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MDLaw
MDLaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 5854
Experience:  Experience in business law, contract law and related matters.
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I work as a privately as a caregiver for a 90 year old woman

Customer Question

I work as a privately as a caregiver for a 90 year old woman with 3-4 other ladies who provide 24/7 care on an independent contract basis. Her place is a 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom smallish apartment and we ladies use the bedroom to sleep and provide privacy for the lady when she has visitors. Her son visits from out of state and stays elsewhere and usually shows up for visits when she is up, as is appropriate. He has had several times that he came over when she was in bed, no call first and he also used his key to come onto the premises. I feel he has no right to intrude on us caregivers and that we have the right to refuse him entry. It's very weird to have someone around who is not a friend and who is not paying any of the expenses interfering with our peace of mind and personal time.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  MDLaw replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for using the Just Answer website. I look forward to assisting you this evening.

Is your client the owner or lessee of the apartment? Are you considered a tenant? In other words, is her home your primary residence? Do you stay at the home when you are not actually working?



Customer: replied 1 year ago.

It is part of a retirement community where I believe the unit is rented with maintenance fees monthly. He daughter handles all her bills and our paychecks. The lady has short term memory loss and is coherent but only in the moment...like 5 minutes after she's had a meal, she will ask if it's time to eat. I have talked to her about this a couple of times and she did not express any conflict with my point of view...she just won't recall it without any prompting.


 


None of us ladies live there...we are more like rotating room mates and most of us have to drive at least 20 miles one way to get to work. The lady doesn't walk much and cannot use the toilet on her own, needs repositioning during the night and has nights when she calls for one of us often. In other words, we can't just pop over to help her and she needs someone there to prevent falls.


 


It is necessary for us to use her place as our "home" while we are there and we naturally are happy for any family or friends to visit...but I don't think our job description includes unwanted and unexpected time spent putting up with a family member who should only be around to visit with her. I didn't consider this to be a family issue since we are there in a professional capacity and we deserve some respect.


 


Her sons are somewhat clueless about the right way to care for her needs & what they actually are as demonstrated by their behavior. The one son from out of town wants to come and go as he pleases and as I said, he doesn't let us know his plans when it comes to his mother most of the time.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I did this inquiry rather late and went to bed. I still don't see a response to my additional information as of yet.

Expert:  MDLaw replied 1 year ago.
By the time you responded, Pat, I had already gone to bed :) Give me a few minutes and I can provide you with a reply.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

That's what I figured. I feel like I am in a somewhat different situation and one of the ladies who is technically my supervisor I feel has been a bit too casual about it and I am looking for legal avenues in which to set some boundaries.

Expert:  MDLaw replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the additional information, Pat. I apologize for not being able to get to you sooner but I had an appointment for my daughter and the site doesn't have a mobile app as far as I know.

Unfortunately, if the lady you take care of is the owner or tenant of the residence, she is free to give keys to her children if she wishes and they are free to come and go since you are not a tenant and the home is not your residence. Therefore, if you are a contract worker and there is nothing in your contract giving you control of who visits her, then there is nothing that you can do legally. You are free to talk to her other children about it if it makes you that uncomfortable and they can choose to do something about it if they wish but legally, they are not obligated to do so.

If there are other concerns that you have left out that may change the answer, please feel free to let me know but based on the facts you have given me, there does not appear to be anything illegal going on.

Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns and we can continue our conversation. If, however, I have fully answered your questions, please be so kind as to leave me a positive rating as that is the only way that we experts get compensated for the time and expertise needed to assist you. Thank you in advance for allowing me to assist you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I think from what you replied that there is something you may be unclear about. First off, the son is letting himself in when his mother is not available for a visit. Of course the children are free to visit her but we have to allow her to sleep as long as she wants and put her to bed when she asks us to if it is earlier than her usual time.


 


I also know that he's had the keys from back when his mother was competent and he was able to stay with her. The situation is different now.


 


I'm not out to control who visits her, I just think I should have control over who is intruding on my peace of mind.


 


It sounds like you are telling me that some guy can just walk in on any of us and hang around when he is not someone we wish to see.


 


I consider the use of the room as part of our arrangement, as if we are "paying" to stay there as the client is covering any extra expenses we incur like for more utilities.


 


We had established that he can no longer stay with her when he visits since we are there and it is inappropriate to share the place as there is no room...3 of us are married and 2 of the ladies are Mennonites.


