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to worry about elderly care?

(12 Posts)
Whatisitthistime Mon 05-Sep-11 22:14:55

MY PIL are in their 90s.

They are both fully mentally aware, unfortunately their bodies are not what they used to be.

They want to remain in their own home, and fortunately have the means to pay for their care.

They pay for 2 carers to come in 3 times a day, it is done through the council via an agency, but they pay the council for the number of hours they require the care.

The carers are meant to come in the morning for 2 hours to get them dressed, prepare breakfast, help my MIL eat the food, change the bedding, and any time left over do light housework (such as washing up the 2 cups and 2 plates in the sink). They then are meant to come for an 1 hour at lunch time, to prepare lunch, feed MIL, and wash up. They then come for 2 hours in the evening to prepare dinner, feed MIL, get them ready for bed and run the hoover around.

So far this month: -

they have arrived at 11am for the breakfast stint, so PILs have been stuck in bed all that time with no food/drink.
forced MIL to have a drink when she has a) said she doesn't want one and b) laid flat on her back on the bed.
arrived at 3pm for the "evening" stint, and put them to bed then
rushed through the basic care of the PILs and then sat on the sofa for the remaining 1hr 45mins watching television rather than doing housework.
place their drinks out of their reach once in bed so that they can't reach them, despite requests for it to be nearer.

This is just a few examples of the treatment they have had.

We as their children feel guilty that we don't live nearer to be able to care for them ourselves, but find this treatment of paid carers shockingly awful.

timidviper Mon 05-Sep-11 22:24:38

This is awful, but sadly happens a lot. It may not console you to know that the care in care homes is not always much better. Carers are very poorly paid and undervalued so there is often a high turnover and, unfortunately, some of them fall far short of the standards you and I would like to see. I worked in "Care of the elderly" for years and it is a heartbreaking job as, despite CQC and all the standards in place, it is still far from uniformly good.

Do you know anybody nearby who could pop in and monitor it? Or are you near enough that you and siblings could arrange e.g. for one of you to go for a day each month on an unannounced (to the carers anyway) basis.

Whatisitthistime Mon 05-Sep-11 22:27:08

My BIL goes once a week, and makes it known that the parents are thought of, and more importantly reminds that the PILs are compense mentus.

The problem is the carers are very rarely ever the same ones twice.

We go over at least once a fortnight, more if possible.

purplepidjin Mon 05-Sep-11 22:31:56

The carers themselves will be given a roster of who they need to visit each day, then expected to fit everyone in. The person you need to put a rocket up is the co-ordinator of the agency (who will be on a decent, permanent, guaranteed salary unlike the dom carers), who thinks that two hours of breakfast care can be started at 11am angry

Five hours a day sounds like quite a nice job for one person - have you thought about hiring a housekeeper instead? You/they should be eligible for Direct Payments so that they control who they hire; an advert in the newsagents/local paper would likely find a nice sahp or two (jobshare) in need of some extra income which would provide your parents with a regular routine and someone they can come to trust and build a relationship with.

Your parents are the employers in this situation - a fact which seems to be forgotten all too often hmm

purplepidjin Mon 05-Sep-11 22:36:39

X post!

If you and BIL can cover the weekends, you could get someone just for weekdays

25 hours per week @ £6.50 ph = £162.50 per week. I bet that's a lot more reasonable than the agency gets, yet is the rate they're likely paying the actual carer. You can probably get tips on doing the PAYE etc from Nanny websites... Plus, this way you could have someone in for a bit longer and they could go out for coffee etc

Pidj hopes Whatisit's parents are nearby so I can get myself a nice new job

ggirl Mon 05-Sep-11 22:40:44

You need to speak to your parents Care Manager and explain the problems. Ask for a different /better agency to provide the care, or phone some up yourself and explain the situation.
This is clearly neglect, keep a written account of your complaints.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Mon 05-Sep-11 22:47:03

Wholeheartedly second pidgin's advice. Your dps are paying for an agreed service that they are not receiving.

It may be more cost effective to employ a live-in or out carer/housekeeper if family members can provide cover for one or two days at weekends.

Alternatively, work out a rota and look for 3/4 local caring individuals to meet your dps needs.

Whatisitthistime Tue 06-Sep-11 08:18:15

Wasn't aware of the direct payments thing.

I'm going to investigate this further, and see if we can employ a couple of people ourselves.

It requires two carers at a time, to be able to lift them out of bed, using a hoist.

coccyx Tue 06-Sep-11 08:23:15

Yes, you don't have to use any agency.

Imnotaslimjim Tue 06-Sep-11 08:29:40

Unfortunately in this environment there are carers and then there are people that care. It sounds like your poor PIL have got carers sad

You definitely need to speak to their manager and get it looked into. But if they are paying for it themselves, hiring a private carer would be the way to go. Its something I'm looking at going into once my DD is in full time school next year (I did it for 7 years before having my DS)

wishiwasholdingaachinegun Tue 06-Sep-11 09:26:57

I work in care and I'm SHOCKED by your post.

That shouldn't be happening, absolutely not!

Personally I think you should eploy people yourselves. Would cut down on fees as you won't be paying an agency, you'll get to pick the people doing the caring and can follow your instincts regarding whether they're suitable or not.

purplepidjin Tue 06-Sep-11 10:03:57

Whatis, do plenty of research. They'll be entitled to all sorts of things, but you have to find out for yourself because the government bods won't tell you (don't necessarily know themselves sometimes!)

I work with adults with learning difficulties, so it's a somewhat different, but I would imagine they'd have a Care Manager from the local Social Work team?

Make sure you investigate qualifications carefully. Make sure anyone you employ has First Aid,Basic Food Hygiene, Manual Handling (something relevant to using a hoist - I'm afraid I just trust my company to deal with what training I need blush) and Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults are a bare minimum. Worth offering a bit extra to someone with an NVQ 3/equivalent as well, it shows that they've made an effort to become qualified in the field and that they therefore take it seriously. Although, saying that one of my hardest working colleagues has never been offered the chance to work for an NVQ. She does have lots of experience in different settings though - look for stints of over 9 months in the same place to see if someone has staying power.

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