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The system is rotten and fails the elderly - advice please! - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

The system is rotten and fails the elderly - advice please!

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
christina 17 wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:55 am

I was lucky or you could say mum, that these occasions did not happy too often but I made sure to say to the company that I thought that that the company as a whole and the care workers were doing a wonderful job and I am sure that it was just a rare slip up as I wanted to recommend the agency to friends. This may have helped to let them know that I valued their help to look after mum.
Mum and I probably were lucky tho in that any problems didn't persist.
But I knew I couldn't totally relax and had to be around on occasions to keep an eye on mum's care.

Wishing you all the best.
Christina.
Thank you Christina, that's an excellent strategy, try to keep them sweet and show them they're valued. We did try that (I do try to be charming when I first talk to them) but it always degenerates in the same way, as things never seem to improve, and it's an everyday occurrence. I think a lot of it is to do with the high demand area my mum lives in, with carers in short supply, and it seems to me the agencies are not interested at all in hearing about issues, as described above they're usually hostile.
Two further thoughts.
Write a "formal complaint" (really important to use those exact words) to the LA Complaints Department - should be on their website. Then if they don't respond within a given time you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman.
Contact the Care Quality Commission. They were very good when my mum's home care was poor.
I hope mum is already claiming Attendance Allowance.
Who is currently funding the carers, is mum fully self funding after a detailed financial assessment?
Hi Lars

Like BB I could write a book on inadequate carers- I've had three different agencies for Dad and work for a fourth .

One big question I have reading your post, is why on earth are the Council acting as some kind of buffer like middle man for you? Either the care is through Social Services and they pick up the bill or you employ an agency directly and enter into a business contract with them. If they don't keep their part of the deal, you complain, complain,complain and complain again-that is what YOU are paying for- a good service. You don't walk into a shop , ask for a pint of milk and pay them when they have run out and have none left on the shelf.
If your tare badly handled , complain higher up the tree to CQC and change agency.
bowlingbun wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:51 pm
Two further thoughts.
Write a "formal complaint" (really important to use those exact words) to the LA Complaints Department - should be on their website. Then if they don't respond within a given time you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman.
Contact the Care Quality Commission. They were very good when my mum's home care was poor.
I hope mum is already claiming Attendance Allowance.
Who is currently funding the carers, is mum fully self funding after a detailed financial assessment?
I believe in this case (different depends on the council I gather) we have to complain to them first, and then we can take it further if / when they don't do anything. Yes she gets Attendance Allowance and she's fully self funded, we sort out the assessment annually for her & she's going to go below it sometime at the beginning of next year, if not sooner.

But still excellent advice and I thank you again for your kind & thoughtful interventions :D
Henrietta wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:53 pm
Hi Lars

Like BB I could write a book on inadequate carers- I've had three different agencies for Dad and work for a fourth .

One big question I have reading your post, is why on earth are the Council acting as some kind of buffer like middle man for you? Either the care is through Social Services and they pick up the bill or you employ an agency directly and enter into a business contract with them. If they don't keep their part of the deal, you complain, complain,complain and complain again-that is what YOU are paying for- a good service. You don't walk into a shop , ask for a pint of milk and pay them when they have run out and have none left on the shelf.
If your tare badly handled , complain higher up the tree to CQC and change agency.
Hi Henrietta, thanks for your interest & thoughts; a good question. We don't have power of attorney which makes finances tricky (but are getting that). The other thing is that mum used to have a good agency we found, but due to her changing care needs, they can't support her any longer. When mum lost mobility, the council put in place a care plan after the standard free NHS rehab, and we kept on the same agency. When they withdrew, the council found another one. Basically, it's helpful for us that it's the council's problem to find her carers, as we're worried what would happen if that wasn't the case. And we don't even know where to start to find a good one - we've had bad experiences from several agencies that we frankly don't trust any of them. I suspect many get good ratings from "easy" clients but my mum has a lot of demanding needs and non of the agencies we've seen want anything to do with people like her if they can help it, no easy profit to be made there.

