Agency Carers falsifying hours

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by ellie 123, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. ellie 123

    ellie 123 Registered User

    May 25, 2006
    It's 36hours into mum's care package and I find myself in a really embarrassing situ.

    The girls are putting the full allocation of time on their sheets and getting me to sign them. Yesterday I didn't pay any attention because it was the first day and things were chaotic, but I did notice that they didn't seem to be here long. Because tonight they were 30 minutes late I was aware of the time and when it came to signing the sheets, one girl had put 1hour and the other 50 minutes - this was after 10mins care. I was told that when they are here I can rest or as in the case tonight - make myself some dinner. I haven't eaten since mum arrived yesterday pm because I'm too strung up and was up all night with mum.

    I did confront them in a polite manner but I don't want confrontations on top of everything else and I don't want them to take my complaints out on mum. They offered to stay but I felt too uncomfortable and the atmosphere wasn't that great. I'm really upset about this and have thrown my dinner in the bin - can't eat it, stomach is doing cartwheels.

    Earlier today one of the carers had had a conversation with me about the 'clock watcher' clients and I don't want to be that but as I haven't got a sitter service yet, this is the only time I can leave mum.

    Am I over reacting and should I be bothered about this? Please help - feeling lost and alone.

    Mum has got more and more agitated and if I feel so bad because I've given her one of her knock out pills because she was getting so upset about her "lost babies". I swore I'd never give her them.

    love ellie
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Ellie,

    I would report this to the agency. The carers are cheating you out of time you are paying for and it`s unacceptable. You can ask the Agency not to disclose your name and tell them you will be embarrassed if your carers know it was you who complained.

    I`m sure your carers are not the only ones giving short change.

    I`m sorry you are so wound up. It`s early days yet and I do hope it will get better for you.

    Love xx
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Since you (or someone) is paying for a specific amount of time, I'm all for getting the time sheets to match the time put in. My suggestion: next time you're asked to sign the sheet and it's wrong, say " Oh, there seems to be an error here - you've only been here x minutes. Shall I correct it or will you?" Frankly the "clock-watching" comment seems designed for one purpose and one purpose only - to intimidate you.

    I know what you mean about getting them to stay after they're ready to go, even thought they haven't put the time in. Perhaps you should have a list of tasks you need them to acomplish so that you're not watching them watching your mother. Or a list of tasks YOU want to accomplish.
  4. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    Dear Ellie,
    I to had trouble with a couple of Carers' putting inaccurate times down. Although Peter was having Direct Payments, I was still angry. I wrote down what times they arrived and when then left. The Agency I used was a good one and Peter and I had several meeting at our home with the Manager. I telephoned her to explain I had some concerns and not to send back naming the people doing the inaccurate time keeping. So was brilliant over it. The Local Authorities set up a plan whereby they came in used a free phone number and when they had finished had to sign out of our home. I thought it was something the Local Authorities should be made aware of as there are so many Agencies about and after all it is valueable resources. The Local Authorities listened straight away and thankfully they did something about it. What made it easier was the Manager of the Agency was so on the ball, she had suspected something was going on but had nothing to go on until my complaint.
    I wish you the very best. Christine
  5. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Dear Ellie - can I rethink my answer?

    I think everyone else is right - complain to management! And I would mention the "clock watching" comment as well, because the more I think about it the more I think that was designed to keep you quiet and it's not on.
  6. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    Dear Ellie

    Speaking as the naughty girl on TP who is not yet sure whether she is allowed back yet, all I can say is that you are not alone in having a problem with the "recording of information".

    I truly wish you well, and I will give you any one single moment of my own personal experience of this fictitious "recording of information".

    I have no way of knowing whether you are handling in-the-home-carers supplied to you by the Social Services, or whether you have arranged your own home-carers. All I can say is that I had similar problems, from Day One onwards, with the appointed Carers who were supposed to be visiting four times a day to my Aunt in her then-private-and-much-cared-for and much-loved flat. But it got much worse after she was moved into so-called extra-care sheltered housing, when each and every carer-log-entry was pure fiction.

