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No carers available to give mum breakfast

Mellybob

Registered User
Dec 2, 2016
4
My dad has just passed away and he used to look after my mum who has early onset dementia.
Myself and brother are currently looking after her but have to go back to work soon
An assessment has been done and said she needed someone in the morning to prepare and make sure she has breakfast and help her get washed and ready for the day and to give her the medication and also in the evening
The problem is they have said the earliest anyone can get there is 10.30 so by the time she gets to eat breakfast it will be 11am!
Surely this isn't right! This doesn't help at all as it's not fair that she has to wait until then because they don't have enough staff
Has anyone else encountered this? Is this just the way it is!? Seems like they aren't to bothered and it's just like it or lump it
My mum has already lost a lot of weight as has no appetite so really need to make sure she eats and eating at 11 is too late as nearly lunch time so she will end up skipping a meal
She can't prepare herself breakfast and also need someone there to make sure she eats it
Sorry for the rant just gobsmacked as there seems to be no help!
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
3,015
West Hertfordshire
Try another agency?

Unfortuately there are never enough carers to go round at the time you want them.

I guess we'd all like 7-30am , 12.30pm 5.00pm and 9.30pm
 

Beetroot

Registered User
Aug 19, 2015
362
I wanted someone a couple of days a week to get mum up and give her breakfast, just so I could have a bit of a break. I tried for four months at the end of last year and had the same problem - yes they had carers available, but none could come before 10 am, which was no good at all. One agency advised that everything slows down at this time of year so wait until January when they, apparently, get quite a few job applications. I called round in the second week of January and there were just two agencies who could get someone here for 7.45 or 8 am. Not ideal in your circumstances as clearly you need someone immediately, but maybe you could go with a later start for the next few weeks and try ringing round again come the new year.

Incidentally, I did discuss this situation when I had what passed for a carer's assessment. The social services team leader didn't seem to think there was anything wrong with leaving mum in bed for an extra couple of hours. Ho hum.

Per Jessbow's post, my county council produces a list of local care agencies - it was out of date so I ended up using google.
 
Last edited:

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,771
Salford
Hi Melly, welcome to TP
I'll take a contrary position on this one to some extent.
The care industry is a business and no business owner wants to turn away a customer, that's not how you make money. They can't supply someone because they can't get the staff it's that simple, if they could they would.
The UK has pillaged the world for doctors, nurses and care workers to work in the hospital and care industry and we're starting to run out of options and without getting political the Brexit vote result probably won't help.
To get to your mum's house for 7.30am may mean the carer has to get up a about 6am, get ready, have breakfast then travel there probably not being paid for the travel time and all this for minimum wage. Frankly I'd rather work stacking shelves in a supermarket.
Like anything else it's supply and demand and demand is outstripping supply at the present and the care companies can't keep up. I'm sure there's nothing the care companies would like more than to be taking your money but if they don't have the staff, they don't have the staff and they can't magic them up, it shouldn't be that way but it is, unfortunately.
Caring for my wife at home meant we no longer had to be salves to the clock, if she chose to stay up until 3am I had to too, if we didn't get up until noon, so what it doesn't matter, I appreciate your mum may have a regular sleep pattern so it matters that someone is there soon after she wakes up but if not then 10.30 isn't a bad time of day to get up, I do it regularly.
K
 

la lucia

Registered User
Jul 3, 2011
593
My dad has just passed away and he used to look after my mum who has early onset dementia.
Myself and brother are currently looking after her but have to go back to work soon
An assessment has been done and said she needed someone in the morning to prepare and make sure she has breakfast and help her get washed and ready for the day and to give her the medication and also in the evening
The problem is they have said the earliest anyone can get there is 10.30 so by the time she gets to eat breakfast it will be 11am!
Surely this isn't right! This doesn't help at all as it's not fair that she has to wait until then because they don't have enough staff
Has anyone else encountered this? Is this just the way it is!? Seems like they aren't to bothered and it's just like it or lump it
My mum has already lost a lot of weight as has no appetite so really need to make sure she eats and eating at 11 is too late as nearly lunch time so she will end up skipping a meal
She can't prepare herself breakfast and also need someone there to make sure she eats it
Sorry for the rant just gobsmacked as there seems to be no help!
I'm in the same position except I live with my mother. She had carers 7 mornings per week but lost them when she went in to hospital. They wouldn't let her come home until we got some and threatened a 'temporary' transfer to a care home to free-up her hospital bed. And she would have had to pay for it too......

