Just wanted to highlight something that people may not be aware of as we certainly weren’t!
My dad is 89 with a diagnosis coming up to year ago. Deteriorated physically and mentally throughout lockdown, as has my 85 yr old Mum. He now walks with a zimmer indoors (hip fracture 3 yrs ago), has had several falls, 2 small strokes in the last year and a half and has osteoporosis and COPD.
Has had carers going in for over 3 years now with gradually increasing needs. Now 3 times a day for the normal things including medication and continence care.
Last week the current care agency informed me that they were discontinuing his care. They gave the LA social services who commission his care although he pays for everything 4 weeks notice.
The reason they gaVe SS was non payment of bills but after I put the SS straight she went back to the agency and they then said that we’ve accused the agency of taking advantage of a vulnerable adult so they can’t continue the relationship.
What actually happened was that since August when my Mum started receiving domestic care from them, following the early termination of a post hospital discharge package we’ve been querying whether the carers were actually delivering ANY care to Mum.
In November, the director offered to cancel 6 weeks of charges between September and mid- October because by her own admission when she’s checked the carers electronic notes, they hadn’t been doing anything for Mum because Mum was just telling them she didn’t need anything. That was because Mum couldn’t remember that they were supposed to be doing a bit of housework for her every day. The Director said she would monitor the situation. That was near the end of November.
Of course they bill retrospectively don’t they, so beginning of December I received the invoice for Mid October to to mid November and, because I still hadn’t been given access to the electronic carers app’ to look at the notes and times, and, looking at the house, it seemed that they were maybe vacuuming every so often and washing up, but never giving the bathroom a clean or much else, and Mum couldn’t really tell me what they were doing.
I queried this bill too. I asked for access to the App (which I’d been promised in November) which I eventually got in mid - December (conveniently), but as the App is not user friendly and it was very time consuming to go back through visits from 2 months earlier, I asked the director to run a query and provide me with all the visits comments , and the times they logged in to Mams care and the departure time. Alternatively , I offered to pay 60% of the bill, as having looked at what was being documented as done for the current weeks worth of visits, they definitely weren’t doing 30 minutes daily and cleaning any part of the bathroom had never been mentioned. Bearing in mind that we’re in the midst of COVID and they’re going into the bathroom twice a day with outdoor shoes on whilst my parents are often in bare feet, that Dad often dribbles on the floor and occasionally there’s faeces on the floor, plus I’d told them where the swiffer, disposable wipes, mop, bucket, cleaning spray etc all were, I didn’t think was acceptable.
She must’ve decided she wasn’t prepared to accept 60%, and sent me the reports with the information for October to November.
Times they’d spent at the house varied from 1 minute to 15 minutes. I’d estimate that the average time over 4 weeks was about 5 minutes per day, yet the tasks were marked as C for completed (not R for refused) even though they were documenting “nothing to do” on many occasions.
At about this point she started to get a little shirty on the phone eg she rang to say she’d sent an (very pleasant!) email, and told us that there’s a contract they block out 30 minutes, and that’s payable even if the carers don’t do it because the client “refuses”
I said it was very poor practice for a company to continue to bill a vulnerable 85 year old lady with short term memory problems and issues around retaining control and independence to the detriment of safety (which they were well aware of) for more than 3 months and not raise the issue with us. I also suggested that by the carers marking the tasks as C for completed they were falsifying records, because when they wrote “nothing to do”, they must have meant refused and therefore should have marked them as R, for refused.
That was when she decided to “temporarily suspend” Mums care “until we could sort something out”, although I’m not sure what she expected me to sort out.
The the next day she announced they were cancelling the remainder of Mums charges and that she was also stopping Dad’s service from Feb 10th. Dad’s fees are paid to the council via DD every month.Local authority SW tells me they can do whatever they want as long as they give 4 weeks notice.
Everyone keeps telling me “there’s a crisis”. I understand that, but the fact that there’s a crisis makes the fact that they’ve just pulled Dad’s care even more disgraceful.