Welcome to the forum.
It does sound excessive. Is your Mum self-funding?
Excuse the questions that follow:
How much support does she need to stand up and sit down? Are the care workers sitting her out of bed to change her bed linen? What support does she need for personal hygiene?
Has she been assessed by an OT for any extra equipment she might need. There are all sorts of things available that could make a big difference.
Hi Melly, thank you for your post!
Mum has been OT assessed and has a zimmer, walking stick and thing around the loo to help her push herself up. She has a reablement team every day who do sitting and standing exercises with her since she has been in bed for a few weeks. She is able to sit on the bed ( she likes to swing her legs!) and can also sit unaided on a chair. She also has proper handles all over the house to help her and a bath lift which we bought ourselves. She pays for her own care but her usual carer has had the dreaded COVID so hasn’t been there. She returned today and was disgusted that Mum had lost weight and that her standards haven’t been maintained by the all and sundry carers that come. This lady is Mum’s primary carer and is now a good friend of our family. She cares for Mum like she was her own and does unpaid time and buys Mum bits and bobs if I have forgotten things on the shopping list. However these carers who she works for have demanded Mum have a zimmer and a commode (which she does) and then they will drop her carers down to 1. The fab carer says she can easily manage Mum on her own because she can stand and sit by herself. Also the care manager and hasn’t t given us access to Care logs since March despite us phoning and emailing every few days. As far as I am concerned I am paying for one carer to twiddle their thumbs 3 times a day. My sister even witnessed one the other day just hanging about. I have a sister and brother and also other close family who all look out for Mum, however we haven’t had any experience with carers until a few months ago so we don’t know what to expect and whether they call the shots or we do?? Sorry for long rant, it’s just I am new to this and feel guilty constantly that I am not doing the best for Mum who I desperately love and she is my best friend not just a Mum
I think it is time to find another care company. I found a good care company by searching on the CQC website for the details of registered care companies and also read a few inspection reports. I then emailed the ones I liked and set up a first meeting in order to talk. I am writing this reply under the assumption that your mother has already had a care needs assessment done.
But if you do not feel comfortable doing that, ask for a urgent meeting in order to discuss everything face to face.
Thank you for your input. I think we are definitely getting to the stage of looking at new Carers although then we will lose the one that is amazing. We keep asking them for a review but they are ignoring us. Since our only good lady was off with COVID for 2 weeks Mum has lost half a stone. To me this is neglect. I feel like just wrapping her up and bringing her to my house but she wants to be at home where she has lived since 1951.
Keep us updated.
Thank you, I will.
it does sound as if your Mum only needs one care worker. Since your Mum has the zimmer and commode (which she has had all along) then I think you should just inform the agency that you will be only paying for one carer.
Before the primary carer had Covid, were you both happy with the care? If so, I think I would stick with the one agency for now - good carers are hard to find.
Thank you. We have decided to carry on as we are at the mo because at least we have our fab lady back. But we are going to have an independent assessment so we know exactly what we are dealing with. But our lady says she thinks Mum only needs 2 carers in the morning and 1 the other times of day. We are on a fine line because we don’t want to get her the sack! At the end of the day I only want Mum to be happy and they keep sending her these carers she doesn’t know. It’s a minefield this care lark!!!
We used an agency for awhile to cover S’s care in the morning between me leaving and his bus coming. Two were great, the other two were not and I had to request that we no longer had them. As S has autism, we argued the case to have only a small pool of care workers. One was so old, he needed a carer himself! He also had no idea about caring for someone with autism. The other was very unreliable - I think she used to run errands on route etc This agency went bust and we never did find another. We use direct payments to employ someone - this has its own pitfalls. M recently had Covid and I had to support S instead. Luckily my workplace were willing to let me work flexibly and somehow we got through the week - I was exhausted though.
Yes I think anyone who needs care whatever age benefits from having consistency. I like you am relying on my fab lady and when she was away Mum went downhill. We wish we could do it all ourselves don’t we? We know our loved ones the best. So I am trying not to rock the boat and lose my fab lady. Although she has rang me twice today (not part of her job but she knows I like to know how Mum is,) and she is fed up with this agency. There has been a change of personnel so I hope they get their act together!
Wishing you all the best,
It sure is. As I live far away from my parents I was not sure what to do at first. I knew I was entitled to some help because I was physically impaired. Eventually I made a entire list of companies in Surrey that were deemed appropriate. Try doing the same. Best wishes to you.
But it took me a entire week or so in order to do so. I made a lot of phone calls and sent out inquiry emails. I also researched my basic human rights as well. My initial care needs assessment was okay. I had a great social worker. She was lovely.
However I since have had to make a unnecessary fuss about one of the female carers who is working for the care company I now use on a part time basis. So I am now exploring other suitable options in case. Be aware of that aspect. It is a tough minefield for sure that is a given.
