1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,403
    The 'care' agency has a new carer. She is very large and even her colleagues have doubts about her ability to do the job. So they sent her here on two evening calls shadowing another carer. No warning to me and knowing that hubs can take an instant dislike to people. She has been there two weeks.
    The on Monday morning they send her to do a morning call on her own with no warning to me. Afternoon call is just a quick wash and pull up the bed ready to eat. Morning is a full scale bed bath, cleanup often required, careful handling because of his pain. Hoisting and settling in chair. All of which is hard work even with two because of his weight and total lack of mobility. So I was a little short with her(smacked wrist, how dare I be stressed) and she burst into tears. I explained everything , including the fact that hubs would quite likely not want her to do his care. Ran through the last of his morning routine and she went away OK.
    This morning when I was out with Jess which I do at the same time every morning, I got a call from the supervisor with whom I have clashed to say this girl was refusing to come here so I couldn't have a call today. Bearing in mind that from Friday to Sunday I have one call.
    Don't you wish you could say 'they weren't nice to me, I'm going to leave them in the lurch'??? I know I do sometimes.
    I was hoping to wait until Jess was gone before I looked for a new agency, but this is now beyond a joke.
     
  2. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,403
    It just gets better. I just phoned the agency to find out why this girl has pulled out. Apparently she went to the manager and complained she wasn't going to come here again. She 'wasn't going to be spoken to like that'. Given that I sat her down while she recovered and then worked through husbands care and she was fine when she left I am disgusted that no one got back to me to discuss the problem and get another person is spreading the rumours that I treat them like s****I am currently waiting for the manager to phone me back, because I started to lose my temper and slammed the phone down saying I was going off to have a good cry.
     
  3. Bree

    Bree Registered User

    Oct 16, 2013
    241
    Firstly I would say that young ladies who work for 'care agencies' are on the whole untrained in nursing procedure, therefore not experienced in handling and nursing dementia patients. Having been in nursing myself, it is not something to be taken on lightly, and needs a good deal of patience and tact, with the patient and their families.

    As I see it untrained novices should never be alone treating patients, as this often results in the scenario you describe. The word 'care' means nothing to some agencies, it's the power of the pound that motivates them, not the TLC of a dementia sufferer.

    These agencies should be subject to strict rules of a providing a basic nursing course, for all would be helpers, and schooling to understand the pressures of stress experienced by the patient and their families.
     
  4. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,403
    This is not nursing care Bree it is personal care for someone who is bedbound due to severe arthritis and also has undiagnosed dementia which does not impact on the carers because the majority of his care is done by me.
    You are correct about untrained novices though. I was completely speechless that they'd sent her on her own to work with me without even telling me.Or rather I wasn't speechless, obviously I would have had more help if I was. However at least I am aware of just what I am up against where new carers are told in advance that you are a really nasty person and then they use it as an excuse.
    Ultimately it is the fault of the agency.but me and my husband are the ones suffering.
     
  5. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    1,955
    Could you change agency to one that's rather better?

    When we did this, Mum's care was transformed - from carers who arrived any time within a 2.5 hour slot to carers who usually arrived on time, from umpteen carers of differing quality to 2 regular carers (one of whom was exceptional, the other being perfectly pleasant and adequate).

    If you can't change the care agency, could you complain to SS (who presumably have the main contract with the agency)? You'd need to be very factual (eg "2 carers should have been sent, both trained in safe handling techniques ... only 1 attended and she appeared to be untrained because she did X and Y which a trained person wouldn't have done ...").
     
  6. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,403
    I have been phoning agencies all day, there are very few covering this area and those there are have no plans to take on any more clients. We are self funding and so no one is really concerned with helping.
    I just had a call from the manager who went into all sorts of flannel about the girl being not ready, a mistake sending her here etc etc. All of which was blatantly obvious. But I was gobsmacked to be told this morning that she refused to come here because 'she wasn't going to be spoken to like that'.
    All in all I am still sick to death of the complete lack of help I'm getting.
     
