionally:
1. Identify the Issue
Before you issue a termination letter, evaluate why it isn’t working out with your caregiver. See if you can discuss the caregiver’s issues and work them out.
You should also talk your decision over with your family or someone else you trust. The input should prove to be helpful in making your decision on whether to fire a caregiver.
2. Establish Clear Expectations
You can’t expect your caregiver to meet your expectations unless you’ve communicated them clearly. Some things are better off communicated through writing.
If you already had an employment contract, check to see which clauses your caregiver is no longer following or if the circumstances have changed.
Communicating with your caregiver and establishing your expectations might eliminate the need to fire him. After all, it’s better to tell him what you expect rather than make a decision based on an assumption.
3. Create a Paper Trail
Document every conversation you have with your caregiver, especially the ones where you talk about issues with his work. Make sure the documents are dated so you can easily refer to them when needed.
After two incidents of discussing work issues with the caregiver, let him know that he can’t continue working with you unless changes are made.
4. Make a Decision and Plan It Out
If all attempts to shift the situation with your caregiver fail and you decide that you can no longer continue working with him, it’s time to let him go. You should hire a backup caregiver for an easier transition as you look for a replacement
5. Have the Talk
Set aside some time for a short conversation with your caregiver. If you feel more comfortable doing this with someone else, that’s fine. What’s important is that the caregiver doesn’t feel like you’re ganging up on him.
6. Stay Strong, but Be Compassionate
Stay firm in your decision. If you let your caregiver talk you out of the situation, you might be setting yourself up for a much tougher situation in the future. That being said, you should still show compassion and keep the conversation short.
If possible, give the caregiver notice of severance pay and don’t withhold payment for services already offered.
7. Answer Employment Questions
If you’re firing a caregiver for performance issues, he might not be eligible for unemployment benefits. But, there are still cases where they might still maintain eligibility.
Make sure you research the laws that apply to your caregiver in terms of unemployment benefits.
8. Deal With the Final Payment
If your caregiver had been working for you for 12 consecutive months before his dismissal, he has a right to collect severance pay. Depending on labor laws near you, severance pay is usually calculated based on the length of employment.
For more information, you should research labor laws to calculate the exact amount of final payment you owe and the date it should be cleared.
9. Offer a Recommendation
You should offer your caregiver a letter of recommendation. Unless, of course, the termination resulted from gross misconduct or safety issues. Even if the caregiver was not right for your family, he might still be the perfect fit for someone else.
10. Ask for Personal Items
Don’t forget to ask the caregiver to return personal items entrusted to him. These items may include house keys, car keys, and credit cards.
11. Give a Token of Appreciation
It’s a good idea to give the caregiver a small, meaningful gift as a token of appreciation. This may soothe any negative feelings caused by the situation.
Now you know how to properly fire a caregiver. However, under what circumstances should you put the knowledge to use? Below are some signs of a poorly performing caregiver.
Signs of a Bad Caregiver
You can’t tell if a caregiver is bad or incompetent just by looking at them. There are, however, a few red flags that may show your new caregiver is unscrupulous, unqualified, or worse – dangerous. These red flags include:
Refusal to Supply References, a Home Address, or Submit to a Background Check
When you meet a caregiver who won’t submit to a background check or provide any references, chances are that they are completely unqualified or even running a scam. Also, if a caregiver has moved from state to state in a short period without any reasonable explanation, he might be evading the law.
Your Senior Has Unexplained Bruises, Infections, or Illnesses
We hire caregivers to keep our elderly family members in the best health possible. So, if your senior suddenly starts developing unexplained bruises, infections, or diseases, then the caregiver might be the culprit.
Your Senior Seems Afraid of Them
Sometimes, your senior might not show signs of physical harm. But if they look afraid when the caregiver is around, they might be getting threatened when you’re not around. This causes them to feel anxious and fearful around the caregiver.
They Ignore Your Senior
If you come home to find your caregiver watching TV or on the phone while your senior is hungry and your house is messy, chances are that your caregiver is neglecting your loved one.
They Work Solo, Not With an Agency
Not working with an agency does not always mean a caregiver is untrustworthy. However, you should take a closer look at their credentials before hiring a solo caregiver.
Something About Them Feels Fishy or Off
Sometimes, it’s best to rely on your gut feeling. If you have any reservations about the person you’re considering hiring as a caregiver, it’s best to let them down politely and move on to your next prospect.
The Bottom Line
Most caregivers love their jobs and are good at them. But, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few bad apples. If you’re thinking of firing your caregiver, the tips above should make the whole situation easier to handle.
And if your caregiver is displaying any of the signs of being neglectful, you shouldn’t think twice about letting him go.