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To think my job (home carer) shouldnt be this awful? Report them?

(24 Posts)
Anarchyinateacup Sat 10-Sep-16 16:51:33

Im a domicillary carer, have been in the role 3 months and Im beyond shocked and feeling very down about how awful it is.

I travel between clients houses assisting them with all aspects of personal care and light housekeeping.

One client is so large its impossible to move them in the chair provided without straining yourself, other carers use the same gloves in intimate parts then continue to feed or wash clients face with the same pair. Ive never seen other carers wash their hands, even before food prep and do the absolute mimimum required for the call.

Most of the clients and staff are lovely,but there is time limits and glove supplies aee closely monitored, its impossible to fit everything into the time given. The very large client is near impossible to manage with just 2 carers. Some clients live in squalor and should really be in a home. Management phone constantly to change rotas and ask to cover shifts, my training was poor and I feel very much like Im winging it most of the time and its very stressful.

Aibu in thinking this is not what I signed up for, is it really that awful? I feel like many things should be reported but to who? Management dont care as staff turn over is high. Just feeling very weighed down by it all.

Birdsgottafly Sat 10-Sep-16 17:00:32

If you are struggling to lift the Client, what is the other Carer saying?

Have you addressed this with your Manager, does she not have a hoist etc, is her assessment upto date?

As for people living in poor conditions, they have the right to remain in their home. If they are asking for the house to be cleaned, then SS will assist with this.

Home Care is overstretched, Carers being taken advantage of and Staff turnover high, especially in the worse agencies.

ny20005 Sat 10-Sep-16 17:03:04

Raise with management & if nothing improves or changes, report to care commission

dibs1973 Sat 10-Sep-16 17:05:41

I reported a company i was employed by to CQC as i was disgusted with the practices that were going on including staff not recieving adequate checks prior to commencing employment, staff not attending calls either at all or for the duration stated, medication being misadministered and the general attitude of the director, my conscience would not allow me to continue in the role but i was determined that the clients would not receive such a poor service.

I ensured that i recorded detailed information (dates, times etc) to back up my accusations and to give the CQC inspectors a starting point. They eventually passed the inspection on the 3rd attempt. If you feel that strongly i would urge you to report especially where vulnerable people are concerned.

HomeShapedBox Sat 10-Sep-16 17:12:25

Well you can call CQC

I done home care for a year, absolutely horrendous, private care companies just take the fucking piss out of staff and will literally just hire anyone. Very high staff turnover. Company only cares about profits and doesn't give a fuck about staff or service users

I'm now in residential care which is better. Wouldn't go back to home care for all the tea in China

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Sat 10-Sep-16 17:14:35

I was a Community Carer for 4 years, so understand your problems perfectly.

Is the large person able to stand & walk? Do they have a frame to help them stand up, or are you taking their weight between the two of you?

As far the squalor some people live in - it really does depend on whether the elderly person themselves is happy with the situation. If they are not, and would like help to sort problems out, then your Manager should be calling your client's SW (assuming you are visiting SS funded clients) to ask for someone to visit & assess the situation. Often though, you'll find that people have lived that way for years and are happy and comfortable with it. If so, then that is their choice. The only exception being any safety issues in the home that hinder you doing your job - your Manager should have risk assessed each home before anyone started making calls, but sometimes things deteriorate and they need reassessing.

As for shit colleagues - yes, this happens. It is a very responsible job and yet paid at minimum wage (actually often below when you count unpaid travelling time) and requires no qualifications or experience to begin. After two days classroom training (for me anyway), you are out in vulnerable people's homes providing personal care and support almost entirely unsupervised.

There is huge potential for poor carers to take the piss. You certainly do need to report poor practice to your Manager and be prepared to go to SS if your Manager does nothing. I say this as we were so short of staff at one time, that our Management were under orders from Head Office (a national company) not to fire anyone as it would mean not being able to cover calls. A couple of things happened that should have been considered gross misconduct - but all the Manager could do was give a written warning & remove the carer involved from that particular call.

PoisonousSmurf Sat 10-Sep-16 17:22:45

Sorry to hear about your experiences. I would have thought that things would have got better. But by your stories, it seems that nothing has changed.
I worked in the same type of job between April 2007 and Feb 2008. I was 'Bank staff', so I always have rotas all over the place and met new clients every shift. Only had a handful of 'regulars'.
The office would ring constantly, even on my days off and all weekend. They would BEG me to go out on a Sunday, even with my two young children (then aged 3 and 5) in tow!
They were strict on how many gloves you used, I ended up buying my own supply. Many clients lived in squallor, some had angry relatives and I'd have to take abuse from them, when I'd done nothing wrong.
They just wanted to take it out on someone.
One client's son, turned on all the gas taps in his mum's house as he knew the carers were coming. He was hoping that we would have blown up the house and his mum by turning on a light switch.
I told the office and they just said to get on with it. No care for the carers!
Couldn't take it anymore and left!
And they wonder why no-one wants to do the job...

