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Carers UK Forum • Flexible break vouchers
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Flexible break vouchers

Posted: Wed May 13, 2015 9:52 pm
by Mary_15052
Hi - I have recently been told that l am entitled to flexible break vouchers as l care for my mum 24/7. My issue is that l have been contacted by a care agency which is only willing to help with care on an ongoing, regular, weekly basis. I was only looking for an ad hoc arrangement (ie. if l need someone to look after my mum when l have an appointment or something of that nature) but the agency lady said flexible breaks don't work like that despite the social worker understanding my requirements. Does anyone have any idea whether l am being told the truth - surely flexible should suggest flexibility?! Thank you.

Re: Flexible break vouchers

Posted: Thu May 14, 2015 6:34 am
by Henrietta
Hi Mary
What are the vouchers for- are they to provide care for your mum or are they to give you some respite time?
I have used agencies when I went away on holiday and a lot of them are reluctant to take on odd weeks here and there but some will do so. I found the original company that Dad used on hospital discharge woulld not come back to do a one off week once I stopped using them regularly. Phone around the local agencies until you find one that can manage it.
From the agencies point of view it is difficult for staff planning etc. They can't keep staff on to do nothing and then when the odd bit of extra work turns up they don't have any free hands to manage the extra hours. Keep looking.

Re: Flexible break vouchers

Posted: Thu May 14, 2015 8:26 am
by Mary_15052
Thanks for that, Henrietta - they have granted me three hours a week for someone just to come and sit with my mum to keep her company and supervise her mobility (l have said l will make sure all of her personal care and medications etc are done before l even think of going out of the door) .. I do feel like the social worker should have known the procedure before putting it forward!!! Mum would be OK for someone to come in as and when on an ad hoc basis if it were absolutely necessary (it took a LOT of convincing her) but she is not receptive to it being a regular arrangement as she is quite a private person and suffers from a condition that makes her anxious in company ... and to be honest, l am not either as it is not that l need a break every single week (after all, my social life is a little lacking these days and l have already built coping mechanisms in to my caring role). Thanks again for your advice. I do, of course, understand about the practicalities for care agencies but still think the word "flexible" is misleading.