My mother is self-funding but we went through the local authority. The outsourced procurement agency that the LA use were doing very little and anyway it's a bidding system so you are literally in competition with everyone else who wants domiciliary carers. Obviously, if there's capacity, the 'best' packages get snapped up first. There's no 'orderly queue.

We also got offered 11.00 for getting up and I was just as outraged as you. I think it's taking the micky - the assumption that 'it'll do" that pwds or carers aren't quite worthy of respect and that they may have lives too. For those who rely on state funding, they're stuck with it and that's not right.

No sense that time is of any importance..... for the pwd or the carer, who, in my case, works freelance from home (or tries to).

But that assumption is built into the structure - it's not an individual company issue. It's what happens when you privatise care lauding the 'flexible' model and turn social services departments into call centres.

Meanwhile, care work is not a very popular career any more.....

I tried to hire my own, I went flat out phoning agencies, putting up adverts in shops, you name it. I've still only got 4 mornings covered and I literally do everything else myself..... I get more politically rebellious by the minute!

There's a massive social care crisis and it's going to get worse.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,055
Yorkshire
hi Mellybob
welcome to TP
there are so many frustrations in organising care - so I appreciate your concerns

I do wonder whether it would be worth accepting the later time, just to get a foot in the door and to have your mum visited and so monitored, even though it's not at the optimum time for her - this is what I did with dad at one point, letting the agency know I'd take a change of time whenever it came available, which did happen - to be honest, even when you have a time slot, the time the carers actually get to the house is moveable as they may have had a situation to deal with at the previous visit etc
you will then know that she is getting a breakfast, maybe turn it into more of a brunch? and sometimes I found with dad that he was actually more co-operative with personal care a bit later in the morning as he'd woken up by then

I hope something works out for you both

best wishes
 

Penmon79

Registered User
Oct 24, 2016
101
North Wales
Have you thought of trying to find someone yourself who might want an hour's work for 5 days a week. You'd need to vet them of course but it could work out.
Like others, we've found that over time the calls from agency carers change anyway. But getting your foot in the door may well be a good thing.
Another thought, could you leave a snack for your mother to eat when she wakes? I realise that might not work though.
I hope that you get something sorted out.
 

Mellybob

Registered User
Dec 2, 2016
4
Hi thanks for the reply. Yeh I did think about arranging someone myself but didn't know where to look.
Do you know where is best to start looking

Thanks Mel


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WORRIER123

Registered User
Oct 1, 2015
1,174
My dad has 4 visits 10am 1.30pm 4.30pm and 5.30pm yes 2 that close
SS asked what times I wanted and went with the norm 8am 1230pm etc
Then what they did was fit these into their 4 times e.g 7-11 11-3 3-7 5-9 or similar then the care companies bid for the work
But what I didn't know is they bid and got the job but then give you a time in between the slots so the 8am I wanted fell between 7-11 so you got what they had
I agree 10.30 is too late especially as dad's carer this week either didn't turn up or arrived at 1120
It's a constant battle so SS told me if I wasn't happy to take a direct payment and sort out the care myself through a firm
The care system in Uk stinks
 

Mellybob

Registered User
Dec 2, 2016
4
It really is terrible. When you finally need help later on in life there seems to be no help there. I'm really surprised how bad it is
You don't understand until you find yourself in this situation
My mum was a Macmillan nurse for years and did nothing but help people and families and now she needs help the service offered is really poor


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Slugsta

Registered User
Aug 25, 2015
2,761
South coast of England
We had the same problem when Mum's care package was being organised. A visit at 11.00am is no use to a lady who normally gets up at 6.00!