  7. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    356
    I would imagine if the girl is as uneducated about the care role she has been assigned to undertake then you will be the first of many that will be speaking to her in that way. Reading between the lines though it does sound to me that she hasn't received enough supervision or training, and as she has been learning on the job so to speak she needs more but thinks maybe, rightly so from your statement earlier on, she feels insecure anyway with her work colleagues, and not well liked. Maybe as they are in a rush and don't have time to teach her she does feel inadequate too but won't admit it.

    I have seen adverts in The Lady magazine for carers etc maybe that would help with recruiting a more reliable helper for you.
     
  8. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    3,802
    Essex
    Absolutely nothing I can add to what others have said, but how I feel for you. :( xxx
     
  9. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    8,041
    Hi Bemused

    Am sorry to read your ongoing difficulties

    This IS nursing care.Anyone who is bedbound needs nursing care, it is the basics of nursing care and if we learn to get the basics right we help minimize requirement for further nursing care. The fact that you do the majority of hubby's care is all credit to you and you have had to learn to give that care by much trial and error because of your struggle to get adequate help and support.:( Bree is right sadly and I am glad at least the agency have acknowledged they should not have sent her as she is not ready but I would also ask them to remind her of her duty of confidentiality, she should NOT be saying anything about why she wont visit you other than to her manager.

    Have you tried privately advertising? Sorry if you have and that's not much help.

    Chin up, keep fighting
    love
    Sue:)
     
  10. esmeralda

    esmeralda Registered User

    Nov 27, 2014
    3,072
    Devon
    So sorry these problems are ongoing bemused, such unprofessional behaviour from the agency and such a struggle for you..
    I can't really add anything new, just to say I'm thinking about you and sending a big hug.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
     
  11. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,403
    I find this incident has really upset me. This girl has been at work for two weeks but has already found out. If she blames me for something and refuses care for my husband, its fine to leave us in the lurch'. Because of course the poor love must be protected from nasty witches who say 'Are you it' in a sharp tone when they have struggled single handed to get their husband up cleaned up and showered because she was completely useless and late as well. As far as I remember that was all I said. Pity she couldn't be honest enough to say she couldn't cope.

    To be honest Sue, I think with the lack of professional care in this area, I am doubtful that I will find private carers with the skills my husband needs. I'd never thought of it as basic nursing skills but I do know that it needs someone with experience, not even adding in the dementia, which isn"'T really a cause for concern if matters are approached properly.
     
  12. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,403
    Now I'm even more upset. I just told hubs it was just me this morning and he said 'what's going on dear?' Went through the questions because there is obviously something bothering him but he didn't know what. Nohe was feeling OK physically. Was he confused yes he was. Could he tell me what he was confused about? He didn't know. Was he confused by not knowing whether carers were coming or not? Yes sometimes he was. I appreciate that if he's feeling confused that is quite possibly not the teal thing, but I know it is far from ideal. But getting the agency to listen- no chance.
    On with the phone calls, I will find more reliable care, whatever it takes
     
  13. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    8,007
    Norfolk
    I really don't know how you manage, Bemused. Just read through and find your struggles heart-breaking. Is there no helpful Association you could get advice from? This has been going on for a long time for you.
     
  14. Jinx

    Jinx Registered User

    Mar 13, 2014
    2,333
    Pontypool
    Bemused1, my husband doesn't need the level of personal care that yours does but he cannot be left on his own. I use an agency and when they did the initial interview with me they promised B would have the same people coming etc. it rarely happens. Talking to the one chap we do see regularly he's on a zero hour contract, minimum wage and never knows how many hours a week he will be allocated. One girl who turned up was at the end of a 50 hour week including two days working from 6.50am till 10.00pm. There is not much employment choice here mainly care or telesales and there is huge churn in the care industry as a result. It's a grim situation when we're reliant on these care providers. So sorry you're having all these problems. xxx


