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To think it's not on to smoke and then go into somebody's home?

(83 Posts)
Hedgehogcrossing Thu 30-Oct-14 19:26:04

My great aunt for whom I am one of the next of kin has carers as she has dementia.

I have to admit I haven't generally been thrilled with the service: they never stick to the times allocated and don't seem very caring in some cases but also many of them smell very strongly of cigarette smoke - I think they must be lighting up then literally coming in. As great aunt needs personal care they are breathing it right in her face as well as preparing her food which just strikes me as horrible.


LuisSuarezFangs Thu 30-Oct-14 19:31:26

YANBU. Very unprofessional.

LittleBairn Thu 30-Oct-14 19:33:11

My mum is a carer one of her team I'm the past has been removed from a clients duty list because of smoking.
Obviously they are allowed to smoke but they are warned not to do it just before they meter someone's home. Unfortunately most smokers have no idea how bad they smell to non smokers.

Not sticking to the allocated time is very difficult they are so squeezed for time and the clients all have various needs sometimes the client before might have needed a bit of extra unexpected health.
My mum often does things in her own time for them too taking the poodle for a shampoo, buying them new bedding amd even visiting in hospital.

LittleBairn Thu 30-Oct-14 19:33:48


LittleBairn Thu 30-Oct-14 19:34:24

Help not health. blush

Winterbells Thu 30-Oct-14 19:40:52

Yanbu. It's awful.

Even worse that they are supposed to be professionals and providing a service.

deepbluetwilight Thu 30-Oct-14 19:42:28

Professionals on less than minimum wage, though.

ILovePud Thu 30-Oct-14 19:44:50

I think it's a difficult one, home carers don't usually even get paid for time spent traveling between jobs so they are smoking in their own time. Sadly it sounds like there's lots of ways that the carers your aunt has have been unprofessional which would be of much more concern to me than the smoking.

Boysclothes Thu 30-Oct-14 19:45:38

They aren't paid for any time they aren't in someone's house. So I think YABU. They aren't being paid for the time they smoke, they aren't doing anything illegal, just unpleasant for the person who has to smell them. But lots of smells are unpleasant!

Personally I wouldn't do their hard job for the shit money they get paid. If they want a fag, good on em.

Ticktockblock Thu 30-Oct-14 19:47:34

I hate the smell of smoke, my brother left his jacket hanging up the other day and my DD's jackets were underneath it. They bloody stank. I told him to leave it outside next time!!

twizzleship Thu 30-Oct-14 19:47:41

yabu about them smoking outside - they have every right to do that.

what you should be concentrating on is the quality of care your aunt is recieving in terms of them turning up on time and doing the things they are contracted to do to the standard they should be done at. If they are following health and safety protocols they should be washing their hands before preparing the food anyway. As for smelly breath, well that falls in the same category of wearing overpowering perfume in my opinion and you are within your rights to ask them to do something about it - suck a mint or something?

You are probably better off speaking to their manager/supervisor (as well as them unless you feel it would not be recieved well). one of my friends used to work as a carer, she would be given her daily rounds and found that the time it took to drive to each location, get the tasks done (couldn't go over the time allocated to that patient) and get to the next one meant that she was always 'rushed' which then affected the kind of service she was giving. She left the job because her manager wouldn't or couldn't sort it out.

fakenamefornow Thu 30-Oct-14 19:53:43

I would hate somebody in close contact with me who smoked and would ask for a carer who didn't smoke.

Dragonfly71 Thu 30-Oct-14 19:54:36

I smoke and visit people in their own homes ( giving up soon tho! AGAIN).
I always make sure I keep body spray and mints in the car so hopefully don't smell horrendous and I am not providing care so don't get so close. Some homes I visit I need the body spay when I leave, but that's just part of the job.
I don't think YABU. And I would speak to the care agency about anything you deem unprofessional.

MrsPiggie Thu 30-Oct-14 20:03:48

I don't know, it's a tricky one... Obviously it's not pleasant, but they do a hard job for minimum wage, they rush between clients and are not paid for travelling between clients. So I don't think yabu, but neither do I envy the situation they are in... If the care they provide is good, I would overlook the smell.

Sallygoroundthemoon Thu 30-Oct-14 20:06:45

YANBU. I work closely with clients and it would be completely inappropriate to smell of smoke. To me, it's about respect, which someone with dementia deserves just as much as the next person. Smokers never think they reak but guys, you do I am afraid. Sorry dragonfly but mints and sprays just add additional (though nicer) smells. All the best with giving up.

KnackeredMuchly Thu 30-Oct-14 20:07:52


Dragonfly71 Thu 30-Oct-14 20:10:52

Thanks Sally, this has kind of made it even more appealing. Strangely though I started smoking again because I felt stressed by work!! But I agree, I know it smells because when I don't smoke I can pinpoint the smokers at 20 paces.

Jolleigh Thu 30-Oct-14 20:13:01

Tough one. They're only paid for their time inside the home so yabu to think it can be dictated what they do in their free time.

That said, it's unprofessional to allow yourself to smell bad when you'll be working in close contact with people. That doesn't just apply to smoking though.

OddBoots Thu 30-Oct-14 20:22:32

If they are smoking between pulling up at the house and coming in then YANBU, if they are smoking after their last client before they drive to your great aunt then they are at least trying to reduce the smell and pollution they bring in.

I'm sure soon there will be rules to say no smoking during the working day (now that vaping is an option) but we're not there yet.

theposterformallyknownas Thu 30-Oct-14 20:31:09

Buy them a huge bag of mints from the poundshop and a few packs of minty chewing gum and give them your blessing
Maybe all her next of kin can get together and provide her care better?

Nanny0gg Thu 30-Oct-14 20:32:57

If they really stink I bet they are smoking in their cars because it isn't quite as bad (but still horrible) when it's been outside.

And I thought if their car counts as a workplace then it's illegal.

Hedgehogcrossing Thu 30-Oct-14 20:45:52

One carer chews gum constantly which I also find unprofessional and quite rude to be honest.

ILovePud Thu 30-Oct-14 20:56:16

I hadn't realised until I read a thread on here a month or so ago but the usual practice is for carers to be paid for the visits and not the time spent travelling between visits, which is pretty shite IMO. I think this makes a difference as they are not smoking in their workplace or on work time.

Hedgehogcrossing Thu 30-Oct-14 21:03:24

The end result is still the same, though, which is an elderly and vulnerable lady has to put up with stale smoke from people looking after her!

grocklebox Thu 30-Oct-14 21:07:16

and the other end result is the same, the people providing the care are exploited and underpaid and vulnerable, and are perfectly entitled to smoke on their own time. You can't expect to have everything the way you'd like it when these people are being paid ridiculously low wages.

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