Why are Social services so backwards in coming forwards?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Cathwyns, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Cathwyns

    Cathwyns Registered User

    Nov 12, 2007
    North Wales
    Is it just a problem in Gwyned, North Wales or are ALL Social workers treating people as if they are as thick as two short planks?

    I'm sorry that i'm starting my first ever post like this, but I'm just so frustrated with the system.

    My Mam and I have been caring full time for my Grandmother for the past 18 months. She was only officialy diagnosed with dementia in the last 4 weeks, during a short stay in hospital. Since then the illness has progressed rapidly.

    My Grandmother is very, very trying (although we know she can't help it). The biggest problem we have is the fact that she's awake all night banging and walking around. So far she hasn't become violent or verbaly abusive, but we're waiting for it !

    Social services have been on board since almost 3 months and we are yet to see a care plan or be given any definate care package! Every time you confront them on the issue there is an excuse. I lost my temper yesterday and told our Social worker that unles they got things sorted out i would be instructing a solicitor to get things sorted out.

    It's amazing how much fear the name of this solicitor arose. We are to have a meeting tomorow where a care plan will be made and an assurance of help with night sitting for my Grandmother.

    Are we alone having to shout and threaten or are Social services like this throut the country?

    I'm looking forward to beeing involved in other posts.

    Thanks for a fantastic forum.

    Take Care

  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hello Eirian, welcome to Talking Point.

    I can`t give an opinion on SS yet. My husband refuses outside help, and although I`ve had a Carer`s assessment, because I am not yet ready to accept the help that was offered, our File has been closed.

    The help that was offered was day care.

    Perhaps if day care was offered to your grandmother, she might sleep better at night.

    Social Services do have a bad press, and I`m not sure whether it`s justified or whether they are so underfunded, they are unable to cope with the work load.

    Anyway, I hope you get the help you need. I also hope you will find this a very supportive Forum. It has been a life line to most of us.

    Love xx
  3. Cliff

    Cliff Registered User

    Jun 29, 2007
    North Wales
    #3 Cliff, Nov 15, 2007
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2007
    Hello Eirian,

    I'm from the County just East of you along the coast.

    So glad you have stood up to them and wish you real success in getting help.

    I am so disappointed in our SS - so you are not alone. Fortunately our Alzheimer's Soc., Memory Clinic, Hospital, Crossroads, Red Cross and the council in general are marvellous. Next time I try to deal with SS, I'll blow my top as you have and see if that makes any difference.

    Good luck,

    Very best wishes to you,
  4. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #4 Margarita, Nov 15, 2007
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2007
    In my experience they just let you get on with it till the disease progresses and the family can't cope , so you just have to keep pushing them before it get to that stage with me my mother use to walk around a lot at night time walking in to my daughter rooms turning lights on in the middle of the night waking them up , then shouting at mum and mum screaming at them , me waking up wondering what going on telling mum to get back to bed in an angry voice that she nearly hit me in her confusion , in those days I never new they was a carer assessment or help just got on with it , then mum was given medication for AZ that seem to help with the night waking then found out about the help support that out they , got mum on waiting list for AZ day center , but had to keep on top of it ring them up every mouth , then got someone to help me wash mum .

    I could never of got someone to sleep the night to give me a rest good sleep as SS do not offer that as I was looking after mum , I presume your grandmother live alone so they may fund that rather then care home all part of the independent living
    care funding they how have .

    Took me a good 2 years to get all the help i need and only because mum progressed more in to disease , it's always changing as her needs get higher more demanding as the disease progresses , then social services step in with more help so you got to ring them even before the next carer assessment is due if things change . AZ is so unpredictable in care need as it affects every one so different .

    so my advice to anyone waiting for a care plan is keep ringing telling them you can't cope your at the end of your tether and if you go down with stress , they end up in care home.
  5. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Dear, Eirian, welcome to TP.

    I'm afraid with SS you just have to keep shouting!

    It shouldn't be like that, but I'm afraid that as long as you carry on coping, they will just leave you alone. You have to let them know that you're at breaking point. I've done this twice in the seven years I've been caring for my husband, and on both occasions they've been fantastic, and an increased care package has been put in place immediately.

    I hope your meting goes well tomorrow. Don't forget to give them all the gory details, and let them know you jut can't continue as things are.

    Good luck,
  6. Clive

    Clive Registered User

    Nov 7, 2004
    Hi Eirian

    I just write to confirm that I found SS does not work as you would hope.

    You are correct in thinking you will have to exert yourself to get anything approaching what you expect, so don’t think it is you who is the failure and doing something wrong.

    Mum had unfortunately spent very little of her money and was still saving hard from her small pension, and consequently would have had to pay for any actual help from SS. Consequently the only help I received, on her behalf, was the telephone numbers of a couple of Private Care companies and basically told to DIY.

    Keep pushing hard

    All the best

  7. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    Hello Eirian and others reading this!

