Problem with my MIL's Carer

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by mumof3, May 16, 2006.

  1. mumof3

    mumof3 Registered User

    Feb 6, 2006
    I've been mulling over this since Sunday and don't know whether to raise things on an official level with the SW or CPN who oversees my MIL's care package.

    My MIl has two main carers who go in every day each morning and evening to administer medications. This is done through an agency. On a Sunday we would normally see my MIL in the afternoon either at her house or take her to ours. For the last while she has been adament that she needs to be back by 4pm. We have always said that no you don't you don't get your medicine until later - around 7.30pm.

    Now on Sunday we were at my sisters for a family birthday and so we were a lot later seeing my MIL. When I checked the care notes they clearly said that the carer had been in from 7.30 until 8pm had administered meds, given coffee and had a chat. The vacuum pack had been opened and meds given. Now we were there just before 7 until after 8 and obviously she wasn't.

    I am obviously worried about this on several fronts. We don't know if the meds are time sensitive. If we cannot trust the times are correct what else can we not trust? Also my MIL doesn't particularly get on with this particular carer. She is a young student and obviously has no common ground with my MIL. When we have talked to her she really doesn't seem to have any knowledge of dementia type symptoms.

    I don't know for sure obviously but what I suspect is happening is that the carer who is meant to be there for 2 hours on a Sunday morning is leaving this until later in the day so that she can dispense with the evening visit. My MIL is unable to confirm this and if we question her will get upset.

    My quandry is what to do. After discussing it with my husband we are pretty appalled and inclined to report it. Has anyone experienced anything similar? My worry is a bit "better the devil you know" as any change may mean upset. On the other hand I feel this is a serious breach of trust.
  2. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Hi. what a dilemma. Could you make a first discreet inquiry through the agency.
    You could mention that you realised something was amiss, as you were in the house yourself at the dedicated time.

    Of course you must not question MIL over this, as it can lead to confusion, but you really do need to get to the bottom of the situation.

    Whilst medicine may not be 'time sensitive', guidelines of times to be administered should be adhered to whereever possible. Thinking of you,
  3. mumof3

    mumof3 Registered User

    Feb 6, 2006
    Hi Connie

    The drugs issue is a concern as my MIL is on a cocktail of things for arthritis as well as vascular dementia and an antibiotic for an infection. There are four sections per day with pills in each but they are administered twice a day. Once at 10am and the other should be at 7.30pm. I know there should be a gap of 6 hours for Ibuprofen for example so that would be a worry if this were not adhered to.

    Obviously don't want to clump in with my size 6's making official complaints but I do feel that we should be saying something. Whenever this particular carer is mentioned my MIL screws her face up so I know she is less than enamoured with her. The trouble is if the carer just gets a rap on the knuckles I'm afraid that her attitude towards my MIL will be affected - for the same reason I hate ever having to raise anything with the teachers at school, not wanting to appear a problem parent for fear they will take it out on my son!

    All our contact has been with the SW and CPN who organised the care through the agency. I think going direct to the agency would be wrong in this instance. I feel that it should be through the SW but I should make it low key - asking for confirmation of contracted times and flexibility allowed etc.

    I just hate to think that this carer is taking advantage of my MIL's condition. It may be that this was a one off but it could be that she knows our routine so this is happening every Saturday and Sunday.

    My husband has suggested a nanny-cam!
  4. mumof3

    mumof3 Registered User

    Feb 6, 2006
    Been worrying away at me since Sunday so have just left a message for the CPN to give me a call.

    Decided that the bottom line is if we are not going to look out for my MIL who is?
  5. dmc

    dmc Registered User

    Mar 13, 2006
    hi mumof3

    what an awful fix to find yourselves in, i would also be wary of complaining especially if they sent the same carer back.

    is there anyway you can get your mil's neighbours to keep a check on the times the carers are turning up and leaving?
    at least then you might have a bit more to go on if you do decide to complain.

    all the best with this one
    keep us posted
  6. mumof3

    mumof3 Registered User

    Feb 6, 2006
    Hi Donna

    Unfortunately all my MIL's neighbours are at work during the day and as she moved there only fairly recently we don't know any of them other than to say hello.

    Unfortnately she sees this carer at least once every day. We used to think it was great that there was consistency. Now I think it's a case that a bit of advantage is being taken. Today my MIL said that rather than spending the 1/2 hour she is supposed to (and being paid for by my MIL) it is a case of "in and out". Don't know for sure if this is the case but certainly I am concerned enough about Sunday to speak to the CPN. I will keep it low key though.

