Agency carers who have no idea about food!

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Kazza72, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. Kazza72

    Kazza72 Registered User

    Feb 10, 2015
    West London
    I'm going to sound like a right whinger. It's week 2 of the carer from an agency. She's great at getting mum to agree to take a shower but hasn't got a clue when it comes to what to give her to eat. This morning she just gave her bread stick together with butter And a chocolate mallow biscuit and cereal. Lunch I expect she will open the hot pot I got mum from m&s and gets just half if it or just do a sandwich which won't be very appetising. Should I just prepare sandwiches for mum in the mornings and leave note for carer to just give that to mum in the afternoon? I will do a hot meal for mum when I get home...also I kept leaving sausage rolls I'm fridge for carer to give to mum and they were left there all week, ended up having to throw them out grrrrr!

    It would have been ideal if we were given a British or Irish carer ... Not being bigoted by the way, it's just my mum is Irish with simple tastes in food and that might have suited mum better. Maybe I should just chill and stop being so particular, but finding it hard to hand over the reigns so to speak

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  2. sleepless

    sleepless Registered User

    Feb 19, 2010
    The Sweet North
    You could try leaving the carer instructions on a wipeable board.
    Maybe they thought the sausage rolls were for you? How would they know?
    I would write each day what you would like them to offer to your mum.
    Don't give up - it can take a while for new things to bed in.
  3. Kazza72

    Kazza72 Registered User

    Feb 10, 2015
    West London
    I will try that. I'm more of a control freak than I imagined ... Thank heavens I do t have children, I'd be a nightmare lol. I think I need to learn to relax a bit, I'm sure things will settle. The good thing is we will have same carer doing all visits so a bit of continuity for mum at least

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  4. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    I think leaving instructions either on a board or a notebook would work out well. The carers are also in the position of needing to know what is acceptable to you. I'm sure they've been told off in the past by others when they've used certain foods.
  5. Sianey

    Sianey Registered User

    Mar 23, 2015
    Wipe board

    Wipe boards are a great idea!

    Only my mum forgets to look at the one I gave her:rolleyes:.

    I think it's sometimes difficult for the carer to do decent meals with the time they have allowed for each patient.

    Sometimes well in the case with my mum which she doesn't let on she does, the carer tells me mum says she doesn't want anything at the time they go.
  6. Kazza72

    Kazza72 Registered User

    Feb 10, 2015
    West London
    I just can't wait til the day I can love on my own. I'm fed up with the whe thing now

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  7. daisydi

    daisydi Registered User

    Feb 25, 2015
    I'm afraid my use of carers was a disaster. It was in the early stages of mums illness when she said she could do everything for herself. Even though I left big notes to say she could not they still didnt feed her but always made sure she took medication. I went away for a couple of days and came back to find that she had fallen down the stairs, cut her head open and really hurt her back. She had not been fed for days but given medication on an empty stomach resulting in her spending a week in hospital. I think you are lucky they are managing to give her anything!
  8. Kazza72

    Kazza72 Registered User

    Feb 10, 2015
    West London
    We did have reablement initially who were pretty good on the whole, used initiative with what to give her to eat, etc, the agency carer doesn't even read heating instructions on a microwave meal, hasn't even got a clue how to make a sandwich and keeps singing at my mum which annoys me so I can only imagine how much it will annoy mum....I hate this, the disease, how it destroys the person with dementia AND their carers

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  9. opaline

    opaline Registered User

    Nov 13, 2014
    I have the same problem, there is a fridge and cupboard full of food (of which they/she can choose anything) and she has toast with marmalade for breakfast then a jam sandwich for lunch or, one of them in particular, makes her a microwave meal which is too much for lunch and meant to be for dinner time! Feel she is getting barely any nutrition. I know they only have 15 mins, why cant they scramble her an egg? And as for giving her a choice!!! I tell her you can have that or that, which is it? They ask her ''what would you like today?'' ''What is there?'' Then a big rhyming off of all the food by which time their time is almost up! Aaaargh!
  10. Kazza72

