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Over helpful carers

JMU

Registered User
Feb 17, 2012
155
0
Cornwall
I see very little of dad's carers. They are always set to come when I am at work, frequently are different people, and have very little to do with me. Besides my name being in the front of dad's care plan (and I do wonder how many of them read that) many of them don't know I exist.
I have no issue with them as such, except for when they behave as if I'm never there. I should imagine that as dad is living in a clean house with two healthy cats, that the cupboards are stocked and the washing done that it should be obvious that someone is taking care of him, but nevertheless I feel sometimes as if they think he lives alone.
I came back from work on Wednesday to find a note in dad's care plan: "Rang bank as he seemed confused about money." As some of you may know this has long been an issue with us as just discussing money makes him paranoid and accusatory, and I have been dealing with all the finances for the last six months. Unfortunately I can't stop letters from the bank still arriving addressed to him (albeit infrequently), which increases his confusion and paranoia. So anyway, I was a little annoyed but I removed the offending statement and thought no more of it. Until Saturday, that is, when dad gets a phone call from the bank asking to verify his details. Of course he's unable so I end up talking to the lady on the phone. It turns out that he rang them FIVE TIMES on Wednesday, resulting in all his cards being cancelled, a new bank card being sent out with a new pin number and a passbook for his entire savings account. I am just thankful I was at home when the phone call came. The lady at the bank was very understanding. Although she could not stop some of it she cancelled the passbook and put a block on the new bank card (which I had managed to pick up when it arrived) with a note on his account to explain the situation.
In a sense it was a relief to know that it had been sorted and it is unlikely to happen again, but now I am thinking what if another over-helpful carer decides to interfere in some other way? How do I prevent that? Can I ring up and tell them not to interfere as they don't have a clue what the consequences are? I would have thought they should. Surely they deal with other people with dementia? I can't be the only one. I'm feeling like it's a bit of a delicate situation though. I don't want to come across as domineering or heartless. I've already got into one 'discussion' with them about his care, or apparent lack of it. Not that they are treating him badly, just a little ignorantly at times. So do I ring them or just hope for the best?
 

at wits end

Registered User
Nov 9, 2012
753
0
East Anglia
I would phone them. You dont really want them dealing with the bank or your Dad giving them his identifying info. Just in case one of them proves to be unscrupulous, the banks can be terrible (I know i worked there) for saying 'well if you gave them your info we cant be held liable.....'

Just tell them that if there is any query re his finances they are to phone you and they should tell him you will deal with it.
 

Haylett

Registered User
Feb 4, 2011
1,145
0
Can of worms, this one JMU. My first thought is to call the manager of the carers to explain the situation to him/her AND follow up with a written note or email to restate what you say. As you have little contact with the carers because they're there at a time when you're at work; and the rota changes (if you feel that impacts on continuity of care, I'd also mention that to the manager), I would address my comments to the person who heads up the team. That assumes, of course, that she/he is on the ball and is also a reasonable person to deal with.

Our last SS manager was superb. She preferred me to email if possible, because she found it easier to have information on file to refer to, but a call would suffice when I was away or needed a fast response. She always responded, had bags of commonsense and visited Mum and MIL often enough to know their personal situation. The previous three were varying from incompetent, to just couldn't care, stressed out (therefore off a lot of the time) to downright awful.

The carers (we had over 20 at one time) also varied wildly from brilliant (a few) to very good (most) to dire (one or two). All my contact details were kept at Mum's house in case anyone needed me, or just needed a bit of advice. The best carers called me if they needed to, or used commonsense and their own experience if it wasn't urgent. I also had their numbers so that I could contact them if I had an urgent message to pass on (otherwise we used a communal A4 diary that I put in the kitchen for everyone to write, leave notes etc.)

Then there were minders - the ones who checked that Mum was still breathing - and everything else was left under the catch-all clause of "breaching human rights" (i.e. the right not to wash, not to eat, not to drink, not to take meds etc). What about the art of gentle persuasion? No, don't do persuasion. Then there were the most pernicious of the lot, that left Mum in tears with sharp, little notes in her diary to the effect that they would inform me of her nasty behaviour; that she must behave correctly or FACE CONSEQUENCES...

