Carers not Caring!

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Hi my brother and I are at uni so my mum's been having care agency attend twice a day for the last 2.5 yrs. She is in constant pain and has many meds inc control drugs and steroids. She often falls and loses her balance suffering from osteo arthritis and back surgery has respiratory problems with asthma and copd. Anemia, bowel disease and colitis with many severe flare ups. The sw changed care agency as mum was od'd by a carer. New carers did assessment and checked equipment aids and the bathroom and kitchen. We have a trained dog who stays in the kitchen and the carers let dog out in the garden and on the way out lock the back door for the night. Our dog went to training school is a quiet friendly dog. So the manager was happy with everything (giving him lots of hugs), and days later a care plan was done. My mum has no problems with the morning call for who she has a regular carer, who does meds, lets dog out, does my mum's wash and breakfast. But the night carer is scared of dogs and will not go to the kitchen, so I have found out that she gives my mum meds and runs out the door. So mum's got no sandwich or soup, no wash, back door left open and no clean water to drink. Mum has panic attacks very anxious and very scared. Carer tells office unable to my mums night call so another carer came there were no problems and did what was in the care plan. After a week she shouting at my mum saying that she was given 3 extra calls and she had her own patients to do who were elderly. So had a meeting was going to send someone else but the original carer has been coming and yet again trying to get my mum to go and walk to the kitchen to let dog out. The back door is left open mum can't turn stiff key. So no food she's hungry, no wash or drink given. She writes on the book left secure and safe and fed and watered. She doesn't want to do the call but supervisor still sends her as it's her area. We checked mum's calls were going to be ok and management was fine before signing care plans. Any help?
This is dreadful Ruby, Poor Mum and poor you worrying whilst trying to study.
I'm not clear, are Social Services involved at all, or is this a private arrangement with the Care company? Advice depends on which it is.
Elaine
Hi Ruby
I had problems with last hopeless care agency who kept sending carers terrified of dogs. I have a gentle friendly giant of a dog and anyone can see she wouldn't hurt a fly and is often found hiding behind my legs. I have seen care workers turn white as a sheet when they meet her and almost faint with fear. I don't blame the care workers because I appreciate not everyone is mad about dogs and mine is very big, but the agency know she is here so the office was totally useless at providing suitable care workers.
When I changed agency , I went overboard on stressing that I would not accept carers who were fearful of dogs. There have been one or two occasions when I have been out until lunch time and I have left a note asking care worker to put dog on lead and take round garden. This is a more important part of the job to me than emptying the commode as it means I have confidence leaving the house for that long.
You must stress that this is unacceptable for all sorts of reasons and to provide suitable carers.
This is really serious. Raise it with soxial services as a safeguarding issue, then ring the care quality commission.
Hi, Thankyou for quick replies I really don't know what to do. There are other things like on 2 nights a week my mum has extra time allocated for bath and hair wash. When the carer comes she tells mum sorry I'm only down for 30 mins so I can not do it, I don't have time. .."Ohh Yes you do I have got 45 mins" says mum. so mum has NOT had a bath or a wash for 4 weeks now since these carers have started, but in the book they have written a full bath was given once and all the other times my mum (after putting hot water on) refused refused having a bath. I didn't know how this carer gets away with lying. Mum's time is 7 am and 8.30pm but the scared carer has now been coming earlier and earlier like 5pm to give meds with inhalers and sleeping meds. She is fed up of bad nights. Her social worker has changed over her care to a different agency who said they would honour the care plan they agreed to . But unfortunately they keep sending mum this 1 carer who's scared of dogs and refuses to go in the kitchen. So tonight I phoned mum and I stayed on the line my mum put her fone down. Carer came in went to put tablets in the pot. Got all the inhalers and picked up the beaker which was empty so she said your dog's in the kitchen and i can't get you a drink and again ran out of the house and I heard everything. No medication given, no wash, NO FOOD now 2 nights and has Not left my mum safe and secure with the back door wide open not locked, my mum's petrified. A meeting was called last Thursday and my mums social worker has gone on 3 weeks holiday but another lady came who did not know my mum's disabilities, diseases, arthritis, etc. And a different person from the agency came and it was tit for tat saying we are here to care for your needs and not spending time attending to a dog. For the last 2.5 yrs my mum's carers would give the dog 2 cups of dry food and lock the back door whilst waiting for mum's soup in the microwave, so no lost time. The sw was a waste of time. Its social care that has been provided via the local authority and I think Mum pays a little bit which comes out of her DLA. This manager promised he would send another carer, a replacement. ..... but no it's the same carer again, as they do not have nobody else because they all do their own geographical area. This is questionable when my mum has had 5 different carers in the morning but in the evening they still send this care who does not want to attend. So at night no meds if my mum has finished water in beaker, no drink left for the night, no food given, no strip wash, not closing and locking back door leaving my mum scared with panic attacks at night and during the day. What can me and my brother do?
Hi Ruby
So sorry to hear what has been happening. I think perhaps CQC should be informed especially as the LA is providing most of the care package. This is simply not good enough. I think CQC need to be informed mum is being put at risk and the agency are simply not sending suitable carers or complying with your request not to send a certain carer into your house.