    I wish I could only be more positive about Social Services and Social Workers in particular, but I can't. I have tried, and I have given them the benefit of the doubt when things don't happen, or happen too slowly for the benefit of my relative, but over the last 2 years, I have come to following conclusions: in no particular order, but just in the order they pop into my weary brain.

    Underfunded the whole of Social Services may well be - and that's another debate, I feel, altogether - if a Social Worker is charged with the role of "Care Co-ordinator", then that is precisely what they should do. It should not be left to the caring relatives to bust a gut, morning, noon and night, 24/7, just trying to work their way through the swamp. Someone recently on TP talked about "trawling through the TP messages" - I thought to myself later, that what we are all having to do is "trying to crawl through a muddy swamp", or even "trying to see enough through the mud to be able to crawl". That is certainly how I feel - in fact, it all got so bad a couple of weeks back, that I quietly spent a morning printing out the following message on envelopes "Never trust a social worker", so that every time I post anything these days, someone somewhere will have that message from me perhaps leaving a little "memory jogger" (sorry to use those words here, but we have to sometime!) so that if they themselves ever have to rely on a social worker for help, they will know what lies ahead of them.

    I have been staggered - and it takes a lot to get me down - by the energy and effort and personal resources that I have had to find, just trying to get a social worker to do anything. Our first SW - who has since moved on to work elsewhere, out of social work, thank goodness - used to use the phrase "I'll see what I can do" over and over again. But she never did anything. I came to the conclusion that she should perhaps have used the phrase "I'll spend the next two weeks seeing what I can't do to help". The next SW has not been much more help - in fact, she has been as unhelpful as she possibly could.

    It appears to me that they thrive on leaving the answering machine on, but never returning the calls. Whenever I have asked fairly important questions, I am met with "I'll have to refer elsewhere and get back to you", which I take to mean either "I don't know, I'll have to get the Code of Practice Book out and refer to it" or "I have to ask my Superiors, becauseI'm not allowed to take responsibility". But in the next breath, the SW tells me she has been appointed "Decision Maker" - but she can't tell me when, where, or who appointed her. God, I guess, because they consider themselves to be Gods, beyond questioning, beyond reproach, infallible, all-powerful Gods. They certainly don't resemble anything like the God of my religion.

    DIY is certainly the message that has come my way - one even just sent - by post, because she said she's not allowed to reply to emails!! - a list of "useful websites", but no other info whatsoever.

    Enough for now, I feel better already for having got that off my chest.
  8. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    #8 117katie, Nov 16, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2007
    Just wanted to say SORRY to all of you, for having written the message I left before re. Social Services/Social Workers.

    Have had a very bad day, and I used - and possibly abused Talking Point. Just to get things off my chest, even though I know that is one of the main strengths of TP, namely that we can all get things off our chests.

    Am feeling fairly humble now, perhaps because I have spread my doom-and-gloom about social workers.

    Perhaps what I should have said is that IF ANYONE OUT THERE HAS ANYTHING SUPERBLY POSITIVE TO SAY ABOUT SOCIAL SERVICES, then I long to hear about it, and where they are, and how come they can achieve that superbly positiveness.

    Sorry, folks, at the close of a bad day, I wish each and every one of a very happy good evening!

  9. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    Dear Eirian,I can praise social workers to the hilt(when i get what i want out of them!).The only problem i and my colleagues have with S/w is,they do not always tell the truth.In your case for a care package at home it may be different,but the lies the sometimes tell to have residents admitted to homes is unbelievable,and it's only after admission to the home that these problems come to the fold.Just make sure the packagae is watertight and adhered to.i love to care.love elainex
  10. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Sorry, folks, but my SW has been wonderfully supportive over the last 2 1/2 months.

    I won't go into details again, but if your're interested, read my thread Worried about John. I can't praise him enough. I've always found that in a crisis they are very good, though I do agree that it shouldn't take a crisis to get them moving.
  11. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    Dear Hazel,i feel like i am i battle with you at the moment.nothing i say is meant to upset or annoy anyone,I just put my feelings down as they are and consider them on my part to be of a fair reading to others.i mean no offence at all and only offer my advice as daughter of an A/Z sufferer and a carer in a care home.I battle every day for ours and others.sorry if my points are unacceptable to you and others,my side is both sides,which i am sure you can accept.i live care and i breath it and take my hats off to you who don't have any relief along the line.sorry for the rant elainex
  12. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Dear Elaine, I wasn't arguing with you. I was simply replying to Katie's request for any positive comments about SWs.

