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Dilemma: Private Carers or care through social services....

Catherine C

Registered User
Oct 15, 2020
15
we were referred to Careline a while back and the social worker assessed that we needed some support with care (I am basically my Mums live in Carer). We declined the suggestion of a day centre due to the pandemic (and also our previous attempt to take Mum to a day centre she said she hated). The next bit of the package is a Carer coming 3 mornings a week for a half hour visit to help with getting up. At the moment it usually takes about an hour or longer to get Mum up. Also it seems the timing of the half hour will vary and is likely to be lateish.... Im beginning to feel that this might be more of a hindrance than a help... as my parents do have savings above the cut off amount we will be paying for this.... so my thought is perhaps it would be better to go through a private agency and be more in control of the help we receive in a way that fits in with our routine. Obviously it will be more costly but perhaps better than paying for something unhelpful.
admittedly we’ve only had one visit so far ....so i reckon I should give it a few more goes...but would be very grateful for others experiences to understand better what are the implications either way......
 

SueDiL

New member
Oct 20, 2020
1
we were referred to Careline a while back and the social worker assessed that we needed some support with care (I am basically my Mums live in Carer). We declined the suggestion of a day centre due to the pandemic (and also our previous attempt to take Mum to a day centre she said she hated). The next bit of the package is a Carer coming 3 mornings a week for a half hour visit to help with getting up. At the moment it usually takes about an hour or longer to get Mum up. Also it seems the timing of the half hour will vary and is likely to be lateish.... Im beginning to feel that this might be more of a hindrance than a help... as my parents do have savings above the cut off amount we will be paying for this.... so my thought is perhaps it would be better to go through a private agency and be more in control of the help we receive in a way that fits in with our routine. Obviously it will be more costly but perhaps better than paying for something unhelpful.
admittedly we’ve only had one visit so far ....so i reckon I should give it a few more goes...but would be very grateful for others experiences to understand better what are the implications either way......
My experience is that rushing a person with dementia simply leaves the carer and the person being cared for feeling frustrated and angry. It also often means that the tasks you are trying to carry out are not done properly or not completed at all. Half an hour really isn't very long. My Mother-in-Law lives with us and is self funding so when we decided we needed some help we organised it ourselves. We chose the care agency we used because they refused to take on any 'get up' calls that were less than 1 hour. We also checked their inspection report out on the CQC website. The care has proved very good and helpful to us. The carer has time to go along with Mother-in-Law's little rituals and can also spend a bit of time just chatting. An hour call is only about a third more than a half hour call and I think it has been well worth the extra.
 

Andrea57

Registered User
Feb 15, 2020
69
Chesterfield
we were referred to Careline a while back and the social worker assessed that we needed some support with care (I am basically my Mums live in Carer). We declined the suggestion of a day centre due to the pandemic (and also our previous attempt to take Mum to a day centre she said she hated). The next bit of the package is a Carer coming 3 mornings a week for a half hour visit to help with getting up. At the moment it usually takes about an hour or longer to get Mum up. Also it seems the timing of the half hour will vary and is likely to be lateish.... Im beginning to feel that this might be more of a hindrance than a help... as my parents do have savings above the cut off amount we will be paying for this.... so my thought is perhaps it would be better to go through a private agency and be more in control of the help we receive in a way that fits in with our routine. Obviously it will be more costly but perhaps better than paying for something unhelpful.
admittedly we’ve only had one visit so far ....so i reckon I should give it a few more goes...but would be very grateful for others experiences to understand better what are the implications either way......
Hi I am also a live in carer for my mum (we have always lived together) when things got to breaking point for me probably 3 months or so ago social services arranged for carers to come in and do personal care in the morning and breakfast ,to start it was on days I was working which was OK because I was already out of house when they came .Now mum has them 6 morning's a week has it soon became clear she needed more help due to decline in health I now only work 2 days instead of 5 due to lack of work because of covid so I am in when they come ,they try to keep to the 8am to 830 slot now has sometimes it was 7.30 which was to early for mum so social worker spoke to the care agency to make sure it was between 8and8.30 they were OK with that.I did find it difficult to get used to strangers letting themselves in my home but I know now I can't do what they do so I am coming to terms with it and just let them get on with it ,the days I am not at work I am awake anyway so I just get up after they have gone ,sometimes it gets to me but getting more used to it now. The agency social services arranged was a private one and just this week mum has gone to self funding so I decided to stay with them ,didn't want the stress of trying to find another agency. I hope it works out for you both . p.s my mum didn't really want it to start with but now it is the norm for her.
 