Have your tried any phone calls with the care agency office, although with my own experiences they seem to be more to blame than the carers for most of the unacceptable things happening?

I think you should also speak to the Adult Social Services at your local council who commission the care package and explain everything to them that you have state here.

I should save CQC until you have complained to both the agency and the local authority and got no where. If you've already done both of those , then get on to CQC straight away.
Hi Henrietta thankyou for replying & everyone else it's so good to be able to know about this forum. A meeting was called at home, when my mum kept asking for a replacement carer. Another SW went as mum's is on holiday. A new member of management from the care agency went but it was not the manager who did the assessment and care plan. So 2 people not really aware of my mums needs. Unfortunately when mum told them what was going on the SW kinda sided with the care agency when shown the daily record book seeing the only 2 occasions where the carer had lied and left without looking at the actual care plan. However, they said they would send a different carer, but they haven't and things have got worse. Still sending the carer who doesn't want to go who is not fulfilling any duties so my brother phoned the office and they said my mum must walk to put the dog outside and if she can walk (with aids and difficulties) to the toilet then she can go to the kitchen to put the dog in the garden! This is the reason why mum has carers because she can't do this and really struggled when the carer forces her to do it and takes up 15 mins of her 30 mins time. Still the door is unlocked and left not safe. I fear that today Monday, the agency will withdraw from care due to the night carer being scared of our pet dog who stays in the kitchen and garden. They have sent at least 4 to 6 different carers for the morning call but they refuse to send anyone else apart from the lady who is scared of dogs. What can we do if they stop going. I see it was mentioned about speaking to "CQC" who are they? Is there anything that can be done about changing yet again to another agency who can meet mum's needs? Although her care is government funded I read another post mentioning about direct payments don't know if that is possible? I would like to thank you all for listening x
Hi Ruby
Presumably you have your Easter break coming up so you and your brother can get home and hopefully get this sorted.
Have you a branch of Age Concern (or whatever they are called now) near you. Make an appointment either at the offices of for someone to come out. They may well be able to help.
Does Mum have attendance allowance? If not apply.
Does Mum have all the benefits she might be entitled to? An e-mail to this site or at least read through the Help sections might well help.
Care Quality Commission The independent regulator of all health and social care services in England
www.cqc.org.uk/
Direct Payments. When the money allocated for your Mum's care is paid into a bank account and is spent, from that account on the care needed, by Mum or you. This enables you to choose your own Care Company and hours, duties etc. Look it up on this site or on .gov Records need to be kept.
Other things you ought to get in place in order to be able to help Mum in the future.
POAs - (Power of Attorney) both for health and for finance. This will cost over £200.00 for both but well worth it. Look it up on .gov site. You can complete on line, print off and submit. Read carefully.
Write a letter to the Care Company expressing your concern and dissatisfaction. Send a copy of the letter to Head of Social Services. Be careful with wording, do not accuse outright without proof.
While you are at home stand over the carer, if indeed it's the same one and make sure she carries out her duties.
This is a very unsatisfactory situation if not downright dangerous.
In the meantime, is there any friend, neighbour or relative who could pop in on Mum after the night carer has left to check all is well and to note down anything amiss?
All very worrying for you and your brother.
Elaine
The Care Quality Commission are fantastic at stepping in and fighting care companies or councils for you. I was in tears at the way our local council was treating my husband with lack of carers trained in catheter care and they were extremely helpful and supportive to me. She took on my fight with the council who were giving me the excuse that they had no money left in their budget to employ "Extra Personal Carers" as it costs more to send normal carers on a course. She informed them that had no righ taking on clients if they did not have the staff to fulfil their care package. Definitely phone them, you can find a contact number on google.
Could your mum not get rid of the dog and then the care worker would not have an excuse. Surely your mum getting the care she needs is more important than having an animal? Unless I am mistaken and it is a service dog. I can understand the care workers feeling about dogs as I was badly bitten in the face by a dog when I was 4 and I can't stand them.

Eun