How to introduce live in carers

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Josephine1, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. Josephine1

    Josephine1 Registered User

    Jan 5, 2016
    I'm new to TP and having seen some of the posts I thought it worth asking for people's experience on how to make introducing live in carers successful.

    My parents both have mid-stage dementia (Mum - Alzheimers and Dad - Vascular). For 18 months we have just about been managing with day carers coming for 3-4 hours a day to help with meals, medicine and cleaning. My sisters and I regularly visit and are concerned that they are getting more confused and not able to cope overnight so we are keen to introduce live in carers. However my Mum is very fussy and can be rude to carers if she takes a dislike to them (which happens regularly) so we are nervous about whether she will accept people living in her home.

    In particular having spoken to a number of care companies and introduction agencies they've explained that it's normal to switch between different carers every 2 weeks. Our concern is that Mum would have just got use to someone when a new person is introduced and she may start to reject them all on principle.

    It would be good to know other people's experience of introducing live in carers and whether people have found 2 week rotas are the best option. Alternatively has anyone been successful in finding a single main carer to look after a couple with dementia? I understand why it could be too much but feel it would suit them better if we could find the right carer.

    Does anyone have experience / suggestions that could increase our odds of it being successful? If we can't get live in carers sorted then we will have to think about moving them into a home which would be sad as we don't feel we couldn't cope with looking after them .

  2. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    #2 fizzie, Jan 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
    i know a number of people who have/have had live in carers and good agencies are very good at doing the work on introducing and keeping them there. Again the carers are usually very good at fitting in and working around likes and dislikes. I don't know anyone who has had any major problems other than the odd carer who hasn't fitted or hasn't worked out but that seems to be very rare. The people that I know are living very happily and cope easily with the change because the carers are skilled at their jobs.

    Prices vary quite a lot and I presume the quality does too but I currently know about 3 people living with live in carer and one person who is a live in carer!!

    If they are confused already I would probably just says 'someone coming to help you out and they may have to stay some nights - very vague because it will be forgotten very quickly and I might not even mention if it they already have carers and just let the carers deal with it.
    The agency will guide you too.

    Your local carers cafe may have people already using live in carers so it is worth dropping in for local information and i have seen in the past ads in places like the Lady for carers but of course that would involve a lot of checking etc and I would be worried that it might be a bit hit and miss with vulnerable people.
    Welcome to TP, lots of support on here x
  3. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    Yes it can be difficult if the person doesn't take to the carer, however this is quite common, any good agency will take the trouble to ensure a good match is achieved. If that means changing a carer midstay, then so be it.
    Most carers are aware of this happening, and are skilled enough to cope.
    Usually a small team is formed, and the same carers rotate.
    It may take a while, but when it works, it's fine.

  4. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    Sorry to be negative but I tried two live in care agencies and regardless that they assured me all carers are dementia trained with expertise sadly we didn't find any. The understanding was woeful and the second carer exploded at me in temper over my reasonable dinner question....she made him a sandwich as his hot meal! I am glad it happened when I was there but it made me realise dad was too vulnerable 1 to 1 with his stage. I am sure there a re good dementia carers out there and it probably works well to support a healthy spouse's care. I was so concerned about this carer being sent to another vulnerable person I spoke in strong terms to the agency and then reported it to cqc. Sorry not to be more positive I was desperate for it to work.
  5. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    We have used a national agency for over 7 years. Most of our carers have been very good, and I now have a good selection of regulars who I can trust. A few carers have been under-experienced and a small number have been people with 'difficult personalities'. I always give detailed feedback to the agency if I decide that someone is not to return to us. I don't pull my punches if I think a carer is a risk to other clients.

    Although my mum lives 500 miles away from me, I visit frequently to manage household matters and to ensure that the care plan is working. Anyone who abandons the care plan gets the order of the boot. My mum is just too vulnerable for anyone to play fast and loose with her care.

    Josephine, provided that you have a good family support team already, I see no reason not to try live-in care support. You will be able to monitor the carers and work with them to develop the right bespoke care plan.

    Anyone who proves unsuitable can be dropped from your list. Anyone who acts inappropriately can be replaced within 24 hours. In the last resort, if a family member can cover the care for a few hours, an unsuitable carer can be sent away in a taxi within half an hour! I am not suggesting that this is very likely to happen. I just mean that you, the client's representative, have the power to make decisions about who cares for your relative, and how. Don't let the thought of bad carers put you off the excellent ones.
  6. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    I love your post Katrine - such fantastic advice
  7. Josephine1

    Josephine1 Registered User

    Jan 5, 2016
    Thanks all for your replies, encouragement & suggestions. We've decided in the first instance to opt for an introductory agency and employ the carers directly so we get a bit more choice of the candidate but we'll see how it goes. We can but try and keep our fingers crossed.

    I keep having to remind myself that this all just a bit of a journey and there will be positives and negatives along the way. It's great to have some more support in TP.
  8. Josephine1

    Josephine1 Registered User

    Jan 5, 2016
    Hi Fizzie. What's the carers café? Where do I find out if there's one near us? Thanks

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