Unless you know (or can get to know) the carers who look after your dad, you have no option but to talk to the manager first. I honestly doubt whether any carer would take it upon themselves to instruct your father's bank unless they had been specifically requested to do so. I assume you have Power of Attorney and/or Welfare Guardianship? Make sure that the Care Manager knows, perhaps has a copy, so that if in doubt, all decisions are referred to you, or if you're unavailable, to someone you nominate.

As to their comments in the book, try not to take it personally. A lot of the time, it is simply carers just making sure that their own backs are covered. They know that disciplinary action might ensue and the paper trail is simply a way to document events/views. The best carers attending to your dad, will be doing just that - focusing on him - leaving little time to consider how they word their comments. Those who are less caring will be more concerned about making sure their own position is safeguarded.

Yours is a very valid point though. The role of family carers is often discounted, wittingly or no - and it can be hurtful. Most of all, beware of the carer-cuckoo who claims ownership so much over your dad, his illness and needs, that you feel as if you have been shoved out of the nest.
 
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Dill

Registered User
Feb 26, 2011
355
0
England
Hi
I just wanted to say that when Dad had carer's come in 3-4 times daily my sister who was Dad's main carer living just around the corner would leave notes for them. As the care log was filled in daily by the carers any notes left were seen, she also asked if they could initial them when seen and also wrote in the care log itself.
Sis always kept on really good terms with the carer's with this method, if something kept getting missed she rang the carer's hq which was local.
There were several times when Dad got confused over banks/not having enough money etc and we always sorted it out easily with the note method and Sis was able to reassure Dad or ring the bank for him.
Hope you are able to sort it out. It's a good idea to keep anything written by yourself and the carers in case you have to look back at some stage.
Dill
 

JMU

Registered User
Feb 17, 2012
155
0
Cornwall
The carer's log is a bit of a sore point and that is part of the trouble. For the first month or so when these carers started coming in there was no log, no care plan, no anything. Most of the time there was no evidence of their having been at all, only occasionally one of them would leave a quick "All's OK" on a piece of scrap paper. I mean literally- torn out of note pads. I did once bump into one of the carers and asked if perhaps I should leave a pad for them to write on, and was told that no, they were not allowed to write in anything except the official log! At that time I had no contact numbers for them, never saw them, never heard from them. This all changed after I showed dad's CPN the situation (he said he'd never seen anything like it!) then suddenly a care plan was written out, with contact numbers, and a log left for them to fill in. The log always says the same thing: "Had a lovely chat. All's well on leaving." I'm sure the care dad's receiving is okay, like I said the carers I've met seem nice enough, although they seem to turn up at all times, which isn't the best for dad as he relies on routine. However when I queried this in my one phone call to head office I was told: "Well he won't always let them into the house!" I didn't appreciate the manner in which I was told this. I work in customer service and know how to deal with aggressive people on the phone and managed to keep my cool (I even put on my officious phone voice), but as you can imagine I don't have a great deal of faith in my comments being taken seriously over the phone. And if I leave a note in the log- will anyone read it?
 

nmintueo

Registered User
Jun 28, 2011
844
0
UK
I can't stop letters from the bank still arriving addressed to him (albeit infrequently), which increases his confusion and paranoia. So anyway, I was a little annoyed but I removed the offending statement and thought no more of it. Until Saturday, that is, when dad gets a phone call from the bank asking to verify his details.

Do you live at the same address? Do you have a power of attorney for financial affairs?

If you live separately and have power of attorney, you could change contact details at the bank so all correspondence and phone calls come to you.

Certainly the carers should not be getting involved with the bank; if they aren't aware that you deal with that, by all means advise the agency.
 
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JMU

Registered User
Feb 17, 2012
155
0
Cornwall
Yes I live at the same address. I have applied for power of attorney- I did so four or five months back. Unfortunately it is taking about seven months right now for it to come through- or so I have been told.
 

nmintueo

Registered User
Jun 28, 2011
844
0
UK
Yes I live at the same address. I have applied for power of attorney ...

Oh .. that makes it trickier, doesn't it? Still, if you have a suitable alternative address that would do for mail delivery (such as your office), you could switch to that and your mobile number when the PoA comes through.

If it is getting communications from the bank that leads to confusion, and he doesn't really think about it otherwise, that might help.