It doesn’t sound like your mum needs 2, it sounds like they’re trying to print their own money.
When looking for a care company for my mother,
I listed what I thought were her needs.
Searched for local agencies
Phoned the agencies
-do you cover this area? a few didn’t
-what is your capacity? a handful of carers
From the telephone chats It whittled down to 4 agencies +2
I had all 6 scheduled to come and do an assessment
I did the +2 first - this was to hone my skills and after each one I added to my questions and mothers needs and updated my list of questions.
Charges - do you do a 15 minute pop-in eg make a coffee and see all is well? I believe many refuse to do this now with a minimum 30 minute call to print their own money albeit the carers just make a coffee and then leave so they’re only there for 5 mins.
Make sure you know what the charges are, some are inclusive of mileage and others add the mileage on.
From the home visits two were a straight no, small companies not many carers and of the final two I picked the one with the biggest staff level.
The care company were amazing at the start, so well managed and trained.
regular core team of carers - which is supposed to be the case
fabulous ladies who all had a great bond with mother, they all wanted to steal her
Then the manager retired and it went downhill over the years, we were like a training ground with seemingly a new carer every call and then got worse to the extend that I cancelled the contract forthwith due to one carer coming late and another one early and mother being overdosed.
When the care company were vying for the contract it was all about mothers needs and care.
Pointing out to them she is diabetic and must have her meals at the prescribed times.
However, several months later after the manager retired, the times slipped and it was more about them satisfying the roster than meeting client needs.
Be very astute in your questions and their answers.
Be very clear about needs and timeframes and press them for ability to meet those times.
They all want the business and could promise the moon to get it.
In her care plan have other jobs for them to do, but be mindful because they could be seen as domestic and some carers will not dirty their hands doing domestic duties if there is a team with them to do that.
We had a great carer who would water plants and if she was back later she would hang washing out and bring it back in, she was great and one day I had a flat battery she got her leads out and gave my car a jump start!
Several months into the contract the manager retired, mothers lunch call was coming at 1130, an hour early and one time at 1050 and her 0800 breakfast calls were coming later, one day her breakfast call, wash and get up call and lunch call all arrived in the same half hour. I have torn strips off them because it is neglect, in breech of contracted times and she is a diabetic. They used to be the top agency locally but I doubt they have that accolade now according to the word on the street.
Thank you Breezy. It’s interesting to hear how you others out there are experiencing care and carers.
I a hoping we might have turned a corner today. I was at the end of my tether and my sister in law took over. This was a blessing because I have done everything. But she runs her own business and isn’t as soft as me so she finally got through to the care boss and put her foot down. So as of tomorrow they are returning to 1 carer at tea and reviewing the evening one. I personally think she needs 2 in the morning and fab lady has confirmed this - Mum gets tired having morning ablutions! But 1 both other times is adequate. Fab lady has also kicked some butt with her bosess and is getting her shifts back with Mum so I know things will get better and Mum will be happier! But this care company had better get their act together because any more messing about and I will report them to CQC.
Thank you for your replies everyone - a problem shared and all that, but it has helped me to hear your stories. It’s sometimes just enough to write it down.
Well done SIL. It’s so much better if you can find someone to fight your corner when you are exhausted and tired of trying.
Perhaps see if you can find another provider.
They have sent me their care logs for Mum today, backdated to March but they are rubbish. I kicked off last night and gave them an ultimatum so voila! - after months of chasing they have finally sent me them. Bits missing, no idea who came to see Mum, when and what they did. I got some advice from Age UK and they have sent me CQC recommendations which my care company are falling short of so I have mailed the manager today quoting CQC guidelines, told them they have failed and that if they don’t get their act together I will report them and sack them. I may have opened up a can of worms but it needed opening! Wish me luck over the next few days…
is the lack of care and support spanning the whole of the country? I’m in London and have to travel to Leeds regularly, it’s broke me, Mum fell and broke her femur and they have got a constant Dols deprivation of liberty on her now section 2 and they made her that way CQC was useless no help at all, and many safeguarding laws broken as well as human rights. now they transferred her today to a psychiatric covid hospital that’s locked and more restricted than Leeds general infirmary and we cant visit when we are able to and have to book in advance for only one hour a day two ppl per visit only and have to book 5 days in advance. she was forced fed lorazepam after me telling ward staff she reacts to medicines and makes her aggressive so they did it anyway then got security guard to manhandle her so staff could forcibly sedate her every weekend. we have had constant lies, lack of information, misinformation and they have kept me from calling my Mum or visiting, now she has so declined they are saying she needs to be in a psychiatric hospital that doubles as a covid hospital, they also have a do not resuscitate status on her, I’m terrified she won’t see out the year. and no one is helping me, not even my 37 year old Son, he can’t cope. i am disabled and on benefits and get no support whatsover.