    She hasn't called me back as yet. I'll let you know what happens.
  7. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Hiya Mum of 3,
    The bottom line as I see it is that you have been deceived. As these carers are working with vulnerable people, their actions need to be transparent. I think an expression of concern tothe CPN is the right way to go, asking if she could just clarify with the agency what has happened.
    Best wishes Amy
  8. mumof3

    mumof3 Registered User

    Feb 6, 2006
    Thanks Amy. I agree with you. It is a deception. It may be the first time, it may have being going on a while. It is all the worse because a vulnerable person is involved. I feel if we don't get things sorted out now then more corners could be cut. We already have issues about my MIL not being taken out etc. as is supposed to be happening in the longer sessions. These have never been addressed properly and I will tackle this again when the CPN calls be back.
  9. Kath TN

    Kath TN Registered User

    May 5, 2006
    Hello Mumof3 - we had the same problem with my dad's carers. Several times they had written in the notes that they had been at certain times when I knew for an absolute fact that they hadn't. Occasionally the carer would phone my dad to check he was OK because she didn't have time to come round to see him!

    One morning the carer hadn't been by ten thirty and I had been with dad since about 8.30. When I phoned to complain I was told that the carer had arrived at 9.10 but because my dad was in a confused state he hadn't let her in! Some carer's do take advantage of their client's mental state.

    This was the last straw - I had made one or two complaints previouse to this event. I contacted dad's SW and asked her to arrange for another agency to take over his care as soon as possible. Within about a week and half we had a new agency, one who specialise in people with mental health problems and they are wonderful - took dad to chiropodist when we were all working - get him shopping - cook for him if necessary.

    I must admit that I did have my doubts about complaining - after all to some extent dad did rely on these people - but I'm so glad that I did. The quality of care that he receives now is worth it. It costs a little bit more - but shrouds don't have pockets so we're dipping into dad's savings!
  10. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006

    Is there any way that you or your husband could wait outside her house and 'keep watch' for a day or two to see what time the carer arrives and leaves? You could then check this against the entries made by carer in the 'log'. Dark glasses and false moustache are optional! :D

    When my mum and dad were still at home they had carers from an agency and we always felt that they weren't doing very much and didn't stay as long as they were supposed to so I do sympathise.
  11. Blue_Gremlin

    Blue_Gremlin Registered User

    Mar 15, 2006
    Morecambe, UK
    Excuse my ignorance but as I have only just got into the world of carers etc I need to ask - is care through an agency different to the one sorted out by the local social services? :confused:

  12. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Hi, mumof 3, having read through this thread I think you have probably already worked through this - and your analogy to 'kids at school' is spot on. What you are describing is tantamount to bullying ..... (in the indirect way of taking advantage of someone more vulnerable than self).

    We stand back because to be 'a grass' - or to have your parent/carer step in and be the 'grass' potentially makes the victim more vulnerable but only temporarily .... what needs to happen is that the 'bully' is found out and exposed. It's tough to be the whistle-blower, but if we don't speak up for those we care for - whether it's our kids or other vulnerable loved ones, who can't always speak up for themselves, then the 'bullies' carry on, and on and on.....

    (.... and it's the bully who is the weak one, else they wouldn't behave the way they did, yeh?)

    Wishing you luck. Don't put up with it!

    Love, Karen, x
  13. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    THIS, Noelphobic is what makes me so cross (not you!!!!!):) People are paying for care whether to support their loved ones at home or in a home - and still have to run themselves ragged making sure it is to the standard they expect....:mad:

  14. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    I do agree with you on this and it does seem ludicrous to have to do this but sometimes we have to do ludicrous things :eek:

    One of the many things that can be so hard about dementia is that you know that if someone hurts or takes advantage of the sufferer it can very difficult to prove. If you know that your loved one sometimes talks rubbish it can be easy to dismiss anything they say as paranoia or confusion.

    Obviously if you have carers going to someone's home then it is supposed to give you a break but it so often doesn't work that way, unfortunately.
  15. shauny

    shauny Registered User

    Oct 27, 2005
    north-east england
    problem with carers

    Hi mum of 3, my advice would be to ask for a meeting with both the sw/cpn in person where you point out your concerns hopefully if they any good they will try and sort things out. Another avenue would be to contact the agency direct and speak to one of the managers and tell them of the issues. Shaun

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