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To think that one rotten care home is not the only one ...

(80 Posts)
Wuldric Fri 18-Oct-13 22:38:10

Story about Orchid View here.

My Great Aunt is in a care home. It is her third, and the best one. The other two were dreadful. Her clothes get muddled, they don't come when she rings to go to the loo, the food is diabolical, one of the nurses is born again and insists on trying to convert her, her room is pokey ... Fortunately at the age of 97 she is still compos mentis, is continent and doesn't need medication. But if she were incontinent, she would be left wet/dirty. For sure. If she needed medicating, they would get the dosage wrong. If she had dementia, no-one would even know ...

This stuff goes on day after day. It's not just one care home. It's all of them. It is a scandal and a disgrace.

WestieMamma Fri 18-Oct-13 22:42:39

It's terrifying for people with elderly loved ones, that's for sure. My dad had Parkinson's and dementia and my mum had to care for him at home, with carers coming in to bath and dress him. She was too terrified to even take up the respite care she was offered.

HesterShaw Fri 18-Oct-13 22:47:37

I can't bear for my dad to go into one of those places for a week but he is. My mum needs a break and they live too far away for me to take up the slack. It's terrifying.

EndoplasmicReticulum Fri 18-Oct-13 23:08:03

My grandfather spent two years in a care home. All the staff were caring and looked after him very well, even though he could be difficult at times (dementia). When he was dying they were determined that he could stay there rather than go into hospital, and a staff member would sit with him all night. The excellent care he got there helped my elderly grandmother feel much better about him "having" to go into a home as she could not cope with him at home, and my family will always be grateful for how they cared for him and made his last two years as happy as they could be.

EndoplasmicReticulum Fri 18-Oct-13 23:10:55

Just wanted to give another view point, I am sorry for all those whose family members have been in terrible homes and obviously something needs to change.

lifeinthefastlane1 Fri 18-Oct-13 23:18:31

just started work in a care home as a domestic,the carers are lovely, but there is not enough carers to help with the residents when they need them straight away sometimes they are left waiting for help (and this in itself is a form of abuse), I have only been there a week I am looking for another job as we speak, I am not cut out for this work...

PomBearWithAnOFRS Fri 18-Oct-13 23:23:39

Having worked in a care home for two years once, I would sincerely actually smother one of my loved ones before I would put them in one of those places. It was just awful - I could rant for hours about the various horrible things I witnessed, even now, 10 years on (with the home I worked in closed down completely after the owners were prosecuted over the death of a resident) I still start to cry when I think about some of it.
I was employed as a cleaner, totally unqualified to do any care work at all, and ended up working a 12 hour night shift, responsible for 38 people, handing out medications, doing the security and safety checks, writing all the care plans, continence care, some of the residents had full blown dementia, and making breakfast for 12 of them and feeding them, with one 16 year old YTS girl to help confused
I shall stop now, I am upsetting myself - it was just awful and I rather fear that where I worked was more the norm than the exception sad sad

GobbySadcase Fri 18-Oct-13 23:26:00

It's not just elderly care though, remember Winterbourne View?

There's a massive care scandal in this country. The work carers do is undervalued financially and morally and this is the price we pay.

I don't think standards will improve when the care sector is made part of the Work Programme.

PomBearWithAnOFRS Fri 18-Oct-13 23:28:06

I just realised - I am so sorry if my post has upset anyone whose relatives are currently in a home or in need of one - there ARE lovely homes out there, with caring staff, it's just that the one I ended up working in was one of the worst ones.
There are signs to look for, you know if they are looking after their residents properly, and your "gut feeling" is actually probably usually correct too. If it seems warm and loving and homely when you arrive to visit, then chances are it is. If it smells, is cold, the staff are always BUSY but never seem to be busy actually with a resident, there are people just sitting around vacantly staring at a blaring TV, these are the warning signs... just pay a bit of heed.
I also noticed, that, residents whose relatives visit often, were much better treated than residents who hardly ever or never got visitors - the management very much knew which side their bread was buttered so to speak. Residents who payed their own way were also better treated than those the council paid the fees for too confused

tallwivglasses Fri 18-Oct-13 23:32:35

PomBear sad

My dd's boyfriend worked in a care home and the stories were pretty similar to yours - minimal staffing, untrained, 'old-school' attitudes. Very distressed clients. He had to leave. I swear I hope I'll have the chance to top myself before I ever have to exist like that.

lifeinthefastlane1 Sat 19-Oct-13 00:06:34

I can never understand why the most vulnerable people in our communities are cared for by people who are paid minimum wage and need a bare minimum of qualifications.

