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Nanny problem - dizziness

(190 Posts)
Yoonie Thu 07-Mar-19 11:06:21

Dear all

Need some advice regarding a new development that concerns my 60year old nanny. When we hired her 6months ago, she was active, vibrant, full of energy and enthusiasm.

After Christmas, she was diagnosed with a dizziness problem (with severe headache and vomiting) and went 2-3times to the doctors to get tested. The blood results came back and she only informed me that there is no cure (no pill) she can take and that she just has to live with it. She has not been forthcoming with the medical condition since then.

Now, as I have had a lot of time after Christmas to stay at home, I noticed a big change in her activities with my 9months old baby. In the past two months, she has not gone out of the house with her. Except the two times that I insisted that she takes her out (it was such a beautiful day!). She went out reluctantly and cited that it is too cold for the baby and that her eyes were runny.

Her attitude has also changed a lot, before she was a positive and energetic person and now when I ask her to prepare meals for my 7 year old son, she insists that she cooks at home and bring them the next day. Once it took her over 2 weeks to bring the food to my son. That was not part of the deal and she asks to be compensated for the extra hours she spent cooking at her house too, which I did not ask. She can in fact cook while my 9months old baby is sleeping but she only does puzzles during the 1.5 - 2 hour nap which she takes two times a day. So I feel a little short changed. She also does not do any little house chores which are in her contract.

She also does not go to fetch old books from my 7 year old DS1, which is on the third floor of the house (town house), which puzzles me as I told her repeatedly that it will be good for DD2 to start to look at books. I suspect that she does not feel confident enough to walk up the staircase and back down.

After talking to my sister-in-law last week, who had an auntie with dizziness problem and stayed home 3 months after fainting, I got scared. I feel very uncomfortable leaving my very active baby in her care. I cannot leave the baby alone for 5minutes as she is crawling everywhere and trying to standing up every second. She can get into trouble any second, if unattended by an adult.

Lastly, when I asked her last week to accompany me and my DS1 for a swimming lesson (it was close to her husband's restaurant), instead of hanging around the swimming pool centre, she insisted on taking her to her husband's restaurant for 45minutes and for me to pick up my baby after the swimming lesson. This involved her driving my baby on the front seat of the car (which she does with her granddaughter, but I was too shocked to even respond). I think she is doing this to protect herself, and her not being forthright about her condition is making me paranoid and uneasy.

Please tell me if I am being paranoid or if I have start taking measures to let her go. My DH is very much against a dismissal based on her fitness to work. But I feel that I have to request from her doctor a written confirmation that she is able to carry on her work with her condition. Am I being too harsh? Please be honest with me. I want to hear your honest thoughts.

Yoonie Thu 07-Mar-19 11:07:52

Just to clarify, she only wants to cook at her own place and not at ours.

roundturnandtwohalfhitches Thu 07-Mar-19 11:21:34

Sounds like she can't do the job. I have suffered a prolonged episode of severe dizziness and vertigo a few years ago. I couldn't carry on working and I most definitely couldn't have looked after a baby - especially someone elses. You do lose your confidence after dizzy spells and it sounds like she is avoiding doing things she doesn't want to. I would just ask her to leave based on the things she won't do. You have asked her to do x and y and she refuses so she's not fulfilling her contract. Was the baby in the correct sort of seat for the front of the car.

longearedbat Thu 07-Mar-19 11:35:28

I wonder if she's got bppv? I suffer from it and it can come and go, also there is a treatment (manipulation) for it. Anyway, whatever is causing her dizziness obviously affects her ability to do her job. I wouldn't have thought you could demand a letter from her doctor though. I don't understand this cooking at home thing though, and not bringing for for 2 weeks? Eh?
What does her contract of employment say about her expected duties? You are perfectly reasonable to expect her to stick to the terms she agreed. If she cannot, then perhaps you should find another nanny.

longearedbat Thu 07-Mar-19 11:36:42

*food for 2 weeks

Yoonie Thu 07-Mar-19 11:40:29

This is exactly what I told my DH. That dizziness impacts people in ways that we cannot understand, esp. their confidence in their physical self. I am an older mom (40+) and feel so exhausted looking after a baby, so I feel that if you are not even fit and 60years old with a dizziness problem, this could spell disaster... (what if she faints in the middle of a street with my baby in the stroller...)?

She did put the belt over correctly, but I was surprised that she did not put her on the back seat. I only let me 7 year old DS on the front seat only last year.

On an unrelated event, she came along to a dentist appointment yesterday and I asked her to sit on the backseat with DD to feed her (as she was very hungry right then). She refused to put on her seatbelt. When I asked her to put it on and her reply surprised me. She said it was not necessary as she is sitting on the back. That was like 10years ago, right? Is this even legal now? Even my DS was very shocked at this response...

ChariotsofFish Thu 07-Mar-19 11:41:46

You don’t need to go down the route of whether her illness is causing this. She isn’t doing her job. You are entirely reasonable to ask her to do everything she was employed to do and if not, then ask her to leave. If she then reveals details of her medical condition, you can discuss whether reasonable adjustments are possible.

TheInvestigator Thu 07-Mar-19 11:44:22

If she resumes to wear a seat belt, and you get into an accident, her body being thrown forwards can injure or kill people in the front, or if she's thrown sideways she can injure or kill anyone sitting in the back with her so that would be an instant sacking from me, but with all the other concerns... She cannot do the job. Get a new nanny.