    When I questioned it, for the simple reason that because whenever I happened to phone her half-an-hour or so after I thought she might have been fed her breakfast, or lunch, or tea-time-nourishment because she is diabetic so it is important, she said to me again and again "No, nobody has been here in the last hour" or whatever it was that I was asking about and I truly trusted her and believed her.

    When I then phoned the manager's office and asked "has anybody been in by now at 09.30 am or 5.30pm or whatever to give her breakfast/lunch/tea ~~" and I was told "No, but we are just going to see her now", then I knew that SHE MY DEAR AUNT WAS TELLING ME THE REALITY.

    So please don't worry about continuing to question each and every inch of the way.

    I was repeatedly told it is "The Care Plan" and the "Floor Plan" which I eventually worked out meant .... to mean for ever .... "we will work it all out and will adjust it to suit our own purposes". But it took me a while to discover that they were governed by the supply of Agency Care Workers ... and the sheltered housing unit could not be bothered to take the trouble to establish that CARE means more than the so-called "floor plan".

    I can only say that if I were you I would question every single thing that makes you personally feel uncomfortable.

    Then you may be able to sleep comfortable in your bed at the end of each and every day, saying as I do say again and again and again:

    I have done all that I could think of doing today to help.

    Take enormous care of yourself and of your loved-ones,

  7. ellie 123

    ellie 123 Registered User

    May 25, 2006
    Hi everyone
    Thanks for all your prompt replies, am typing this sitting on the floor besides mum's bed because she is trying to 'escape'.

    Reading all the advice, I feel calmer and think I will call the agency tomorrow (requesting confidentiality) and make my point. The way I see it is this - if I allow it to continue it's going to be really difficult to explain my intimidation and signing of false time keeping. Kate - I'll probably end up being the one accused of false accusations.

    WELCOME BACK BY THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Love to all
  8. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    Dear Ellie,
    Just a thought - If you put it in writing as well and keeping a copy it will be a safe guard for you.
    Good luck and best wishes. Christine
  9. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    dear Ellie
    No your not overeacting.Have it reported as soon as possible.i could say something that would probably get me banned from i won't.i am however allowed to ask in my own human rights is the carer of the ethnic minority?
  10. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    Dear Ellie,

    This is so unfair being placed in this situation and things happen over here like that to. Before giving up work I worked as a carer in the community helping the elderly, disabled and disadvantaged manage to stay in their homes. There were a few carers like you speak of and clients like yourself who didn't feel comfortable with making a complaint and a few confided in me, so what I suggested was to ask the carer on arrival what time was allocated and look at the clock and say, good I have such and such time. Please don't be intimidated by statements like 'clock watcher' the cheek of these people. I think they have you pegged as a soft touch.

    Ellie, this help is rightly yours and I agreed with others who suggest phoning the agency and reporting this matter. I hope that some decent carers come your way. Good Luck. Taffy.
  11. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    as you might ask whether they are female, male, young, old, well educated, not well educated, married, single, from the North, from the South, from Agency A or Agency B, a mother/father or single mother/father or not...

    I can't think where you are coming from, out of the blue, with your question and just to be clear, I don't need an explanation.

    The key question is - does the person fulfil the contract, and if not, what to do about that? From my perspective, I would give it a week or so, but record how consistently this happens.

    Employing someone is partly about clock watching. If they are dishonest in their time keeping they are probably incompetent in their work.
  12. jaws

    jaws Registered User

    May 8, 2007

    Just thought I would share my experience of this before dad went

    into care. Dad had great neighbours who were keeping an eye on

    the times that the carers came - they hardly ever matched the

    time sheets and often their calls were too short to have

    actually done anything. On one occasion I arrived at my dads at

    3.30pm to see that the carer had put the time of her visit as

    being 5 to 5.30pm. They must have virtually done his lunch and

    tea call together!! When I complained I was given the

    explanation that the carer did not wear a watch so didn't know

    the time (even though there was a clock right next to his

    communication book). We also discovered that some calls were

    done twice and we were charged twice.