    Sorry if I didn't make that clear.
  13. rhallacroz

    rhallacroz Registered User

    Sep 24, 2007
    Positive note

    Hi Everyone.
    I am just wanting to balance the point of view and to say that my experience of social services has been excellent from the minute mum and i asked for help to this point now where my dad has 4 days at a daycentre and a direct payment which i manage to provide care for him. My Social worker is just fantastic always thinking of people who can help us from OT rails stairlifts,cpns incontinence advisors, etc etc everybody who touches our family are wonderful and i CANT SPEAK HIGHLY ENOUGH. The day centre staff are excellent in caring for dad, I have nothing to complain about. I wish that you all could have the same experience considering we live in a heavily elderly populated area I think they do a wonderful job. WELL DONE SEFTON. It just makes this difficult job a little easier to cope with.
  14. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    S.W. with my experience red rag to a bull

    Although I have pleased when people are getting the support for S.W.'s. There are so many of us that have had bad experiences. Yes, I have taken them on for the sake of my husband and his rights.
    My Case Worker is one in a million. C.H. dread the S.W. coming to visit my husband. Once in 6 months!!
    I am a very placid person, but when they have no idea what it is like for use nor aware of what we are going through are over paid and they are not oveworked as so many dedicated ones are. There always seems to be a bag apple amongs the the bunch.
    So we will all keep on fighting to get positive action for our loved ones. Good Luck. christine
  15. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Dear Katie,

    You were obviously at your wits end with frustrations when you made the first post - don't worry about it, we have all been there, and sometimes our reactions are a bit extreme (been there myself on many occasions), and in the cool light of day we calm down. It is my belief that one of the purposes of this forum is to let off steam, and it obviously did you good to do so. Which I am pleased about. I hope anyone who reads a similar post from me in the future (I am sure there will be one), will be understanding, and I know they will be, indeed already have been.

    I can't really comment on SWs. Ours seemed OK, but since mum was admitted to the Care Home nearly 4 months ago we have had no contact from her, and I did think she could at least check up on us to see how mum is doing, or visit mum herself. But that is not a complaint, I don't need her urgently (and I'm sure someone else does), just a concern.

    As with lots of things in life you have to push a bit. Or a lot. I am not very good at it, I am one of those people who thinks that if my job is to do A,B and C, it will be done. Unfortunately, other people seem to have reasons why it has not been done, and that is "okay" if you are waiting for a part for your dishwasher, but not if you are waiting for help in caring for a sick person.

    I wish you luck.


  16. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire

    I forgot to add that is was ME who was "trawling through posts", I took a bit of upset at that, but I have got over it now.

    I learn an awful lot from reading other people's posts, it helps to prepare me for when I might encounter the same problem.

    Hope you don't mind.

  17. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006

    Dear Katie.
    I`m pleased you were able to off load on TP, and feel you had no need to apologize. I wonder if you have made any progress in the couple of days since you posted.
    Whatever, I hope you are not feeling quite as distraught as you did.
    Love xx
  18. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    Am So Glad You Are All Out There!!!!

    So good to know that you Gals are always lurking out there!

    No, no progress made over the last couple of days ... but thank goodness just a quiet weekend, when we have been playing lots and lots of calming/quiet/and LOUD music on occasions. Just because that's the way it went.

    Had phone call at 4.30 pm on Friday which upset me enormously, from the "Matron" equivalent of the ward where my aunt has been since July, and it turns out that all the info that I sent about my concerns had reached her via the COMPLAINTS DEPARTMENT MANAGER with the wrong dates attached, so she has been looking into problems in November, when all those problems that I had complained (hate that word!!) about had happened in October.

    I taklked then about the fact that all my aunt's dresses had been removed from their hangers in the wardrobe, and dumped on the bottom of the wardrobe, and all the hangers removed ..... A LOCKED WARDROBE, with the key kept on the top of the wardrobe out of reach of my 83-year old,it turns out that she has been INVESTIGATING what happened to her underwear which had been dumped in the bottom of the wardrobe in November. I said that my aunt was a dressmaker, all her life, has 100 plus dresses in her wardrobe at home,all clean, ironed and presentable, but only about 10 in the hospital ward where she now is living, has always taken great pride in her appearance and she could not possibly have done that to all of the dresses in the wardrobe BUT SOMEBODY DID ......... NEED I GO ON? I never mentioned underwear. Back to square one.

    I get a reply saying that the Matron-equivalent has never ever seen my aunt "inappropriately dressed" - but I had never ever said that I had seen her inappropriately dressed either. SO, it turns out that each and every CONCERN (my word, which I prefer to COMPLAINT, which I never ever use) has been along the Chinese-whispers line from me to whoever. Upsets me a lot to know that whatever I do, or try to do, to achieve a better standard of care for our people, gets passed via the INCOMPETENT to the even less competent. Along the line, I am meant to work out why I can achieve nothing, and also to work out why the standards that I grew up with, which were in me from the day I was born, no longer apply to our world.

    Thanks, Margaret, for clarify the TRAWLING bit that I had forgotten. I have used the word trawling myself many times, when I have been trying to unravel the "knitting wool" of this minefield that we are all walking through. I have seen myself as a 6 year old, holding an unsightly mess of tangled wool,arms outstretched, while my Mum has been sitting opposite me, with her arms outstretched, turning it into something usable. So TRAWL and CRAWL and UNRAVEL and DE-KNOT and UNTANGLE are all words that I have used of late.

    Goodness, I am so glad that you are all out there - reading my touch-typing drivel!!!

    Take care, all of you, of yourself and of yours!!


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