HomeShapedBox Sat 10-Sep-16 17:30:18

For the large person do they not have a hoist?

PurpleTango Sat 10-Sep-16 17:32:49

I agree. The home "carers" we hired for my mum did not meet her needs at all. I am not blaming the carers as I could see that they were overloaded. The problem we had was even though the family could see that mum needed to be in a care home as she was unable to function on her own (or with a carer calling in every day) we met a brick wall when discussing this with social services and her GP. How on earth do elderly people with dementia manage to get the support they require? My mum was able to afford a care home but we were unable to get her into one.

HomeShapedBox Sat 10-Sep-16 17:33:06

Or do you mean they are in a wheelchair and it's a strain pushing them?

fluffypacman Sat 10-Sep-16 17:43:35

For the large person you need to ask your manager to request a social services occupational therapy manual handling assessment and to alert the social work team. While you're waiting for an assessment/equipment provision you may need to ask for a temporary increase in the number of carers to reduce the level of risk that you're at. It's not impossible to have x3 carers on a call but social services will hate it and it will help to push along the manual handling assessment. Well done for identifying the problems. People do choose to live in filthy conditions and I echo what others say, however if the filth is putting you at risk of illness (faeces on the floor, dog/pet waste, rats, fleas etc) then you would be reasonable to refuse to visit until the problem is rectified. sS should again help to resolve the problem. You're doing a fantastic and under rewarded job. Well done.

Anarchyinateacup Sat 10-Sep-16 19:45:09

Sorry in taking so long. The large person uses a stand aid rather than traditional hoist, we cant use that or a hoist to move someome more than 8 feet. She goes in a chair/commode to then be moved but her flooring type makes it impossible with her size bearing down on the wheels.

Anarchyinateacup Sat 10-Sep-16 19:51:04

Also the ones living in squalor definitely make the job harder, and Im sure is contributing to ill health in some. Some clients will not let us throw out out of date foods etc and ee cant do it without permission from the client and its clear that it could make them very ill (Leftovers and meat etc). They are eating off dirty plates as we get very little housekeeping time and most have families who do not help at all as they see that as soley our job. Its heartbreaking and trying to work against the clock is so difficult when you have so much that you technically should be doing.

Management dont care, we just need to get on with it.

MatildaTheCat Sat 10-Sep-16 19:55:29

So depressing. Thank goodness that people like you really do care. Poor practice must be challenged or nothing will ever change. I have also seen qualified nurses give intimate care and then feed patients without removing gloves or even washing their hands. Is antibacterial gel even provided?

newshmoo74 Sat 10-Sep-16 20:10:27

You need to find a company which does things properly - I run one so I know they are out there- if decent carers refused to work for poor employers standards could improve.

Recruiting carers is a nightmare but I will not take on just anybody. My staff are well supported, they can have as many gloves as they want and they know that if they are worried about a client I will do what I can to improve their situation.

Almost all care providers are understaffed, calls on days off happen because people go sick and we can't have spare carers hanging about 'just in case'. However, you shouldn't feel unsupported or stressed, report any poor practice and find an employer who appreciates you.

CaptainHammer Sat 10-Sep-16 20:16:55

Report, report, report, report and then report it some more.
The first company I worked for were similar and I think CQC were so fed up of me constantly contacting them that they finally came out and did something about it.
Sadly it's a regular thing and a lot of workers just move on but things like this need reporting and ensuring something is followed up.

ThreeSheetsToTheWind Sat 10-Sep-16 20:17:51

I so sympathise with you. I took a job as a carer and I was put under such pressure I ended up in hospital with chest pains brought on by anxiety. I love my job and my employer totally took advantage of my caring nature.

The first thing I will say is you must protect your own health. You must not risk hurting your back. You should not do the call if you have not done your 'moving and handling' training.

You could use a hoist from the bed to the chair, rather than a stand. There are ceiling hoists for this purpose.

I agree document absolutely everything. These care companies have to bid for the work and they get the contract by charging the least sad
It is totally unacceptable that our vulnerable, disabled, ill and elderly receive such poor care. The companies make a fair profit out of this. I believe that care should be taken over by the NHS. Cut out the profit making middle man.

