Problems/question with care company

Hi everyone, my mum has dementia and is unable to get out of bed and so relies on other people to do everything for her. At the moment, she has two carers three times a day to do her personal care. My question is, as an example her care plan states her bedtime call is to be from 8pm to 8.45pm. Tonight her carers attended for from 6.55pm for about 9 minutes and then recorded in her notes that they had been with her from 7.30pm to 8.15pm and this happens all the time.Is this normal - is that just what happens? I don’t know what to do, do I just let it go.

That sort of stuff happened to me and my mother. It is wrong in so many ways. The careplan records must be accurate, complete and timely. They are legally required.

There also is fraud going on from the standpoint of billing, whether it’s your mum or the LA who’s paying.

We found that the carers didn’t always come during the preagreed to time slot in the care plan.

You need firm evidence for your compliant to be taken seriously. I used a Ring video doorbell and on occasion would call the LA at the time the carers claimed to be with mum but had left.

I was successful my safeguarding claim against the agency, although it was quite intense.

Getting the carers to come at a specific time is difficult but proper documentation needs to be insisted upon, as does the proper care.

Whilst I m on the subject, if the carers give your mum medicine (or offer it to mum as they like to say), you might want to check they are properly documenting that in the Medication Administration Record (MAR chart), another legal requirement.

That’s not acceptable as far as I’m concerned. It’s FRAUD!

Can I just check a few things with you? So many people with dementia are missing out on benefits, that I’d just like to make sure mum is getting everything she is entitled to.
Who is paying for mum’s care?
Is she receiving Attendance Allowance?
Is she paying Council Tax? People with dementia are EXEMPT from Council Tax from the day of diagnosis, on the grounds of “severe mental impairment”.
Are you aware of NHS Continuing Healthcare? Has mum had a CHC Assessment?
When did Social Services last do a Needs Assessment for mum and a Carers Assessment for you?

Just in case it’s needed … CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare … main thread :

Relatively new section on dementia … just follow the colour :


Hi Rosemary, mum lives with myself and my husband. The carers are from a private care company paid for by the CHC.

Hi, my mu m lives with myself and my husband. She receives attendance allowance as I do also. She has funding from CHC. We have never had a needs assessment.

In which case , seek guidance from the area office of the NHS CHC unit … they are the one’s suffering financially as your mother is in the caring department.

Contact details should be in the CHC package issued to you.

The carers ought to be logging in and out of each visit with their care agency. Companies have different systems. Commonly the carers do that by using their carees’ home phones. Others use an electronic tag on the care record folder which is scanned by the carer’s mobile phone. So the agency ought to know when and how long the carer is with the client.

One of the agencies mum had pretended they didn’t know where the carer was in order for the agency to blame the carers but that is no excuse these days.

Hi Rosemary, they use an electronic tag but at the teamtime call, one of the carers said to the other “don’t clock in yet because we are still at so-and-so’s house” so they were deliberately not clocking in because they know they are running early!

This is serious

Have you made a complaint or not? I think the care quality commission will be very interested to learn of this.

So sorry you are having to cope with all this. It sounds like you’ve cuaght on to a pattern of fraudulent records, as did I. Please keep good records and photograph the care records before they get taken away for archiving. A video doorbell would record the times the carers entered and exited the house, with the video of the comings and goings stored in the internet cloud storage for a monthly fee. I also had a video camera where mum was after she had slipped off the bed while the carers were manhandling her to the commode without using the hoist! Of course the agency claimed that never happened!

I had documentation of multiple incidents and did call CQC. They didn’t specifically investigate but through them I initiated a safeguarding case through the local adult protective services.

No I haven’t made a complaint. This is the 3rd care company mum has had since May. After I had complained about two of the carers from the last company who were doing the same, plus other problems we were having with them, the care company said they didn’t have anyone else to cover them (which I found hard to believe), the care co said they would have to cancel their contract with CHC. Then the CHC said none of the companies on their panel had any capacity, so we were left for a few days without any carers, then they came up with this present one. I have been suffering with bad stress for the last six months which has seriously affected my health and don’t feel like I can go through with anymore complaints and/or losing the carers completely.

Take a breath and a week or two to collect the evidence that you need. Once you have that you are in a better position mentally to feel able to proceed.

Video door bells can be expensive but if you have written records a photo take immediately after the carer has left of the record she has just written using your phone or camera with the time/date stamp turned on will also be proof of what time the carers were there.

I would also consider leaving your mobile “lying around” once the audio record is on it will go to your screen saver or a black screen and still record so you will have audio evidence of the carers admitting they are fraudulently logging in and out. I have done this with many things including as being deaf I miss a lot of things and often feel I can never be sure if I misheard or they have changed what they said and I can check with an audio recording.

In the mean time sending hugs with as much energy as I can to help you.

From my experience, caring is stressful and exhausting at the best of times, without the paid carers behaving badly. With your health suffering I wonder if you have considered researching nursing homes or even hospice?

There are others on the forum who care for family members with dementia. I hope they may be along shortly with their thoughts. xx

Yes try to get evidence. The papers are always interested in human rights stories. Sell this as one for full impact. Make a list of problems as well. How many times does it occur? Invest in a camera or use your phone. Make short notes.

This is not about the wasted money at all but rather it is about a care principle. Can you research care homes or not? You have enough to deal with. Why tolerate additional stress for no reason?

I don’t want to put mum in a home and I’m sure she wouldn’t want to go. I just wondered if all this is “par for the course” as this is the 3rd care company we have had who do this sort of thing. So I’m thinking if we change to yet another one, things will be just the same with them and is it better to just get on with it as I can’t handle having to make any more complaints.

Susan I couldn’t put someone in a home either, having worked there I know how the inside works and it’s rather like nurseries not what happens when an inspection occurs or when someone comes to “look around”. I don’t think it is par for the course, I’ve had two agencies and although with changing staff over the years there can be a slide in standards what you are experiences is NOT normal, it’s NOT to be expected and unless something is said nothing will change. Have you considered an advocate? Someone who can work on your behalf? Sometimes this can be free of charge so you wouldn’t incur further financial downfall. Most importantly take some time to think about whether you can deal with this long term? If the answer is yes then do nothing if it’s no…you need to work out what you feel capable of doing to alter things if it’s nothing then you have to accept this level of stress involving the carers is likely to increas as they continue to pull such antics and may even try to avoid being there at all but saying they were.

This is not uncommon. Do you have an advocate or not? What about writing to your MP as well?