Some are not so caring Carers

Hi sorry but I just need to vent…

Mother (91) was discharged from Hospital 26/3. We had not been able to visit for the week prior to that due to Covid 19 etc.
The last time we visited we thought something ‘wasn’t right’ and mentioned this to staff who just said Mother was fine.
27/3 I was so concerned about how Mother was acting/not acting, I rang my Surgery. Nurse Practitioner came out, Mother had a temperature of 39.2. Panic stations incase it was Covid19. The Nurse Practitioner spoke to the Hospital who said Mother was fine when she left and no one else there had any symptoms. Mother was immediately on a 2 week course of liquid antibiotics and fortunately she pulled through as it was ‘just’ a Chest Infection and NOT Covid 19.

A ‘Package of Care’ had been arranged for 4 calls a day with 2 people. The first 2 people turned up before the Assessor had even been out to Assess Mother. When they’d left, I discovered the tap on the Leg Bag had been left open - result was a clean duvet and sheet soaked with Urine to sort out. I could maybe forgive a one-off, but this has happened TWICE more in the past month. I rang the Agency to tell them - next time Carers arrived I was asked ‘why had I rung and told the Agency a pack of lies’??

A box of Masks was sent for us to use after the ‘panic’ around Mother. Carers started taking 2 or 3 out and putting them in their pocket… I ended up putting 2 out for their use each time Carers were due and hiding the box. Box ran out, I was told Carers only needed to wear them if patient had ‘got the symptoms’ (but who knows who is carrying it). Another box appeared with one Carer so I did the same thing again until they had gone. Now sometime Carers turn up without a mask and say ‘can we come in?’ I have no choice but to let them in as I cannot move Mother by myself. One time 2 people came, 1 had got a mask on, the other hadn’t and she said she hadn’t got one. As she came into the next room she had one on - I commented on this and was told she ‘found it in her pocket’…

I bought kitchen towel for them to use after washing their hands before leaving - then found the loo partly blocked and a piece of kitchen towel floating. I thought I’d ignore that as a one-off… last week when the Carers were here, the loo completely blocked, overflowed and flooded the bathroom… The Carer did use a plunger to unblock it, but by then it was too late. My only guess is that it was kitchen towel again - the roll had been fairly full that morning, and by then there were a couple of sheets left. I don’t know, I may be wrong… Most Carers don’t wash their hands (I hear the tap get turned on), some come downstairs wiping wet hands on their clothes even when there is kitchen towel to use. I’ve told them that the other option is a normal towel that I will wash and change regularly.

Twice afternoon visits have been missed - I’ve rung the Agency and been told it was a change of staff and the information/rota hadn’t transferred to their phones properly - at least I was told we wouldn’t be charged for missed visits, I am keeping a record and will check the Invoice.

At the end of last week, a District Nurse came to change Mother’s Catheter - by some miracle it was a Nurse she knew and felt comfortable with, but as her Sodium is so low at the moment (119 and we are trying to monitor it at home, stop tablets GP has said to stop, blood test again this week) she is not as ‘with it’ as normal, so that was a real trial for her. All credit to the District Nurse, she arranged for an OT and Physio to come out on Friday and an Air Mattress and a Hoist were delivered on Saturday. This has not been used by any Carers yet. I told the Carers that came this morning that Mother may want to use the commode and Mother said she told them this too, but was ignored.

I know there are good caring Carers out there, and I know mistakes happen, but I just needed a rant and get some stuff off my chest. I feel anxious and on edge a lot of the time waiting to the next Carers visit. I’ve also been accused of ‘ringing up to complain every couple of days when they are trained professionals just trying to help us’. I’ve done nothing of the sort - I’ve only rung up when leg bag tap has been left open and visits were missed.

When I clap, I’m clapping for the frontline NHS dealing with COVID patients, for the Nurse Practitioner that has been so helpful over the past months for us, the OT and Physio who came out, the District Nurse, Key Workers, the Family Carers whose work does seem to get ignored, and, without wishing to sound too harsh, the paid Carers that DO seem to care and do do a good job.

Sorry to go on.
Thank you for taking the time to read.

There is no excuse for this sort of behaviour. Ring the Care Quality Commission and share your concerns. When my very disabled mum had problems, CQC dealt with them very well. It turned out that mum wasn’t the only person who had problems, and they ended up on the front page of the paper!!! You need to speak up so that those without a caring relative like you are protected to.
Regarding the kitchen roll, is there a bin next to the roll to take the used paper?
Keep a diary, whenever anything happens, make a note in your diary.
TAKE PHOTOS ideally with date and time showing, so that there can be no mistake, no denial.
Carers should be supporting mum to use the equipment provided. it’s not up to them what they decide to use! They are there to support mum to do what MUM wants!!!

You will find that often these paid carers are not trained professionals, often on minimum wage, no caring qualifications and half a days training and shadowing another worker.

Ask about the training and qualifications, you might get a shock.
Often care companys advertise , no experience necessary, NO you need experienced competent qualified trained carers.

And they often lack common sense and have bad hygiene, going from house to house it is essential they wash their hands and especially with the corona have the appropriate masks, gloves at all times.

The carers are there to make your life easier, they should not be confronting you, and accusing you of telling a pack of lies.

Missed visits, these are safeguarding issues, the care company should not be missing visits, they should be professional work professionally.
And blocking the toilet, why don’t they use the bin you never put kitchen roll down the toilet.

Thank you all for your replies.
I did take a photo of one incident where the leg bag tap was left open, and I’ve made a list of things that I consider to be ‘not good enough’.
I had already thought of the notice by the loo, but thanks. And there is a small swing lid bin in the bathroom and one in the bedroom - maybe I should have a bigger one in the bathroom…!
Thank you for the link to the PPE info chart also.
One of the Carers actually told me they are ‘trained professionals’ and know what they are doing, but yes, asking the Agency what training they do have is a good idea too.
I am actually researching a couple of different Agencies (one of them has a good report from the CQC) that are more local to where I live - they will probably charge more, but if its better care and more consistency of staff for Mother, and less stressful for us then it will be worth it!
Thank you.