    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
     
  15. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,403
    Jinx I appreciate the problems of these girls, in fact I' ve referred elsewhere to the fact that we are perpetuating the system without any choice . But sending me a totally inexperienced person when they have been caring for my husband for almost two years without even warning me would try the patience of a saint. Then being told its my fault she refused to come because I didn't want her there is beyond belief. How could I not want her there when I didn't know she was coming. Within two weeks she has been well informed that it's fine to just pull out . In all the years I was working I took a vast amount of criticism and plain bad temper but never once in 27years would I have dared say I wasn't going to do something because I didn't like the way someone spoke to me.
    The situation is now so bad that I have no trust in anyone we are sent now.
    This I can cope with been there etc but it is not fair on my husband. I just wish we lived somewhere with a wider choice of agencies
     
  16. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,659
    North West
    This kind of thing is so annoying and frustrating Bemused. Yes, you can cope but that's not the point. If we have the right kind of help we can cope not only with the actual tasks but with all the unavoidable stresses of our situation. What we do not need are these episodes when what is supposed to be relieving our stress is actually adding to it.

    I agree that a choice of agencies can make a big difference but it seems that even in an area where there is a choice the agencies that have large contracts with the LA can easily become complacent.

    Our small local agency carer was upset earlier in the week because an old man who had no relatives and whom she had looked after for over 2 years had just died. With a lot of these agencies it seems you wouldn't get the same carers for 2 weeks.
     
  17. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,403
    #17 bemused1, Sep 25, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
    Thanks Stanley. Yes I can cope -for now. But I am getting closer to the point where I won't be able to, either physically or mentally. We have one very good carer(occasionally) who looks after one client who has MS. She and one other have been his dedicated carers for 10 years. But even she is being pulled out and sent elsewhere because the new intake won't do this that or the other and she is good and reliable.
    So a poor old man with dementia and his harridan of a wife are of no importance as long as they pay the bill . My big problem is that I don't just sit back and accept them. I keep on questioning and complaining in the hope that I can get halfway decent care for my husband

    I am trying to find that agency that isn't driven solely by money but I think it might take a while.
    Chuggs I've tried every body I can think of. Adult social care said unless he comes in (he's bedbound) it will be a very long wait for an assessment. We've been that route and the only help you get as self funders is here's our list of agencies, starting phoning.
    Age UK said cqc and assessment. For reasons already mentioned,I really am not happy about advertising.
     
  18. Lilac Blossom

    Lilac Blossom Registered User

    Oct 6, 2014
    520
    Scotland
    Bemused - I am sorry that you are having such a bad time - it never seems to improve does it? My hubby's needs are not as great as your hubby's - we have a care worker in the morning and most of the time have no idea who is coming. They seem to prefer not to have wife there so that they can just please themselves, ie cut corners, and no-one will know - after all hubby cannot tell me.

    I wish I could encourage you in some way as it's not good for us to feel as we do.

    (((Hugs)))
    Lilac
     
  19. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,403
    Lilac I agree that the presence of wife is thought by some to be an intrusion. But we have had some that are happy to work as a team with me and everyone benefits. But oddly enough we don't see them often.
    No we shouldn't be made to feel like this, we are supposed to be helped and supported.
     
  20. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    3,403
    So, this morning I have got my rota for carers and on it is....... The girl who caused me so much trouble last week
    I have VERY politely emailed the agency and said in view of last week's problem when she refused to come here, I thought it was not a good idea to have her here and could they replace her with someone else. They have phoned back (complete shock) but I was out so waiting for them to call again.

    Is it just me???? Would you be able to let this person back again?. Not only is there her dumping her call the afternoon before she was due the next morning when it was too late for anyone else to put in. Also the third time she was here in an evening, shadowing another carer, husband was asked both by me and other carer whether he would let this troublemaker assist in the small amount of care needed in the evening he very politely said he wanted the one he knew to do it.

    If they do send her here I think husband will be less than polite, so what is the point of doing that.

    In addition I have phoned almost every agency in the area and no one is able to take on new clients. I am reading into that that they will take on ss clients but since I am looking myself, they are not going to take on either self funders or direct payments. Dire huh.

    Well let's see what comes next
     

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