    Kazza72 Registered User

    Feb 10, 2015
    West London
    Asking my mum what she wants and my mum saying "I've eaten" ... Ridiculous. And then when she did microwave something but not before pulling off all the film and throwing away...I pointed out film should have been left on with a few fork piercings...anyhow, instead of reading instructions I had to eventually tell her how long the food should stay in microwave. And then when she brought food out to mum on a big plate (I put in a pasta dish so it doesn't spill everywhere, the woman kept chanting "lovely lovely" at mum over and over again throughout the whole visit. She comes an hour in the morning and half an hour in the afternoon. I don't want to insult the woman but I don't think she's right for my mum. I'm sure she's good at what she does, but I need someone who will not have issues with letting have toast and maybe some cereal and then leave her with a sausage toll to munch between visits but carer totally ignored the sausage rolls all week even though they were visible And note I left said all good on bottom two shelves were for mum.i think I need to just ignore this and see how it goes but I'm not warming to this new carer, she's too hyper and doesn't know how to prepare convenience food, I would have thought they would have been at least trained in the rehearing of ready meals

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  11. Kazza72

    Kazza72 Registered User

    Feb 10, 2015
    West London
    Yes and scrambled eggs would be ideal...protein and they keep them full for longer

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  12. lizzybean

    lizzybean Registered User

    Feb 3, 2014
    I stuck a note on to the front of MILs file asking the carers to make her porridge & toast for breakfast. I made it clear not to ask her because if you ask she will say no to porridge. However whatever you put in front of her she will eat. Sometimes MIL is already eating her toast when they get there as she is a very early riser (even tho they come at 7am) I spelt it out on the note that if that is the case she wouldn't accept porridge.
    In the main it works & she gets a decent breakfast 3/4 times a week.
  13. susanh13

    susanh13 Registered User

    Oct 23, 2013
    When I had a problem with a carer I rang the Agency office and told them the issues and then asked for another carer to be assigned. Once one of them made scrambled egg and it looked disgusting so challenged her to eat it cos said I would not eat it and therefore not good enough for mum. I made a comment in their log book! You should have a detailed care plan that the carers are following and the Agency should be updating it regularly doing a review with you of it. If not been done lately then this is an ideal time to give the office a ring to get your views heard.

    Hope this helps.
  14. opaline

    opaline Registered User

    Nov 13, 2014
    I think the agencies are so desperate for staff they basically employ anyone that has a Disclosure. The agency Mum has had a director out covering a shift!
  15. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    I've found that you need to be very specific with carers.
    Leave written instructions about exactly what you want them to do.
  16. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    Re agency carers and notes - it's as well to make sure they can read English. I have heard of agencies sending carers who can't, or who can't read well enough. They have apparently assumed that because someone can speak English adequately they can also read it, but this may not be the case.
  17. Adcat

    Adcat Registered User

    Jun 15, 2014
    Evening Kazza,
    We could be related!
    My dad has a carer while I'm at work. I think I must be incredibly lucky. I have had the same consistent person for the past 8 months. I would freak if they left.
    I was at my wits end when I resorted to home care and I took two days off work to show them the ropes. The care agency were went to great lengths to reassure me that they would make sure Dad was well looked after and food preperation has never been an issue.
    My advice to you is to speak to the agency manager and express your frustration. You should be able to go to work and not worry.
    I hope this helps.
    Take care.
  18. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    North West
    Whilst there are clearly training issues with some of the examples mentioned here, I'd have thought it was pretty obvious that of there are basic requirements that have to be made clear to the agency/council/employer and the care worker at the start. Then if issues arise as the situation develops, there might be further details that need to be clearly stated.

    I'm not sure that we can expect people to somehow know the exact details of what we require in our own individual cases.
  19. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    Radcliffe on Trent
    #19 Pickles53, Mar 24, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
    I think you are right, stanleypj, but I would also say that I was taken aback when my mum first had carers in that they didn't do things which to me were so obvious I would have felt it was patronising to mention them.

    For example, I had to ask that they always put fresh items back in the fridge. They sometimes left the butter out on the work top after making a sandwich.

    I would be much more explicit if I was doing it again, and not make the assumption that paid carers were automatically going to do the job better than I could, especially basic housekeeping tasks.
  20. rafferty

    rafferty Registered User

    Dec 27, 2011
    Hi ,we have had these problems for years with care agencies . I don't know if they have direct payments where you live but I Wales we are able to employ our own carer

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