 


When she is in bed, we ladies keep a baby monitor on and I leave the bedroom and the bathroom door open and if the house is locked up, I feel I should not have to worry about someone walking in on me. The bathroom door is directly across from the garage entry which he has been know to use. I've had times when I had to throw a towel around myself to go see what she needs as I don't even want to come to her without some dignity for myself.


 


I was never under any kind of official contract...I just started working for her and was asked for my SSN for the end of the year 1099. I've been with her 1st P/T then F/T for almost 3 1/2 years and all of us ladies have provided her with top notch care.


 


If he's not doing anything technically "illegal", it is sure bad behavior that creates bad morale. I'm sure that even if he doesn't have a key, he's think it is ok to just barge in once the door is opened.


 


Has anything changed in your eyes by anything I've written?

Expert:  MDLaw replied 1 year ago.
Hi, Pat, let me try to address each of your question. Please let me know if I have left any one of your questions out. I will address them in order that you presented them.

If he obtained the key because it was given to him, he is free to come and go as he pleases unless his mother, the legal resident, objects. It does not matter if she is sleeping or not. The only scenario in which he would not allowed to come and go as he pleases is if his mother or whomever had legal control over his mother took back his key in which case he would be considered trespassing if he came into the apartment without authorization or an invite or without a key.

I'm unclear as to how his entering the apartment affects your peace of mind. Can you please clarify? Legally, since you are not a resident or owner of the residence, you cannot control who enters or does not enter the apartment, unfortunately. Only the resident can.

Unfortunately, Pat, under the law, you cannot control who comes to visit. He is legally allowed to be present at his mother's residence even if she is asleep. Only the woman's family can control who comes and doesn't come.

When you say that you consider the use of "the room" as part of your agreement, if your agreement/contract states that you can control who comes into a certain bedroom that belongs to you, then you would be able to keep him out of that bedroom but not out of the house. If the bedroom does not belong to you under the contract, then you would have no legal control over that room.

What do you mean when you say that you are sharing the place? I'm just unclear as to why you say that it is inappropriate. Please clarify. What is he doing that is inappropriate?

With respect to the bathroom, if you do have a baby monitor, you should be able to close the bathroom door when you are in there. I have a very old baby monitor for my daughter and it works throughout or entire home. You can also ask the son to either call ahead before visiting or to knock and explain why.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions, Pat.

Thank you in advance for rating me positively.





Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi...I really needed to get an outside opinion about this matter. I don't like it but that is not your fault! You have done a good job overall and I need to go run some errands and go to the bank before closing this out completely.


 


The bedroom is "ok" to stay in for a while but not set up for things like TV viewing or having a snack, which should be done at the table. The baby monitor is not very loud and it was bought by someone else and is adequate as long as there isn't much background noise. If I need or want to use my computer or watch TV or read, the living room area gives me a place to do so without having to sit or lay in a way that is hard on my back. I don't want to have to have some near stranger in the same room. I don't consider being alone with a family member I neither like or respect as part of the job description.


 


The lady is rich, the son has a brother and sister nearby who have room for him, he has a house of his own on a lake @1/2 hrs drive away and there are other places for him to stay that his mom could easily afford if he cannot. It is not necessary for him to come there. He has choices and he has been talked to about some things with a lot of it not sinking in.


 


I get what you are saying and if I am wrong in any way, I'd like to know from a neutral party.


 


Thank you.

Expert:  MDLaw replied 1 year ago.
I'm not sure what you are saying, Pat. I don't know you or anyone involved and so I have no vested interested in your issue. I am indeed a neutral party. You are ultimately asking if you have the legal right to stop the son from entering your client's home and the answer is that you do not , unless he is doing something illegal.

I am sorry that you did not receive the answer that you wanted but it is my professional responsibility to tell you what the law is and not what you want it to be, regrettably. It would be a violation of my professional license and ethics to lie to you.

I have spent quite a bit of time with you trying to help you and if you have any additional questions, I would appreciate you leaving me a positive rating since I have answered every single one of your questions accurately and I do not get credit for all of the time spent unless you leave a positive rating. In the meantime, if you need clarification on anything, let me know.

MDLaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 5854
Experience: Experience in business law, contract law and related matters.
MDLaw and 7 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No need for a reply...I just wanted you to know that I understood what you told me and that it was enough as far as what I needed to find out. Have a nice evening and thanks for your help.

Expert:  MDLaw replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much and good luck and wishes to you.

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