I don't expect anyone to be there to get Mum up but 11.00 is the middle of the day for her! Plus the fact that she is picked up for Day Centre at 9am twice a week.

We now have carers twice a day - 7.30am and 6pm. 7.30 is plenty early enough for the person who has to deliver the care - but it still means that there is no-one to help/supervise/prompt Mum with personal care or dressing in the morning. She has usually attempted to get her own breakfast too before the carer arrives - with varying success :(
 

WORRIER123

Registered User
Oct 1, 2015
1,174
I now have to leave dad some biscuits as he relies on the carer to do his porridge and by 10 he is hungry and if they aren't on time well.... the one carer is good but when he is off and now on a 3 day week we have no shows or visits 2hrs late !
 

Belinda3

Registered User
Mar 9, 2014
20
please ask social services in your area to supply contact details for other care agencies that deal with your area.
Granted some aren't perfect, but care agencies can differ in what/when they offer.
 

WORRIER123

Registered User
Oct 1, 2015
1,174
please ask social services in your area to supply contact details for other care agencies that deal with your area.
Granted some aren't perfect, but care agencies can differ in what/when they offer.
Unfortunately in my area only SS only use one company. The one carer was good but he's down to 3 days a week. If he left I would change. Waiting to see the outcome of the complaint I sent Thursday
 

Penmon79

Registered User
Oct 24, 2016
101
North Wales
Hi thanks for the reply. Yeh I did think about arranging someone myself but didn't know where to look.
Do you know where is best to start looking

Thanks Mel


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You could ask around amongst friends, speak to local shopkeepers etc to sed whether they have heard of anyone. If you have any church connections you might try there. Ultimately you could advertise. Usually when I've been looking for someone to come in to clean I've found them just by asking around.
Sorry, not much help really.
Susan
 

lacey1962

Registered User
Jan 9, 2016
41
Crawley
mums breakfast

Hi Mellybob,

I leave a flask of hot water and coffee /tea in mugs ready for the morning and biscuits for my mum the night before if I can not get to her early enough but she is still ok to use this. Might be worth a try if she was still safe with the hot water.
Sally
 

la lucia

Registered User
Jul 3, 2011
593
Hi thanks for the reply. Yeh I did think about arranging someone myself but didn't know where to look.
Do you know where is best to start looking

Thanks Mel

Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
I told everyone I know or who knows my mother. I put adverts in corner shops and village/parish magazines. I put the hours needed in the advert and the area - I put a mobile phone number for contact. I also rang ALL the agencies myself. I actually have one carer at the hours we need from an agency that SS said couldn't help. So I think the personal touch helps.

The official procurement bidding system is a lottery - twice we were offered packages that 'disappeared' the next day. Clearly they received a new bid that was worth more money than ours.......
 

mancmum

Registered User
Feb 6, 2012
403
Flask porridge - cooks overnight and probably wouldn't be boiling by morning time.

Just google flask porridge and you will find ideas.

We are not there yet but we have thought about advertising care hours as a job share so two people could work it out between them and provide their own cover.

I have employed people who I know will be vetted through their other commitments e.g. student psychology student/volunteer activities. There are people who pass their DBS but still abuse so I would really just be vigilent.

Have you thought about separating off the essential feeding from the personal care element? I have used over 18 year old school students when sorting out care for my kids. They have wanted the money in a way that other people haven't.

Just ideas.
 

WORRIER123

Registered User
Oct 1, 2015
1,174
I've tried a flask etc but dad can't understand what to do unless the food or drink is put in front of him so reliant on carers. That's with me living with him too. It's too early when I leave at 6am to feed him hence biscuits left till the carer should arrive at 10am