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Problems with carers and their agencies. - Carers UK Forum

Problems with carers and their agencies.

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HI, I am new to the website. Can anyone tell me how they manage to keep carers, and their agency in check. My Mum and Dad are looked after by carers they are elderly and becoming infirm.

I work full time and try to take care of them when I can.

However, I am constantly disatisfied with the agencies antics and the carers. The agency swaps its times without warning. Some refuse to bath Mam, some come in and dont clear up and leave the place in a total mess. One refused to pop out to the shop for emergency supplies, (toilet roll), I was 30 mile away at work.

I feel like I am battling the odds all the time, with them.

How do you deal with them?
Hi Linda and welcome.
Your parents should have a care plan which states what is required of the care workers who come in and there should be a written record of what they have done per visit, signed by your parents to say they agreed with what was written.
I don't have much experience of care agencies as we've only had two, the first was abysmal, but the one we use now is excellent, though our circumstances are somewhat different as I live my caree so am on hand.
Hi Linda, and welcome to the Forum, You are not alone in struggling with this; I too find the service less than satisfactory. Not always the carers' fault, who have an impossible workload and buses between carees to catch. Is the agency chosen by Social Services or by you? If the former, it is more difficult. Do your parents have a different carer each time? I have complained myself to the agency about this and (eventually) my mum now has two regular women. I have then "turned up" when they were there to quiz them about how much time is allotted and what they think they can / should do within that time. Another thought, do your parents (as does my mum) tell the carers they don't need anything and then complain after? Lots of questions, I know, and not so many answers. Good luck, Anne
Im so sorry you are having problems with your carers.Can you not find private carers to look after your parents? I have a group of 4 carers who are self employed that look after my Dad. They are brilliant, they have a care plan and keep a record of everything they do. They have a printed timetable of who will visit at what time of day so Dad knows who is coming They charge £13 per hour which I think may be about the norm. They all have my mobile phone number so text or phone me if they think I need to be aware of anything and likewise I will text them if I have any worries. We leave each other notes and I can always call Sara ( shes the carer that is kind of in-charge) if I need any advice or support. Im sure there are other great carers out there, can your district nurse not suggest anyone ?( thats who recommended ours)
I do hope you can find someone, I know how important it is to feel that your loved ones are being looked after well.
Good luck
Hi, The social services are taking about me becoming an official carer who can get involved in organising stuff, and something called direct payments I am not sure about this really, I work full time, does anyone have any advice on that one at all?
Hi ! In my experience direct payments type arrangement give you more freedon in terms of what care is arranged and who provides etc BUT it gives you more responsibility and potentially more grief. from what you say you want an agency that turns up more or less when they should and whose carers do what has been agreed beforehand, on the Care Plan. Your frustrations are quite common. I am on the second agency and now grit my teeth most of the time. Perhaps you should ask for a Review and give your concerns a good airing and then set a deadline. Then you might take your business elsewhere, but you may be tied in if it is via Social Services.

Wish there was an easy answer but communicating assertively does help, but staff are expecting to do too much in too little time. But that does not excuse some things. My experience has been much like Anne's.

Consider Direct Payments but ensure you can handle the extra work.

Both my mum and son are disabled and have carers. Mum is currently in hospital and I've been trying to make her house less cluttered for her. Unfortunately, I could smell gas in her garage, and ended up staying there all day, so to pass the time away thought I'd check her food cupboards to make sure none of the food was out of date. By the time I'd finished I had a kitchen table full of outdated food. The oldest was 1995!!!!! Today, the care manager came to see me to talk about discharge arrangements, mum told her she was happy with the carers!
My youngest son is brain damaged, but lives alone with support workers. I reminded him several times that it was his brother's birthday last Sunday, 15th January. He told me he'd posted the card, or rather the carer had said she would post it. It didn't come. On Wednesday I had a card from the Post Office saying that something had been sent to us with insufficient postage, I needed to collect it from the PO 2 miles away and pay £1.22. It was the card - franked the day after Paul's birthday, with an ordinary 2nd class stamp rather than a 1st class large letter stamp. The support worker concerned used to be a teacher. This is the latest in a catalogue of failures, yet this agency is supposed to be the best in the area. Goodness knows what the worst is like.