This sounds really selfish, but we're all desperately trying to hold down jobs and so to an extent need the council's help even if it is inadequate.
Not selfish at all, especially as the age of retirement is going up and up. With regard to the money, are you aware of the DWP "Appointee" scheme. Google for full information, but very briefly it means benefits are paid to the appointee, into a dedicated bank account just for the benefits. A really good half way house between nothing and POA. Mum could also give you "third party mandate" to manage one of her own bank accounts, if she so wishes. Why is she against you having POA?
bowlingbun wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:25 pm
Not selfish at all, especially as the age of retirement is going up and up. With regard to the money, are you aware of the DWP "Appointee" scheme. Google for full information, but very briefly it means benefits are paid to the appointee, into a dedicated bank account just for the benefits. A really good half way house between nothing and POA. Mum could also give you "third party mandate" to manage one of her own bank accounts, if she so wishes. Why is she against you having POA?
I haven't heard of it, no! She isn't against it, on the contrary, she's just signed it off, just that it took us a while to get our act together. Then we can really help her with things like personal budgets and maybe then even look into picking care agencies.

Thank you yet again bowlingbun :D
Lars .... you kindly replied to my post yesterday about my Mum and I have to say I agree with you about your title "the system is rotten and fails the elderly."

Over the last couple of years I have spoken to scores of people who have had bad experiences with either agency workers but more particularly with care homes. I honestly can't think of a single person who said their parents received excellent care.

My mum had carers in for a few months and they were generally punctual, friendly and polite. When she started having so many falls she went into a care home. They absolutely pulled the wool over our eyes and at first it was great. As time went on little things deteriorated, or the staff didn't "care" as much and if we said anything they made out we were the ones at fault. I heard comments behind my back that we were always complaining. That simply isn't true, we ASKED questions about Mums Care and we never got satisfactory answers. So I can see what you mean about you being classed as the same.

Where we have just removed Mum from (while she is in hospital) has just two careworkers on at night for 20 residents. They haven't got time to answer the phone if families need them, they haven't got time to chat to the residents, they are putting people to bed earlier and earlier just so they get round them all. Mum said if she needed the commode in the night they were really snappy with her and very bossy.

It's a nightmare. All these rules and regulations, health and safety, CQC reports etc and still these poor quality homes get away with it. I feel for you, I really do.
Hi Lars

I understand what you are saying, but you have no control over things the way they are. The council have a duty to find you care- yes certainly and they should have a team that support self funders in order to do this. If the Council are mearly passing on their own invoices to you , then not having POA makes little difference because you still have to settle up one way or another.
The Council should be helping you find the care but not playing middle man with the payment. It should still be a private contract with you having control. I certainly wouldn't be happy with that arrangement. There seems to be no accountability.
Penny wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:27 pm
Lars .... you kindly replied to my post yesterday about my Mum and I have to say I agree with you about your title "the system is rotten and fails the elderly."

Over the last couple of years I have spoken to scores of people who have had bad experiences with either agency workers but more particularly with care homes. I honestly can't think of a single person who said their parents received excellent care.

My mum had carers in for a few months and they were generally punctual, friendly and polite. When she started having so many falls she went into a care home. They absolutely pulled the wool over our eyes and at first it was great. As time went on little things deteriorated, or the staff didn't "care" as much and if we said anything they made out we were the ones at fault. I heard comments behind my back that we were always complaining. That simply isn't true, we ASKED questions about Mums Care and we never got satisfactory answers. So I can see what you mean about you being classed as the same.

Where we have just removed Mum from (while she is in hospital) has just two careworkers on at night for 20 residents. They haven't got time to answer the phone if families need them, they haven't got time to chat to the residents, they are putting people to bed earlier and earlier just so they get round them all. Mum said if she needed the commode in the night they were really snappy with her and very bossy.

It's a nightmare. All these rules and regulations, health and safety, CQC reports etc and still these poor quality homes get away with it. I feel for you, I really do.
Thanks a lot, Penny. In a way it's good to know we're not the only ones "causing trouble". I think it will be 100 times worse when she has to go to a home, too. At least at the moment mum has a modicum of control & dignity. I can imagine care homes putting on a face to the relatives then acting differently when you've gone. We actually installed a small camera at mum which as well as being able to check if she's OK, gives us useful evidence on how the carers are performing. I know in care homes people have use fake alarm clock cameras to catch people out. It's sad of course you have to think like that but it's nevertheless useful. It's shocking really our society has come to this. I hear in Germany you pay insurance into a scheme that funds care, and it's compulsory, not sure how true that is but sounds like a good idea.