23 Home Care Owners Share the Worst Call-Out Excuses They’ve Heard

Home Care Office Staff Hiring Tips

“I can’t come in. I started cleaning out my closet and I’m not done yet.”

Like it the old fashioned way?

You’ve probably heard every excuse under the sun as to why caregivers can’t come in for their shifts.

One agency owner even told us, “I’ve heard every excuse but a good one.” If you’ve ever felt that way, know that you’re not alone. Most agency owners have been there at one point or another.

Of course, there are perfectly acceptable reasons to call off work – even last minute – but most of these miss the mark, and some more largely than others. We’ll let you decide.

So, here are 23 suspicious excuses caregivers have used to get out of work.

Note: All these excuses were taken with permission from a post within the Home Care Operators Community on Facebook. If you’re not already a member, you can check it out here.

#1: “I can’t work on Saturday because I am going to be sick but I’m fine to work until then.”

#2: Owner: “I received a fax from a caregiver that her cat died, and she needed the month of August off to grieve.” (We all know that pets are family, but taking a month off work might be a little extensive).

#3: “I can’t come in, I started cleaning out my closet and I’m not done yet.”

#4: “My 24-year-old daughter [who lives in another state] has a fever and I need to be able to check on her.”

#5: “I have to take my lizard to the vet since he threw up.”

#6: Owner: “Her mother was having car problems and needed it fixed so she could go to the casino. She couldn’t wait one more hour for her to finish her shift.”

#7: “My car wouldn’t start so I had my brother pick me up so I could use his car. I’ll need a few days off so I can spend time with him.”

#8: Owner: “They were celebrating having a job so much the night before that they were too hungover to come in and asked if they could start another day.”

#9: “My girlfriend took my keys, my car, and my phone.”

#10: “I can’t come in because my eyes are watering.”

#11: “My kids are leaving for the summer, and I need a week to get myself together.” (Actually, this one is relatable).

#12: “It’s raining, I can’t see the road, and I got hit by a car.”

#13: “I’m back in the hospital and they are keeping me because they think I have Bell’s Palsy.” Owner: “Yet, she still got on Facebook and asked who wanted to hang out with her and go out for ice cream.”

#14: “I can’t go to my shift because I ended up in Idaho where my GPS took me.” Owner: “5 hours away from a client that she had been to multiple times before.”

#15: Owner: “Her hair was not going to be dry in time to come in and the client’s AC is always on high.”

#16: “My husband died in a motorcycle accident over the weekend, I need some time off.” Owner: “We sent a sympathy package… 10 days later, she called and said the police notified the wrong woman, her husband is fine, and she can return to work as normal. I ask her how the beach was… Her response: ‘I knew you would find out.’ My response: your separation notice is on its way.”

#17: “I have cramps, can I take a rain check?” over text.

#18: “I can’t go to work today because my dad is sick and I can’t expose my clients to the sickness.” Owner: “Does your dad live with you?” Caregiver: “No, he’s in Alabama?” Owner: “We are in Georgia.”

#19: “I was on my way to work and saw a guy run a red light – I had to drive after him so the cops can catch him. I probably won’t be able to make it in.”

#20: Owner: “She needed a babysitter, but her kids are 16 and up.”

#21: “The police pulled me over and gave me a ticket. I can’t make it to my shift.” Owner: “Mind you, he was pulled over at 12:30PM and his shift started at 7PM.”

#22: “I went to a club with my sister, and she was too drunk to drive back home at 2am. I couldn’t drive her car because it’s manual, so we had to sleep in the car. I didn’t get enough sleep to work this morning.”

#23: “My car broke down so I can’t make it today.” Owner: “No problem. We will pay for an Uber at no cost to you.” “I really just don’t want to go. I’m not going. I quit.”

Although some of these might’ve made you laugh, we know the struggle of getting caregivers to come into work and the challenges it creates when they call off last minute.

More than anything else, we want home care agency owners to be able to better relate to each other and know that they’re not alone.

Caregivers are priceless assets

We hope this was a fun, relatable way to remember that every agency has its challenges, but we’d remiss if we didn’t close with a reminder about the importance of caregivers and the challenges of their line of work.

At the end of day, it’s important to remember that your caregivers are your business’ most important asset. Even more important than the business impact is the personal impact made by caregivers. Caregiving has often (and rightly) been referred to as one of the world’s hardest jobs, and the sacrifices made by these individuals help improve quality of life for millions of people.

And while it’s refreshing once in a while to take a step back and find humor in some of the challenges of running a home care agency, we’re grateful to the millions of caregivers who work hard to improve the lives of their clients.

Experience Surveys

Take Your Clients & Caregivers From Satisfied to Loyal

Measure and improve client/caregiver loyalty, learn where you can improve, and boost retention across the board—while saving time for you and your team
Home Care Staffing Strategy
Learn More

When home care agencies begin to focus more on the satisfaction of their caregivers, it’s common to see a decrease in call-out excuses. There’s something to be said for keeping your caregivers happy.

Read more:

Join 67,909 home care professionals on our email list

Get the latest updates from the blog and free resources to help you grow your home care business.