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To expect my parents' carers to stay with them?

(107 Posts)
parnsipsandcaulis Sat 08-Oct-16 15:21:18

We are having a nightmare with the care my parents need. Both are elderly, frail and need assistance with their meals and with getting up in the morning and going to bed at night: so far so good.

However the carers just aren't staying. They have an hour in the morning but generally do between 40 and 50 minutes; their remaining visits should be half an hour each but the carers only stay twenty/twenty five minutes.

I've complained a number of times - AIBU about this?

BackforGood Sat 08-Oct-16 15:28:22

To me it's more about 'are they getting done what needs to be done' ?
In a job like this it doesn't really matter if you can work through thinks a bit quicker, if everything on the list of tasks, is done properly.
So, it might take one person 6mins to make a sandwich, cover it and put it in the fridge, and another person only 4 mins to do that - does it matter as long as the sandwich is made? Multiply that by all the bits of the job and you can see how they could get ahead by 10mins on a day when all goes smoothly.
So the important thing is, do your parents feel everything is done, or are parts of what they need being left ?

Wolfiefan Sat 08-Oct-16 15:28:27

I'm afraid carers are generally horribly overloaded. Think inadequate time left for travelling between one house and the next. Lots of clients in a day and not enough carved out for a break etc.
If all the tasks on the care sheet are being performed or you pay per minute for private care I don't think you can say much really. Sorry.
And no. I'm not a carer.

Jackie0 Sat 08-Oct-16 15:29:16

I'm not sure if Yabu but I do know that carers have an almost impossible task trying to do their job in the time allocated times.
It's a disgrace really especially considering the work is so poorly paid.
If it's any comfort I think that the men and women that do this work are very compassionate people , they would have to be.
If you had the means I suppose you could buy better car and more care.
What response do you get to your complaints ?

OurBlanche Sat 08-Oct-16 15:29:53

No, not at all. But please don't hassle the carers themselves, keep on at the company. The carers will be working under some horrendous time keeping conditions that nigh on guarantee their visits will be short, so the agency can cram in as many visits per day as possible - e.g. many carers do not get paid for travel time and have no control over how far apart their visits are!

Employment law is slowly catching up with this... much more sabre rattling is required.

ZaZathecat Sat 08-Oct-16 15:30:18

I don't think yabu. I have also had a lot of dealings with agency carers for dm. I know it can't be an easy job but half an hour is a short enough time to give the help needed without cutting it short. Ours also had to write a report each time which seemed to take up 5-20 of the 30 minutes.
Are you aware of the Elderly Parents board in Other Stuff? Lots of help there.

DamsonInDistress Sat 08-Oct-16 15:30:32

Sadly it's probably because they don't get paid travel costs and also get given back to back appointments. It's an awful situation for all concerned. The only thing you can do is to keep complaining but I doubt it will solve anything, carers are usually at the mercy of their management who are highly unlikely to ever change.

RandomMess Sat 08-Oct-16 15:58:41

This is a notorious issue.

The care is booked back to back so the only way to do all their visits is to take time for each slot for travelling between the houses.

They are all probably being paid the minimum wage too angryangryangry.

If direct payment is still an option these days then that can be the best route but you then have the work of employing the staff direct which has it's own issues...

AnthonyPandy Sat 08-Oct-16 16:28:14

Yes, it'll be back to back slots.

KingJoffreysRestingCuntface Sat 08-Oct-16 16:38:22

The carers won't have a choice.

They need to get to the next appointment on time. The company will have booked the next appointment for immediately after.

So, they get to your parents five minutes late and leave five minutes early.

If they complain their hours are cut and the job given to someone else.

The system is fucked.

Garthmarenghi Sat 08-Oct-16 16:51:14

Are your parents paying themselves directly to the care company? We had something similar happening with my mother when she needed care and she had to pay over £200 per week for her visits. We shopped around until we found a care company who could accommodate what she needed.

LetitiaCropleysCookbook Sat 08-Oct-16 16:51:48

As others have said, I think that if the carers feel they have done everything they have been asked to do - e.g. got your parents up, washed, dressed and breakfasted, then they will be edging out of the door, as their next call may start the minute your parents' call is due to end, but be a 10min drive away.

It's an awful system, but not the carers' fault. I think most carers have multi-tasking down to a fine art, in order to work efficiently and shave 5/10 minutes off here and there, otherwise they would be running late all day. No comfort to you and your parents, I know.

