1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.
  1. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,402
    What do you do when the agency you use ignores your requests not to send particular carers and refuses to understand that the needs of the client changes and the people who were once ok are no longer?

    We are self funding but it seems to me that the agency has all the choices and we have none. I resorted to writing to the care coordinator instead of phoning this time to get the request in writing.

    Silly question really. First speak to the manager because I can't get past the lower hierarchy. If that isn't successful, change the agency. Which I am slightly reluctant to do because of the upheaval. Because we need two carers , looking for private carers is going to be a bit tricky.

    I really could do without this. Who thinks self funding gives you free choice? Only if there are lots of available agencies or even if the one you use listens to you.
     
  2. thebes

    thebes Registered User

    Feb 10, 2014
    163
    London
    So sorry you have this problem, only too familiar to me. We parted company with the agency after they constantly sent different people despite me reminding them there was no point, I quite desperately needed time away from home. As my OH cannot express his needs and needs prompting to eat and drink having someone unfamiliar was useless as I could not leave the carer in charge.
    We went onto direct payments and have found one lovely carer, flexible reliable experienced chatty funny and loved by my OH . But only one so when she is ill we are stuck. How do others find private carers?
     
  3. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,239
    Cotswolds
    We use a well regarded small local agency. From the communication notes etc and from mum's very gradual acceptance of care, I deduce that the care staff are kind and caring.

    However.....the agency has never once come back to me with any queries, despite my phoning them for an update and requesting they contact me with any issues. So, for example, when mum ran out of bread, they simply wrote in the notes 'no bread, so used crackers'.....same with bigger things too, like her refusal to bathe or to change her clothes, incontinence and refusal to wear pads. She's taken now to turning the hot water in her flat off, but I only know this through the notes and because the scheme manager occasionally 'fills me in'.

    Like the above posters, I sometimes feel that the agency will only contact me if I fail to pay the bill......:(
     
  4. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,239
    Cotswolds
    PS As private payers ( for the moment, anyway), you'd think they'd want to keep our custom, wouldn't you? For example, I pay the bill online the day I receive it, they don't have to wait 28 days or so for the local authority .....

    I think maybe they regard reporting any issues as a sign of failure on their part. I simply can't convince them that I want to know what the problems are, so we can work on them together.......I'd regard this as a sign of successful partnership, actually :rolleyes:
     
  5. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,402
    Its tricky isn't it lindy. Different in my case because I do 22.5 hours of my husbands care and so any issues are dealt with on the spot. Although that caused battles at first because they are the 'professionals' and therefore much better suited to looking after my husband. In general I wouldn't get into an argument about that, but when it comes to care of my husband this is not true.
    What I can't get over is that I have now spoken to three consecutive care coordinators about these two, made it clear its not a criticism of them( wouldn't dare get started on that one!) just their suitability in this situation.
    Yes I do feel all they are interested in is payment. But this has to be sorted once and for all
     
  6. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,402
    I despair of getting through to this agency! I wrote to the present coordinator asking that they take one of these people off our rota. No response and the following weekend she turned up. No attempt to talk to me or even tell me. I just lost it. But managed to keep my temper with the person concerned. Then I phoned the coordinator and told her my reasons. OK she said. That was this Monday. Today I received a call, we've put her in two days next week. WHAT????. They are perfectly well aware that it is getting harder to care for my husband. This is beyond stupid. Now I am going to start the search for a new agency.
     
  7. WIFE

    WIFE Registered User

    May 23, 2014
    856
    WEST SUSSEX
    As though life isn't hard enough for you as it is Bemused - hope you manage to sort things out to your satisfaction without too many trials and tribulations. WIFE
     
  8. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,402
    that's the problem with being an amateur Wife, you really don't know anything about caring do you??? I so wish I could do without them but with an immobile husband in the 18st region, even with a hoist etc you need help.
    I hope finding another suitable agency is not too difficult, but this time I have more idea what its about and what to get in the care plan to begin with.

    Its good to see you here, I hope life is somewhat improved for you at least in some ways.
     
  9. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,402
    Well things progress! One of the carers has gone sick so this one I am trying to ease out was asked to fill in and refused. Also said she didn't want to come here any more. Result but it did prove my point. Now I have to deal with the consequences of her blackening my name with the other girls.
    As long as hubs is looked after the best I can get for him, I'm a big girl and can fight back, hubs can't
     
  10. annie h

    annie h Registered User

    Jun 1, 2013
    148
    After years of bitter experience and three agencies that were varying degrees of mediocrity to uselessness I learned it was very simple:

    Step 1 - if something isn't working to your satisfaction make it very clear in writing and - vital - make sure that your requirement is either written into the care plan or is made clear to be a condition of your carrying on with the contract.

    Step 2 - If they don't comply refuse to pay for the visit - and start interviewing other agencies

    Step 3 - when they do it again sack them without notice and refuse to pay for the notice period - when they ask for the money explain very clearly in writing that you're not paying because they haven't met the basic requirement of complying with the care plan. Especially if your relative is on their own with the carer it isn't safe to rely on an agency that isn't doing things properly.

    I know it's difficult to summon up the courage to change to a new agency but once you find the right agency it'll be worth it.
     
  11. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,402
    Thank you Annie that's a goldmine of information. We're at step one ATM but the bit about getting the care plan changed is invaluable. As I am here the safety aspect is t isn't the problem it's the change of people. I suspect that carers resent husbands/wives who are main carers and see them as interfering. But who knows their caree better
     
  12. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,402
    Actually you did have an answer piph in the second part of your post and its the solution I came up with too. What made me lose it was sending this person in after I had said quite definitely I wouldn't have her again without even mentioning it to me or discussing the reason. Supposing she had been abusing my husband or stealing? They cannot just ignore things like that. Fortunate that the person concerned has taken herself out because she's given me cast iron grounds to create havoc if she ever reappears.
     

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