    It really highlights the plight of those who have no-one to look

    out for them and speak on their behalf.
  13. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    As long as the person looking after Peter was doing all the necessary things in the Care Plan was always my main concern. A couple I did not but the main thing was that Peter liked them.
    On one occassion, I had a phone call from the Agency informing me they had a new Carer and he was gay and would I have any objections. As long as he is Caring for Peter - no.
    When this person came, he would sit in the chair opposite Peter his body turned away fom Peter and smoke, drink coffee have lunch and watching t.v. I was too frightened to say anything. With my disability washing and changing Peter for bed was hell. On a couple of occassions Peter fell on me. Still I did not like to complain. At the beginning of the 3rd week, Peter was so aggitated when I asked him what was wrong he said "I may have Alzheimer's but he is a waste of space" So I immediately phoned the Manager. Then it turned out I was not the only one to complain. So for that length of time I had big guilt for putting my husband through that all because of political correctness.
  14. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    #14 CraigC, Dec 19, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2007
    This is obviously wider spread than I thought.

    Claiming for hours not worked sounds more like common practice with the agencies. This happened to mum and the agency staff were not agressive, but did use emotional blackmail. They were particularly concerned about mum signing for the time they arrived when they were particulary late. The odd 10 minutes would not have been a problem but it was often an extra 30 minutes. They would sometimes be in and out in no time and rush dads care - as we all know, you can't rush someone with dementia.

    Mum nipped it in the bud early on and just changed their hours before signing and just looked at them in disbelief when they asked her why she changed it. The longer it goes on the harder it will be and they are more likely to push it further. I want to be clear that the pressure was emotional, not agressive in anyway.

    The other problem we had with agencies was different people turning up to care for dad, it made things very difficult for personal care.

    We did get some very special kind people caring for dad so I'm not blaming the staff. Unfortunately they seemed to be under a lot of pressure from the agency. I've also seen this happen with other agency set ups.

    I really wonder how much this goes on now.

    Kind Regards
  15. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    Hi Craig,
    As there are so many Homes in my area, the Local Authorities checking bills etc., and with the information from people using the system for their loved ones, came up with a one year trial whereby on arriving the Carer phoned a o8oo number and the same on leaving. We have enough hassle trying to get valueable funding for our loved ones and when the system is being abused, we have to step up and speak for those who are unable to do so themselves. It was a wake up call for the Agencies.
  16. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    Hi Christine,

    I think that is a great idea and it does need to be controlled by the LA not the agency. The agencies put their staff under a lot of pressure and they are not paid very well. The staff did not even get half of the money that we paid to the agency. So from the agencies perspective (finacial) it is a win win situation if hours are falsified.

    Just me humble old opinion
  17. Clive

    Clive Registered User

    Nov 7, 2004
    HI Ellie

    I do feel concerned that Eleineo2 cannot write her believes on TP and Christine felt constrained about voicing her concerns about the service she received. Dad gave his health during the war for our freedom yet sixty years later we can no longer say what we believe is right. As adults we should have the freedom to discuss these issues and come to our own conclusion from all the facts.

    I had a good experience with the Agency. Social services had suggested a couple of Agencies for me to choose from because mum had to pay. Fortunately I selected one run by a minority religious group, which turned out to be excellent. Though they charged the same as the other Agency they put the client before the profit.

    I do agree with those who say that you must start off as you mean to go on, however I think you have to try and make friends with the Agency manager. Confrontation will not get you the best service, but neither will weakness.

    My requirements for mum changed each week. I found that the Agency manager started to prepare the following week’s work schedule on a Wednesday so I made sure she had my requirements in writing by then. I made sure she knew what were mandatory (e.g. when mum had to be up and ready for the chiropodist, or I was away on business), and the rest were flexible by an hour or so each way. (A bit of give and take made me seem to be a very reasonable client, though I was always firm on what I really wanted).

    We became friends and everything worked very well. There were times when a crisis with a previous client meant the carer was late and could not do the full time, but I also found sometimes the carer arrived early or stayed later because it fitted in better with her schedule. A bit of give and take helped grease the wheels.

    When talking to the Manager I always found something nice to say about the better carers (and tried to ignore the poor ones), and this resulted in the nice ones being scheduled to mum more frequently. The manager also passed on the praise, and the better Carers felt happy about looking after mum and started to ask for the job.