Miss Elli

Registered User
Apr 9, 2020
18
Have you considered a freelance carer, as long as they obviously have all the required qualifications, police checks, insurances etc you may find that a better option than agencies as you then have one person visiting and as they aren't filling their days with visit after visit they can be slightly more flexible with their time. We have spoken to one local to my Mum and we are really coming around to thinking this is a way Mum may accept care in her home, particularly as she may develop a relationship with the carer if it is always the same person. So far we have struggled with the agency route, Mum begins to warm to some of the visitors and then we hit a couple of days with a carer she really doesn't like and we are then back to square one.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,946
South coast
I have arranged for an agency to come and help OH in the mornings to wash/shower, dress, shave and teeth cleaned, also to sort out his catheter and cream his skin (he has eczema) on a private basis as he too is slightly over the limit. We have been lucky as all OHs carers have been good and he doesnt have many different ones as the agency has sorted the carers into "bubbles" to restrict possible cross infection. The only problem seems to be people leaving - his favourite carer who visited all through lockdown has just left and OH is concerned that she is ill......

If afraid that varying time slots seems to be par for the course. We have developed a slightly flexible routine so that I take OH a cup of coffee in the morning and sort out his breakfast so that OH can eat his breakfast and read the newspaper, or scroll through his android tablet while he is waiting for the carer and it doesnt matter if the time slot is a bit later.

Thats an interesting solution @Miss Elli , but what happens when she wants a holiday, or is off sick?
 

Catherine C

Registered User
Oct 15, 2020
15
Thanks for all your experiences... I sense that however things work out we need to be flexible...I did wonder about freelance carers... I’ve heard about their existence but never seen anyone advertised.... how do you find one?
 

Woo2

Registered User
Apr 30, 2019
2,987
South East
I have a freelance carer, I just googled private carer , she is brilliant , I tell her what times I want, can change it whenever and we regularly change times and days . We plan diaries together so we know when she is off , has been a godsend , I didn’t want lots of different people in our home purely as I have teenagers here , they really like her and she has become a good friend already . As long as I know about her holidays I can plan for them . Good luck
 

Miss Elli

Registered User
Apr 9, 2020
18
Thanks for all your experiences... I sense that however things work out we need to be flexible...I did wonder about freelance carers... I’ve heard about their existence but never seen anyone advertised.... how do you find one?
Yes we found ours on a google search and also worth trying care.com
 

Seaholly

Registered User
Oct 12, 2020
22
We've gone down the private care route, with agencies and there are definite positives and negatives.

If I was starting over again, I would ignore CQC and other reviews and spend more time trying to find out personal recommendations.

We had terrible experiences with the first 2 we tried and now we've hopefully found one that is delivering as promised, but it's early days yet.

I think too many agencies are used to largely absent family, so they don't really pay much attention to the family and their experience with the PWD.
 

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
7,220
Bristol
Welcome to the forums @SueDiL. It is so good when you get carers who have time to be patient and to allow someone with dementia to do their thing with a bit of gentle nudging, I agree. My partner has a care package from the council, so we are a bit more limited, but the ones who spend a bit of time chatting are so much better than the efficient ones in a hurry to get to the next client.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,946
South coast
As long as I know about her holidays I can plan for them
Does that mean that sometimes you go for a week, or even, two, with no carer? 😳 I have trouble going for more that two days with no carer - I get them in on bank holidays and am just considering someone in on Saturday too!
 

Woo2

Registered User
Apr 30, 2019
2,987
South East
Does that mean that sometimes you go for a week, or even, two, with no carer? 😳 I have trouble going for more that two days with no carer - I get them in on bank holidays and am just considering someone in on Saturday too!
Yes it does , I am thinking about having an agency too in the future but at the moment it works ok. I guess I could get another private one .
 

hooperswan

Registered User
Dec 22, 2016
67
I look after my mother,we have always lived together,she wasn't able to get rid of me :).
I'm mums full time carer but when I was no longer able to cope as mum had lost her mobility and so social services arranged care along with an electric hospital bed.Mum now has 4 visits a day,they are only short visits as I do mum cooking and feeding,the morning visit is for a bed bath and 3 further calls are for a pad change.I'm at home all day and have enjoyed the care visits and look forward to their visits.I have to say the girls are lovely and you can see why they are in that profession
 

Catherine C

Registered User
Oct 15, 2020
15
I managed to speak to the social worker online and agreed to continue with the package for the time being... but have been googling the independent Carers ... so perhaps that could be my next port of call....
 
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AliceA

Registered User
May 27, 2016
2,864
We used the Council package, we did pay a considerable amount towards this but we knew that if we needed visits extended there was a limit In place.
Important as I had health needs.

The visits at first were a hospital discharge scheme, they were too short and that became apparent very quickly. I got the times extended by making sure it was for older people, same scheme but different manger who extended the time.
the council/ hospital scheme is really for reablement in this area, they had targets.
By intervening I had this changed.

Once the permanent Carers were in place, I built up a rapport but also kept things up to scratch. I allowed no short cuts. some Carers would ask whether a shower was wanted a shower/shave/ toilet etc.
Most had a way to keep to the routine, otherwise I would have had to do it later when there was a change of mind!
Most were lovely and we became close. I shared their ups and downs.

A Visit time was set and I was fairly flexible but again if I was not warned they would be late I was on the phone having given a certain leeway.
I really feel a concern for some people who do not have an advocate monitoring.

so good luck, I met some fabulous people.