Flossyfloof Sat 08-Oct-16 16:56:35

Of course YANBU, it's a disgrace. It isn't just about the practical things which need to be done , it's about care - and that is caring for your parents mental well-being as well.
I would speak to the carers as well as complaining and ask that they sit and chat with your parents if they have finished everything and still have some time left. And also check things like - have they made the bed properly? My aunty carers couldn't be arsed to actually smooth her bed sheet, they were just pulling the covers over and sometimes she just couldn't sleep in the bed, it was so uncomfortable.
The system is so awful it is frightening to think that we may one day need this kind of "care"

BestZebbie Sat 08-Oct-16 16:57:26

It is not a nice situation, but your slot includes some travel and admin time, not "an hour" or "30 mins" actually in the house interacting with the person. This is how it is done: like if you booked a "half hour massage" and they don't actually massage you for thirty minutes, that includes the coming in and going out time as well.

MrsRhubarb Sat 08-Oct-16 17:12:48

The carers who we had for MIL had the samw issue, they were booked back to back, but sometime they had fifteen minutes of travel time between appointments. MIL wasn't relying on them for food or medication, they came to shower her and wash her hair, that sort of thing, to give me a break after DD was born. I really felt for them. They were paid minimum wage, despite the much higher rate we paid the agency (almost double that) Some staff got the things we needed done in less time, and to a high standard, some took longer and didn't do it as well.

The company they worked for really pissed me off, they'd often call the carers on their mobiles while they were giving personal care to ask them to take on other appointments or things. If they didn't answer their mobiles they rang our landline and asked to speak to them, I always refused - we were paying them to do a job, not talk to the office! I've worked in a care home, and we would face disciplinary if not dismissial if we were on our phones when with a resident.

AnthonyPandy Sat 08-Oct-16 17:13:39

But Flossy if we stayed the right time for everyone we would be late for every single call except the first one in the day, and the accumulated lateness would mean arriving maybe 2 hours late for a bed call. That obviously cannot happen. And I work in a large city and some calls can be 6 miles apart. Add in rush hour traffic twice a day and you can see why they arrive late and go early. They are absolutely not sitting in their car eating chocolate bars at your parents expense, OP.

AnthonyPandy Sat 08-Oct-16 17:16:57

Sorry, I meant I work in a large city so the calls are relatively close together compared to the countryside where I would imagine the distances (and therefore driving time) are greater.

Onedaftmonkey Sat 08-Oct-16 17:24:03

I second that. As a carer myself we don't get any travel time. Back to back calls ect. So long as everything in the care plan is done then shaving 5 minutes from the call is a lifesaver especially when we work till 11 at night and have several miles between each call.And frequently have to slot people in when others are running really late for their calls. I am a driver and can barely do it let alone the poor walkers. It's the company's fault not the carers (the majority) saying that some will take the piss like in all jobs. Sorry but we do a hard job. It's underpaid and thankless.

leaveittothediva Sat 08-Oct-16 17:24:29

If your getting nowhere complaining, maybe it's time you as a family considered alternative arrangements. Private Carer could be employed so that could have an allotted time. Can you not go round there and help them in the evening, or take it in turns with a sibling. Would they not consider Sheltered Accommodation or a Nursing Home. It at least gives everyone peace of mind. I'm aware people want to stay in their own homes, area, etc., but when frail and elderly it's simply not feasible anymore. I feel the subject should have been broached long before now. It's just that with advancing age they become more difficult to discuss this with them as they can become defensive. I'm very aware services have been cut to the bone, your parents are actually lucky, some elderly get even less assistance. It's really a very difficult position to be in. Good luck.

parnsipsandcaulis Sat 08-Oct-16 17:24:47

We are paying for the care privately. To be honest if I paid for a 30 minute massage I would expect a 30 minute massage, wouldn't most people?

Flossyfloof Sat 08-Oct-16 17:26:35

But Andy payment will be made for time, not for tasks.

Garthmarenghi Sat 08-Oct-16 17:31:00

Shop around then OP.

maddiemookins16mum Sat 08-Oct-16 17:32:02

I feel for you OP, I also felt for my mum's carers too, they did their very best (and still had to write up their visits in her book too, and bless them, fed her cat). To any carers out there, thank you.

AnthonyPandy Sat 08-Oct-16 17:35:09

Flossy where I work we get paid for the slot. So if your slot is 1 hour we get paid for that regardless how long we are there.

CPtart Sat 08-Oct-16 17:37:20

I was a district nurse for many years and know first hand just how hard worked most carers are. Not only are their workloads completely unrealistic, things can crop up on visits that mean you overrun. Somebody on the floor, soils themself just as you are leaving, is uncooperative that day etc etc. Leaving 5-10 minutes early on other visits as long as the care is done satisfactorily is no biggie IMO.
From some of the carers I've seen on the other hand (one leaving their engine running as they entered the house!) I'd prefer to take my chances in a decent care home with company 24 hours, rather than stay at home falling about all over the place.

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