PomBearWithAnOFRS Sat 19-Oct-13 01:49:43

It is weird how the fees are so damn high when the wages are so damn low. I was there in 1998 and 1999, and we got paid 10 hours at £2.68 an hour for a 12 hour shift as a carer, be it day or night. I was actually employed as a cleaner and got £2.53 an hour for 7 hours of the 8 hours from 7.30am - 3.30 pm. No allowance was made for the days I worked 7.30am - 3.30 pm, went home, came back for 8pm and worked a care shift until 8am then swapped aprons and cleaned until 3.30 by which time I had to be shovelled home by my dad or the taxi driver or walk a mile into town to get the bus home.
The missing pay was told off as "breaks" but with 2 of us to clean a 3 story house with 9 toilets, 7 baths and 4 showers as well as 40 bedrooms, or care for up to 40 residents, they just never happened confused - half a cup of tea was the most we ever managed, gulped on the run.
It was very hard to continue to care in those circumstances, the frustration and tiredness when someone pooed or weed on their clean sheets for the fourth time, or they bit us or screamed at us, was just so hard to get past, or when the washing machine was broken again and we had to dress Ethel in Daisy's clothes knowing her family would complain and we would be blamed as incompetent...
There were moments that made it worthwhile, even one or two of them being at someone's passing (I've told my "woo" tales on MN before) but to sit beside someone and hold their hand, and have them know someone is there as they slip away does make a difference, and things like someone with dementia, with no idea what planet she is on, respond suddenly to something you say, and smile or laugh, is lovely. It was just somehow never enough to outweigh the neglect and shit and the being ordered to do something wrong, or to not do something that should have been done. Soul destroying. I think that's why very few members of staff stayed long term - they were almost all youngsters, with ideals, straight out of school or off the dole queue. Some did their best, and some could have just about cared less if they tried, and nobody ever seemed to give the slightest fuck about whether the residents were happy or not... fed/watered/dressed/not covered in their own or someone else's shit when anyone could see yeah - happy, not so much...

SouredStones Sat 19-Oct-13 01:51:41

If you have concerns about a care home ring social services and/or the CQC.

Most do care but too many only care about profit.

SouredStones Sat 19-Oct-13 01:53:36

Also all these people thinking the state should pay for care homes as 'people have worked all their lives' crap care is what you'll get from that.

Sell your home, move to a nicer residential home which may cost a bit more but should hopefully serve you edible food or give you clean sheets.

Grennie Sat 19-Oct-13 02:13:19

It is a myth that private homes are better. The best home my gran was in, was a council one. The rooms were poky, but she loved the food and the staff were kind and caring.

The first home she was in was a private impressive looking place. But she was really unhappy there and the staff seemed pretty cold.

Don't judge based on surface things like the quality of the furniture or even the size of the rooms. These are nice to have things. But what makes the difference is the staff and how the home is run.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Sat 19-Oct-13 02:40:30

Thanks to a thread on here a few months ago about reporting care homes, I reported my granddads care home to the CQC. We received a letter from the council to say the home has been assessed and they are working on improving the standard of care.
This is not a council run home, though the council does have places there (my Granddad funds his own care there).
It was the nicest home we had ever seen when he first went there. Then the manager left and the standards dropped massively. I became worried about their safe guarding measures, and I was right to be concerned.
We shall see if things improve now the council are interviening, and if not we will look to move my Granddad.

pudcat Sat 19-Oct-13 06:42:31

To everyone complaining about care homes, I sincerely hope that you have complained to the CQC. There is no point in reporting on here if you are not doing anything about it.