    I am sure you will find you get on better with the Carers after a week or so.

    Best Wishes

  18. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    #18 Grannie G, Dec 19, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2007
    What on earth is happening here?

    I do not believe the fact he was Gay, caused Christine to be dissatisfied with her husband`s carer, I believe it was because he was incompetent.

    Elaine is entitled to the same freedom of speech that anyone else is entitled to, as long as there are no undertones of anything contravening the Forum Rules.

    If there is dispute regarding the legality or integrity of the Forum Rules, it should be taken up with the Alzheimer`s Society under the umbrella of which this Forum functions. This is preferable to personal attacks on moderators and individual members of Talking Point.
  19. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    Forgot To Mention .....

    Hi Ellie

    I’ve been thinking a lot today about your predicament and trying to remember exactly how I handled a similar situation in the early days of my aunt’s care package, when she was living on her own in her own flat.

    I think then that some of the carers – not all by any means, but some of them – took advantage of the fact that dementia means not being able to remember that which happened an hour or two ago, in her case then. They knew she was living on her own.

    I recalled today some of the first conversations I had with the LA about it, and it went along the lines of me assuring them that I was doing everything I could to try to make sure my aunt would open the door to the carers at the appointed time, and by me assuring her that these “strange people” were only coming in to check that she was ok, because I lived too far away to be able to do that on a minute-by-minute basis; I often phoned and had a little chat with the carer while she were there, so as to form the link between my aunt, me and the carers. It made my aunt much more willing to accept them because she thought they were “friends of my niece”!

    But when I had to get stroppy (who me? Get stroppy??) with the care-providers because medications and mealtimes were being missed/mucked up which is not good for a diabetic, I can remember reminding the Manager that “if the contact logs are incorrectly filled in, and showing that a carer was present in the house at X hour, for Y minutes, and if then something happened to my aunt and it transpired that a carer could not possibly have been there at the times logged” – then the penny dropped with the Manager, she realised the possibly serious consequences of “inaccurate time-keeping/time-logging”. Things did improve considerably.

    But then they got far worse after my aunt moved into so-called ‘extra care sheltered housing’ but that’s another story.

    To comment briefly on Elaine’s post: I had the most enormous trouble understanding some of the carers. Not only when I asked to speak with them on the phone on occasion, but frequently when I was actually present in my aunt’s flat, face-to-face with them. The language barrier was just that: a barrier. I have a university degree in German and Swedish, and I have travelled the world in the course of my work. But I have never in all my life had such trouble trying to communicate with another human being; for the simple reason that the language-skills - or lack of them - of some of the carers presented a massive obstacle - especially for my aunt with dementia. That is one problem that I have not managed to conquer over the last two years of trying, and I guess it would take a major initiative to address that particular issue, which I certainly feel should be addressed by "the powers that be".

    I do hope you had a successful chat with the agency if you did manage to phone them today.

  20. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    East Midlands
    0800 numbers

    Christine I think that's a great idea.I have no experience of this with Eric as yet but when I was caring for my father at home 3 years ago my mum and I had similar situations.
    the majority of "agency" staff were brilliant-some would even overstay to make sure mum and I had less to do-but I am aware of this "emotional blackmail" -it does go on- and it is nothing to do with colour of skin,sexuality,religion-unfortunately -as human beings-there are those who take their paid employment seriously and want to do their best-and those who will "rip you off". This doesn't just apply to caring-it applies to every situation in our lives where we find ourselves in need of help-garages,plumbers,electricians...:eek:-need I go on..
    But we are at our most vulnerable when those we love are suffering. Strangers come into our homes and wear a uniform and we trust them-because we have no option.
    It really is a unique situation because it's about relationships-some people will bond easier than others-but overall there should be a degree of professionalism and I believe therein lies the problem. Hope I don't offend anyone but it's cheap labour.
    There needs to be more specialist training-it shouldn't be as ad hoc as it is. And it shouldn't be that those caring are more stressed by the paid support.
    Which brings me right round to the new initiative to allow people to buy in their own care...:rolleyes:
    I'll get off my soap box now and find something for dinner!!

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