LeekMunchingSheepShagger Thu 07-Mar-19 11:44:26

It sounds like you and dh need to sit her down for a frank discussion in the first instance. Tell her that you're worried that she isn't medically fit to do her job (bring up the not going out and the stairs) and see what she says. Definitely don't let her drive your dd anywhere.

seastargirl Thu 07-Mar-19 11:45:14

If she's not meeting the terms of her contract (i.e. not cooking for older child, not stimulating baby, not doing out of the house activities) and she has only been employed for 6 months, then I would be inclined to tell her that it is not working out and you are giving her her notice, which personally I would pay but not ask her to work.

Yoonie Thu 07-Mar-19 11:46:15

@roundturnandtwohalfhitche, oh yes, she used our maxi cosi for the car seat.Just didn't understand why she could not stay with us in the facility or in the vicinity (go for a walk in the stroller) and instead keep an active baby in a restaurant for one hour. It is not the most child friendly (or baby proofed space i think? I think it is impacting her judgement?

Nothinglefttochoose Thu 07-Mar-19 11:46:43

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

OffToBedhampton Thu 07-Mar-19 11:48:21

I think.you should.start looking for a new nanny. She isn't performing her job role, and it's also impacting the care of your children & their lives.

I would never drive with someone refusing to wear a safety belt. I literally pull over and tell anyone refusing to wearing it, that it's seatbelt or get out. If there was an accident they become a heavy moving object that can crush a child or another person in the car, so it's not just their life that they are risking.

wigglypiggly Thu 07-Mar-19 11:52:34

I think she shouldn't be driving if shes feeling dizzy and faint, what happens if she passes out. I would sit her down, explain that you dont feel she is fulfilling her job now, not using a seatbelt is really irresponsible. I doubt you can ask her doctor for a medical report, poor woman may be scared of being unwell with no recovery but you must put your DC first and get another nanny.

BlueMerchant Thu 07-Mar-19 11:52:35

I think she is very anxious and frightened. ( Although I don't understand the car situation-at all unless she is having irrational thoughts?)
I have anxiety and PTSD and I totally 'get' the cooking thing. I was basically scared to cook if I was in the house alone with the children incase I passed-out and there was a fire. I could warm things in microwave but that was about all.
I also worried being out alone with children incase I fainted and my head would be full of 'what ifs'. What if pushchair went in the road?etc.
I think she needs to be honest with you. If she can't be then unfortunately I wouldn't be able to trust her.

Yoonie Thu 07-Mar-19 11:53:16

This 2 week delay in the food preparation really was disappointing as she has yet to connect with my DS1. After this incident, he thinks she only prefers the DD2 and does not like him. I sincerely think that she forgot. Even though he asked her twice (one week after).

waterrat Thu 07-Mar-19 11:57:52

It is really irrelevant about the illness - she isn't doing the job you want her to do.

If you have even the slightest doubt about her ability to look after a 9 month old then you need to terminate her contract.

Not taking a child out, not doing what you ask - just end it now.

I also am fairly surprised you picked a 60 year old woman in any case.

Yoonie Thu 07-Mar-19 11:58:59

Yes, indeed I waited 2-3minutes until she put her seat belt on. I told her she had to put it on and made clear that I didn't want to have a discussion about this.

championquartz Thu 07-Mar-19 12:01:07

Whether it's her illness or not, she's not doing the job she was hired for.

Let her go.

TheInvestigator Thu 07-Mar-19 12:01:48

My mum is almost 60, and she's probably more capable than I am when it comes to looking after kids!!

Age isn't always a limiting factor, and shouldn't prevent someone from working as a nanny, but changes in health and/or attitude are limiting factors when it comes to those job. Unfortunate this nanny has reached the point where she can't do the job.

Yerroblemom1923 Thu 07-Mar-19 12:02:20

Why won'tshe cook in your home??? Have you asked her?

Yoonie Thu 07-Mar-19 12:08:49

When we hired her, she was a very active and fit 59year old. My DH and I both felt confident that she would be fit enough to care for our two children for at least 2-3years.

But since she mentioned that she had spells of dizziness she has changed quite drastically.. both physically and emotionally... (she is always so reluctant to do what I ask her to do)..

I do feel that she is afraid and scared like some of you have said. I just wish that she would be more upfront about it, so i don't have to suffer in silence...

Thank you all so much for all your thoughts on this. It seems like I am not being paranoid on this and there seems to be a consensus that 1) she is simply not doing her job (or she is not able to) and 2) we should sit down and have an honest talk about her condition upfront and 3) let her know that we will be looking for a replacement.

GG20 Thu 07-Mar-19 12:09:24

She refused to put on her seatbelt. When I asked her to put it on and her reply surprised me. She said it was not necessary as she is sitting on the back. That was like 10years ago, right? Is this even legal now? Even my DS was very shocked at this response...

It's been the law for adults since 1991! shock

DontCallMeCharlotte Thu 07-Mar-19 12:09:40

Could be labyrinthitis, Meniere's Disease or BPPV. Whatever it is, if it's long term, she probably shouldn't be driving at all.

(I had labyrinthitis but mercifully it only lasted 48 hours and then a one-off attack a week later)

If your DH doesn't want to let her go because of "fitness of work", what would his criteria be?

I think you know what you need to do...

spiderlight Thu 07-Mar-19 12:11:52

This sounds to me as if it might be vestibular migraine (also known as migraine-associated vertigo - MAV). I have it and it took me years to be diagnosed.

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