Sirzy Sat 19-Oct-13 06:52:30

I agree people need to report their concerns.

My grandmother was in a fantastic care home, we spent a long time making sure we picked the best one to meet her needs and they were fantastic.

But while we have a system whereby people being asked to care for some of the most vulnerable people are being paid the minimum wage and treated like shit then unfortunately it is going to be very difficult to improve standards across the board.

SPBisResisting Sat 19-Oct-13 07:13:41

Pom, my grandma was in various care homes.nYour post did upset me. But it needed saying, and the more people who say these sorts of things the better.

DontmindifIdo Sat 19-Oct-13 07:22:19

My nana had to go into a care home after her needs got too complex for my parents to cope anymore. She was initially placed in a council run home that was filthy and she was treated badly in front of us, so god knows what it was like when we weren't there. Thankfully there was money from the sale of her house to pay for a lovely one. I'm always a bitconfused at people who say they are spending their money/ giving to family to ensure they get free care, people don't realise how different some of the levels of care are.

Oh and I'd homes like the original one my nana was in where children's homes, thered be outrage, sadly it seems accepted old age care is often anything other than caring. hmm

Polpotsbabyteeth Sat 19-Oct-13 07:29:42

It's so sad reading this thread. I run a nursing home and the care standards are excellent. Complain, complain, complain if you are not happy. You are a consumer and should not tolerate shoddy care. Ask the manager their views of hidden cameras. If they disagree with them I would suggest they might be concerned they have something to hide.

georgie22 Sat 19-Oct-13 07:46:02

I'm a registered nurse and years ago did a few agency shifts in care homes. I was used to managing a busy acute hospital ward caring for very sick patients but found working in care homes far more stressful. Drugs were in each individual resident's dosset box so it took me hours to the drug round as I wanted to be sure I was giving the right medication. Give me a ward drug trolley any day!

The lack of necessary equipment was shocking - lack of sterile gloves and dressings etc. was so different to my experience in the NHS. Poor residents were washed and dressed at 5 in the morning to 'help' the day shift.

Needless to say I did those few shifts and never went back.

Mrsdavidcaruso Sat 19-Oct-13 07:47:55

My FIL was in a BUPA home paid for by the state as he had no house to sell, the 'private' residents just had larger rooms they were cared for by the same staff and had the same food, this was a good home except for the fact he died on a Christmas eve and they kept phoning and phoning demanding we get a funeral home to remove him which was difficult and quite upsetting for my DH.

I have heard stories of people who have paid for their care being treated like shit, unless an elderly person has someone to speak for them like family then they are vulnerble no matter who foots the bill

Bananagio Sat 19-Oct-13 07:52:42

I recruit for nursing and care homes, mainly at management level and have quite a few long standing professional relationships with people in the industry. The first thing I would like to say is that there are some lovely, professional, caring home managers out there. The second thing is that I find it concerning how many of these are voicing their intention to leave the private care industry and that one of the phrases I hear the most is "i didnt come into care/nursing for this," as the pressure to squeeze every bit of profit out of the home becomes more and more the number 1 priority. The third thing,leading on from this is as long as we have private sector, profitmaking companies running care this is always going to be the number one priority. In some cases this can work as there are some companies out there who have the financial security to take a long term view and focus on developing the best standard of care out there, knowing that medium to long term they will see the financial return as the reputation of the home will ensure the beds are filled. But so many of the companies are either under financial pressure or busy answering short term to shareholders and so they continue in the cycle of minimum wage, high turnover care staff, cost cutting wherever possible, overloading their regional managers so they dont have time to spend in each home to really see what is happening and so these stories will keep happening and vocationally driven staff will continue to despair at what they see and leave the industry. There are also certain owners who are basically just greedy bastards who see their residents as pound signs only! Just to reiterate what others say, if you are not happy then go to the CQC.

colleysmill Sat 19-Oct-13 07:53:51

There are some good ones out there though - my granny has been bed bound for 3 years and I think its a testiment to her care that she has never had any issues with pressure sores/areas in all that time.

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