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Private carers

(9 Posts)
Needmoresleep Tue 16-Apr-13 09:46:39

1. Have you sorted out you Grandmother's attendance allowance. This will go some way to meeting costs. (If you claim it is worth asking a friendly professional to run an eye through it first - evaluation is a bit tick box so you need to know how to answer the questions.) There should also be some sort of additional money for the first 6 weeks following discharge from hospital.

2. How much money does your Grandmother have? The advice I got from social services was that since my mother had sufficient means they would be recharging her at about the same rate as we would pay a private agency directly. Much better therefore to bypass them as we could then negotiate things we needed, eg one carer coming in five days a week and another two. If my mother was less well off however I would be disinclined to let SS off the hook, though would look for ways that allow maximum choice and input.

3. Ask everyone you come across what agencies they recommend. I am using a small local agency which is run by a former, and well respected, former health professional. The carers are great. I understand that larger national agencies can be of variable quality.

4. There comes a point where you may need to disregard your Grandmother's wishes in order to protect you or your mother. My mother was adamant she ate in the evening and so could not have lunch in her the "restaurant" in her supported housing. I told her that the first month was paid for automatically. Now she refuses to be taken out for lunch as lunch where she lives is the high point of the day. We are having a similar evolution with carers. I had been advised that if you can get someone regular they should eventually be accepted and effectively considered as friends, which going forward takes the pressure off the family. After two months my mother now flip flops between saying she does not need someone coming in and that they are a nuisance, to boasting to others how wonderful her carer is and telling me all about the carer's daughter. I would try a white lie along the lines of the hospital insists that a trained carer is comes in each day otherwise they wont allow a discharge. They dont think you or your mother have the proper skills.

I am half way through Hugh Marriott's "The Selfish Pig's Guide to Caring", recommended on another thread. Essential. You will have more context and insight than your Grandmother about what arrangements are sustainable into the longer term, eg what arrangements will meet her longer term interests rather than what she wants now. The carer battle is one I needed to win (I live 150 miles away from my mother) but even if family could cover in the short and medium term it is a battle you will need to fight at some stage so get it over now.

There is an emotional level. As I am the one who has taken on the POA and have been responsible for sorting out my mother's care, health and other assessments, accommodation and her complicated (chaotic) finances, I am seen as some form of unpaid PA to be complained about at every opportunity. No matter that I have effectively given up my life since she was discharged in December to get her back on an even keel in a safe and supported setting. Obviously she no longer has much insight, but it is still galling to hear her excitement about a proposed visit from one of my brother's children (who did not turn up) and the fuss about buying her a birthday present which I had to organise, when my teenage son, who spent Easter moving furniture for her, was barely acknowledged and whose birthday (in the same week) was completely ignored. Because of my involvement she seems to see me as someone who is there to look after her in the same way as she sees paid professionals. My brother in contrast, because he has stayed out of the day to day stuff, has not got a confused role and so can remain the cherished son. I hear this is not unusual, so having support should help maintain the more rewarding family relationship.

Charliefox Tue 16-Apr-13 08:41:06

Approach the carers directly. Lots of them do 'foreigners' to top up their wages.

gingeroots Mon 11-Mar-13 09:18:25

Could she try SS carers again ?

It's likely that she'll get a regular team of 3 or 4 that she'll get to know .

Actually ,thinking about it - IME here in London SS are desperately keen to push personal budgets where after SS assessment for care package the budget is paid to client and they ( with SS guidance I think ) employ carers themselves .

So speak to SS about that .

Age UK ,as always ,fund of info www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-care/help-at-home/self-directed-support/

fuckwittery Sat 09-Mar-13 20:35:08

My mum had the same person for overnight care every night except Sundays, and the Sunday lady could generally cover holidays. She had about 4 trusted ladies for her day calls (4 a day) who did the same times/days, will depend on how many calls your gran needs as to how many different carers it's reasonable to expect to cover all. It's a good idea to have two or three regulars then you can ask them to do extra for holidays.

purpleroses Sat 09-Mar-13 12:44:44

I don't think anywhere's going to guarantee the same person each time if she needs daily care - carers need days off. You'd think they could limit it to two or three, but my gran has found similarly that she doesn't like it when they change around. She also has a strange thing about not liking social services - so was more accepting when we described them as being from the care agency (even though social services sorted it out).

CocktailQueen Sat 09-Mar-13 12:38:36

Ring your local social services and they can give you a list of vetted private care companies. Good luck,
. They can guarantee the same person each time.

fuckwittery Sat 09-Mar-13 10:30:20

Would say it was better via an agency as well, regulated and cover if the regular carer is ill. Good luck.

fuckwittery Sat 09-Mar-13 10:29:42

Most social services careers come from private agencies who a paid by social services but will also provide private care.

You may have to ring a few to see if they can provide the same person or just a couple for the amount of calls your gran needs. Also if your gran was financially eligible for help with her SS care you can apply for direct payments to choose and pay the agency yourself.

check care quality commission website www.cqc.org.uk/ and search under care at home option - will give you list of local care agencies and how they have been rated

emmylou157 Fri 08-Mar-13 23:38:55

Hi,
Was wondering if anyone could give me some advice. My grandma is hopefully being discharged from hospital soon and will need some care. My mum lives close by but I don't want her to take all the responsibility as we have just lost my dad and Grandma is going to need quite a lot of help. She has previously had carers organised by social services but cancelled them as she did not like different people coming. She is very set in her ways and likes a certain routine for her personal care. Does anyone know how we would go about finding a private carer/company who could provide care with only a couple of people? I have considered advertising but am slightly worried as she is quite vunerable and not sure I would trust someone individually.
Thanks

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