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Care Workers - Rant - Carers UK Forum

Care Workers - Rant

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I have had to use the services of care workers since mid November to get my wife toileted on days when I'm at work. They come in 3 times (half hour visits) when I'm day shift and once late evening when I'm night shift.
Even though I have supplied the company with a copy of my work pattern several months ahead, my wife has had to phone them up on two occasions so far because they haven't had her booked in as requiring visits! On one occasion they made their last visit of the day at the time I was getting home from work (3 hours after they should have).
I've come home from work to find lights left on. On one occasions, lights were left on, on the landing, in the dining room and in the kitchen. I've left a note attached to the inside of the front door to remind them to turn lights off, even so a couple of weeks ago I came home from night shift to discover the kitchen light had been left on all night. All my efforts to reduce energy consumption and costs now count for nothing.
On Thursday when I got home from work, I thought the house felt a little cold so felt the radiator only to find it was cold. When I went upstairs to get my wife out of bed I discovered the reason why the radiators weren't on. The care workers had left the hot tap running in the bathroom! Image
On Friday as I was going out to work I went to straighten the table runner on the dining room table and found that it wouldn't move. I discovered that at some point the care workers had knocked a bottle of fragrance oil over which I keep on the dining room table (one of those reed diffuser things). If they had tried to clean it up, they hadn't done very good job because when I did manage to detach the runner from the table, the varnish on the table was removed too (an area about 4 inches). Image
I was livid. A quick and abrupt phone call to the company has resulted in; the director of the company is coming out to see me on Monday (tomorrow). I hope he brings a flack jacket with him - he'll need it.
Surely care workers are meant to help us, relieve us of problems and stress. Not create problems and stress! Image
Know how you feel.They,and pretty well everyone else in the caring "profession " can do what they like because nobody is ever seen to be responsible.The best we get is "lessons will be learnt".Care workers,cleaners,nurses,doctors,when do they ever get disciplined,when do they ever get sacked.Never.And it`s the same with teachers.Our education standards are close to the lowest in Europe,so what happens,standards are lowered to make exams passable.Ever heard of a teacher being sacked for failing to teach kids to read and write?Ever heard of a nurse being sacked for not ensuring a patient has enough to drink or preventing bed sores.Ever heard of a carer being sacked for not turning up to see a client,leaving that client in distress.It never happens.Welcome to the 21st century. Image
Know how you feel.They,and pretty well everyone else in the caring "profession " can do what they like because nobody is ever seen to be responsible.The best we get is "lessons will be learnt".Care workers,cleaners,nurses,doctors,when do they ever get disciplined,when do they ever get sacked.Never.And it`s the same with teachers.Our education standards are close to the lowest in Europe,so what happens,standards are lowered to make exams passable.Ever heard of a teacher being sacked for failing to teach kids to read and write?Ever heard of a nurse being sacked for not ensuring a patient has enough to drink or preventing bed sores.Ever heard of a carer being sacked for not turning up to see a client,leaving that client in distress.It never happens.Welcome to the 21st century. Image
You're spot on there Michael.
There was a time when I really respected Nurses, care workers, social workers etc but no longer I'm afraid. I think it's terrible that some old people sit at home waiting for paid carers to come and get them up and washed and they might turn up at 10 o'clock and the old person has often been in bed since 4.30 the night before!! My friend's neighbour reliers on carers and they turn up when they like, flit in and flit out and the poor old dear doesn't WANT to go to bed at that time but she has no choice. I hope that never happens to me I tell you!
Could not agree more. My mum relies upon carers week-ends when I am not staying with her. The past two weeks the carers have caused problems which have increased her anxiety ten fold, then she rings me and with much difficulty tries to explain the problem. resulting in me phoning the agency to see whats happening. Then I usually get another bill for them to return to the property to put things right ! Eg yesterday the carer failed to lock mum's front door when she left the property. Pretty basic stuff. Yes, I am paying for them to look after mum and ensure she is safe and calm while I am not around. Does it work ? Hardly ever. Are the carers staying for less time than agreed and yet still being billed for the full amount of time, you bet I am ! Am I sick of it ?? You tell me.

Not a lone rant. More of a Rant Chorus !

Robert
It is scary stuff.

Melly1
Wow, I thought my experiences were maybe just an isolated case but it appears from reading your replies, they're not!
The last thing I want is to worry about what I'm going to find when I get home from work, but after lights being left on, taps left running and damage to the dining room table, it's starting to get that way. Lynne (my wife) tells me that it only take them a few minutes to sort her out with her toilet visit and the care workers spend the rest of the time downstairs in the dining room.
I'm seriously thinking of getting a camera installed!
I have already changed care agency but dont think there is much between them. I think its generally better if you get consistancy with the Carers but these days most agencies get a lot of turnover and the Carers have too many visits to do. Mum now obsessively records what they do in five minute intervals. They are never with her for as long as the time I get billed for. I have tried to resolve it but short of hiding in the shrubs outside, its hard to prove. And frankly, I dont always have the energy to keep complaining. But I do speak with the agency, face to face, now and again to try and keep them on their toes. Their office is close to where mum lives. But I cant see any benefit for my efforts. If I complain, the office staff give a look of surprise and shock. I think they have NVQ level two in looking sincerely shocked and disappointed. Yesterday, after another problem, I spoke with mum on the phone to say everything was sorted and ok. "Until the next time" came her reply. How true.

We have to remain optimistic of course. Hope things will pick up. And hope that I might start believing that.

Robert
When we had care workers coming in to Mum it was a continual battle for me getting them to do things that were needed...the kitchen would be left with dishes all over the drainer, food put back in the fridge in tins and it used to take me a few hours every time I went over to clean the place up.

When I complained that they were in and out and not staying for the time paid for the standard answer was always "we are busy"....not my problem, sort it!!! They just can't seem to understand that the visit itself is often as important as the work they do as for some people their visits are the only contact they have with another human being.

I remember that time with some sadness obviously that it was not possible for Mum to have first class care in her final months at home but it wasn't for want of trying. Something that bothers me now is what about all those poor old souls who don't have anyone to speak up for them in similar situations?

It is important that we complain, complain and complain until things are put right.

Bell
My mum was discharged at 5pm on friday, with a newly fitted long term catheter. She can't manage to empty the bag herself, so carers were arranged at new times so that they could attend to the bag. Not one carer this weekend visiting mum had been told about the newly fitted catheter. One arrived two and a half hours early, this led to a chain of events that ended with mum falling and a paramedic being called. Mum used to have lots of cutlery, now I'm going to have to buy some more as there is not one proper teaspoon left in the house!
Bell, I just get tired and exhausted complaining so much to the Agency. And it seems to make no difference. Mum even writes little notes to put around her flat to remind the Carers what to do, and what not to do. "Does that work ?" I hear you ask. Do you need an answer ? Exactly.

Teaspoons ! What ! Surely they are not being nicked ? Are they solid gold or something ??? But nothing would surprise me. Except having a quiet peaceful week this time around....

Robert