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  1. #1
    New User
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    employing a carer direct rather than going through an agency

    Has anyone any successful experience please of directly employing a carer rather than going through a care agency? My 96 year old mum has dementia and lives with me. I want to keep her at home as long as possible but I do not have any family or friends in the area to share my responsibilities so am thinking of employing someone on either a residential or non residential basis to help pout. Mum's level of savings mean that we will have to fund her care and I wonder whether it is cost effective to employ someone direct and what is the best way of going about this? Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Registered User TinaT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    I have to admit that I did it through a 'backdoor' method. I used an agency at first and that is how I met the wonderful young man who became my lifeline in caring for my husband. The agency had been systematically overcharging me for many months. I had used the agency through the help of the local authority and when the overpayments were discovered, they helped me to get it sorted out.

    But I had then lost confidence in the agency and did not want to use them again. My wonderful young man agreed to work privately for me for the same 15 hours per week. He work for me as a self employed person which meant that I had no insurance costs or employer problems. I'm sure this was not legal but it worked very well for both of us until sadly my husband went into residential care.

    I'm sure there will be others, more knowledgable about getting private help who can tell you the best way to do this. I had direct payments but the local authority were perfectly happy with this arrangement as long as I kept a separate bank account for all transactions both from themselves and to the young man and kept accurate accounts of all monies.

    If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for everything....

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    North Staffordshire
    We employed several people privately to help keep Mum in her own home as long as possible, and arranged it through local contacts as we knew she was over financial limit for LA help.

    One difficulty was help when they were away or ill, but if you are able to do this then it may not be such a problem for you.

    A second real concern was that because we were not in the house, it was some time before we found out that they were not giving Mum the agreed times and length of calls, but took advantage of her. As private individuals we were not able to to the criminal records checks etc. that an agency can. I would strongly recommend that if you decide to go down the route of employing direct that you make sure you get really good references, and if possible speak to people and know who they are before employing some one.

    Otherwise good luck, it is certainly simpler to be able to sort out for yourself.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    We had Direct Payments when Mum was at home. It worked well for us because I knew several people from my congregation who worked or had worked in care.
    We set up a large diary so that each carer wrote an account of their visit, what Mum had eaten (she's diabetic on insulin) and whether or not she had had a wash or been to the toilet.

    I had the responsibility of doing wages, holiday pay etc but as the carers were all friends and very good at their job it was literally a godsend for me. There was never any question of their not doing what I asked. In fact they were all 110% supportive to us all.

    When it works well it's a great weight off your mind.

    Hope you get some relaible help such as I had.

    It's hard to feel as fit as a fiddle when you're the shape of a cello.

  5. #5
    Registered User maryw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    We employed a carer direct too. She began as just a general home help when my Mum began to lose her eyesight, but the caring developed into full caring, including personal care. In time she was employed via Direct Payments and had to undergo the checks through the disability office, which handled all the admin re Direct Payments for us. Mum and I were so very lucky to have been recommended to this wonderful lady, who just loved elderly people. Like others said, we also set up our own diaries so there was clear communication between us. If you find the right person, it is surely an excellent way to go.


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