I love my job and I have found some companies to be better than others. Look for another employer. As a carer I hope you can continue. We need true carers. We also need care companies with integrity and compassion. We carers have a hugely responsible job. I go in to my clients regularly, I get to know them and can tell when something isn't right. I've saved lives by pure instinct. We deserve so much more respect and a wage that is in keeping with our efforts. flowers For you.

ThreeSheetsToTheWind Sat 10-Sep-16 20:21:33

newshmoo74. Are you my employer?? smile

It's great to hear from an employer who cares about their clients and their employees.

Howlongtillbedtime Sat 10-Sep-16 20:22:14

Please report to cqc . you can do it anonymously if you are worried . there are some good companies out there , hoinestly I have worked in them and they do exist . find something else and move on . It does sound like you have the heart and sense for this work so please don't let this put you off .

Anarchyinateacup Sat 10-Sep-16 20:29:17

Thank you everyone! A ceiling hoist would be ideal for some clients. Large client is mentally well and is very judgey and specific and wont allow such things, they treat us like a nuisance,is rude and seems out get us,we know its not nice having strangers wipe your bum but there is no alternative. I have done my moving and handling, but some properties or equipment provided just isnt always suitable and some is funded by the local council as well so its hit or miss if you have everything required. We get no hand gel provided, one box of 100 gloves per week and no aprons. Clients homes are rarely stocked with adequete babywipes, towels sponges etc and one clients family think this is our responsibility. On the other hand some families cannot do enough to help us and their loved ones, which is great and really eases the pressure when they even make a cup of tea or a lunch so we can focus on personal care properly.

We are paid by the minute which doesn't help matters. I think I will take this further, Im glad Im not overreacting and this is now how things should be.

newshmoo74 Sat 10-Sep-16 20:31:13

threesheets It would be a massive coincidence if I was your employer, I run a very small company in the south west, but you sound like the sort of employee I look for. All my staff are encouraged to report problems and I hope they all feel appreciated.

We are lucky, because we are small we don't have to bid for contracts so we can pick and choose our clients. We have both funded and private clients and I can genuinely say they all get the same service.

Danglyweed Sat 10-Sep-16 21:26:55

I tend to think the private agencies can be a lot worse than l.a ones. I worked for one for only (longest months of my life) 4 months that was hell, the owner really didnt give two shits.

A 16/17 stone man being lifted by hand, rather than the hoist because it was quicker. A quadriplegic left alone while the staff sat out back smoking etc. A cerebal palsy sufferer who had epilepsy, staff didnt realise when she had a seizure. Staff not even trained in basics, I.e moving and handling, food hygiene, first aid ffs.

RedWearsPrettyShoes Sat 10-Sep-16 22:07:30

I know exactly how you feel. The first day I went out on my own after shadowing I came home and cried. In fact, I came home and cried an awful lot in the year that I worked there. Management, in fairness, were really good. I always felt supported. I went through 2 boxes of 100 gloves in 4 days and a bag of 100 aprons every 6-8 days.

However. Working conditions are crap, driving time between clients is completely unachievable, and time allocated in clients houses is definitely not enough.

At one of the clients I had, we had 15 minutes to do the following:
Assist to commode via rotastand,
Allow time and privacy,
Make a hot dinner (no microwave),
Wash up,
Provide personal care,
Assist back to chair via rotastand,
Empty and clean commode,
Administer medication,
Document medication,
Document all care given.

15 minutes!

Then there's the staff that consistently go on the sick, leaving the reliable staff to pick up the pieces and somehow fit TWO half hour calls into a 10 minute gap, leaving clients worried because you're not on time. Feeling like you're rushing everywhere.

I used to leave the house in the morning at 06:30 and not get home at night til 23:30 at night. Then back up to do it all again the next day. I'd have an hour break. By the end of my 4 days work I was absolutely fucked.

I loved my job, I loved my clients and I was lucky to work with some amazing carers who really did care.

But I worked myself into the ground. My own health suffered badly.

Keep a diary and report things to your supervisor and manager. The company I had, had a whistle blowers line. You should be getting more gloves than one box. And you should have aprons. They are essential PPE. If you're not being supplied aprons, you shouldn't be working.

I hope things get better for you. It can be a highly rewarding job.

RedWearsPrettyShoes Sat 10-Sep-16 22:11:49

And it's not the care company that sets the call times, it's the local authority. If you feel you don't have enough time to complete everything required, you should be letting your supervisor know, your client may need to be reassessed.

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