This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Are carers taking the piss?(156 Posts)
Hi all, I'd really appreciate some advice for others who might have been through the same situation.
My retired parents have hired carers to come to their house 3 times a day, 7 days a week for 1 hour per visit recently- they hired them within the last month.
Dad has (3 days ago) been diagnosed with vascular dementia and my mum has had servere, demolishing depression for 4 years.
Dad doesn't really want carers but needs them to prepare meals, wash up and do basic things like take out the bins.
My concern is recently I've been off work to take dad to appointments and if i randomly come in the house:
X The carers aren't wearing PPE at all!
X They're late by 30 minutes to an hour for their start time- no call or explanation!
X the carers don't seem to do abything; don't engage with parents, house is a shit heap, no washing has been done, floor really obviously dirty, fridge empty almost as if a carer hasn't even been in, let alone three in any 24 hour period!! 7 days a week!! I went in today randomly and the fridge was full of empty food packets. Nothing had been done.
It's heart breaking. I can't afford to give up my job (my own family depend on it).
Should I complain to the carer company? Am I expecting too much?! Wtf, this is the first really experience I've had with carers.
My parents are paying £25,400 PER YEAR for carers to come in 3 times a day, every day per year.
Am I being unreasonable to think they should wear PPE, actually mop the floor, wash clothes? Ensure fridge is semi full of food?
It's so depressing to feel my parents are being taken advantage of.
I work full time and am there when I can be,, hence why we've employed carers!!
Are they carers or cleaners?
Carers would usually only provide personal care.
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
Are they contracted to undertake cleaning/house work and cooking?
I understand your concerns about PPE. The being late etc isn't great but tbh is understandable. The amount you pay the company doesn't reflect the amount staff are paid or pressure they are under.
As above what are they actually contracted to do? Who is monitoring the overall care your parents receive? Social care?
If I were you I would think about organising the care myself and directly employing a small team of carers who you can manage and direct to do what you think is needed for your parents.
There should be some record (hopefully in a folder) of what they have done when they visit.
If there isn't one, that's a big worry.
Yes, do contact the company and express your concerns, but be careful - you need to check what they are actually supposed to do (and it might not include cleaning, shopping etc) before you speak to the company.
You also need to check whether or not your parents are actually asking them to do things - some people will send carers away saying they are fine!
It might help to find out what services your local council provide. They do allow customers to pay privately for their services from my understanding and they would be much more accountable.
Yes, you need to be really clear about what hey have signed up for. Carers in my experience will do light chores but not full on cleaning. That’s not what they’re there for.
You say the fridge is half empty, what arrangements do your DPs have for shopping? Again, not something carers would do apart from maybe the odd pint of milk or bread. Re the lateness, there is usually an arrival window. They can’t be bang on time every time.
You need to speak to management at the agency. My MIL has carers but we keep the time to a minimum and she has a cleaner who also does her washing. We do her food shopping. Carers aren’t a catch all for everything they need help with.
What does it say in their care plan? It should be in a folder and the carers should document in it at every visit.
It's unusual for carers from a care agency to clean, they're not cleaners. They'll prepare food (usually heat up in microwave or make a sandwich) but if they don't need any personal care I don't know what else they'd do? I have never heard of carers from an agency going shopping- it would be risky financially- are you expecting them to take cash off your parents and go to the shops?
They do need to wearing PPE though.
I think they/ you need to speak to the agency or at least look at the care plan to see what has been agreed. If it's mainly cleaning you want they need to employ a cleaner.
You need to speak to the care agency. Carers provide personal care; your parents may need a home help.
Are they meant to be cleaning? My nan has carers three times a day, but she has a cleaner as well... the carers do a bit but it's more personal care.
How have your parents managed to hire and instruct a care agency within the last month when it sounds like neither of them is mentally capable of that? How did they find this agency and what agreement did they make with them? Are social services involved?
In my experience they are paid the help clients prepare meals, dress and occasionally do their shopping.
Have you seen a copy of the care plan? When the care agency was employed, an assessment should have been done to determine your parents’ needs and a care plan drawn up to detail exactly what should be done at each visit. This may only include personal care but it absolutely could also include housework, shopping, companionship and things like checking the fridge for out of date food, taking the bins out etc.
I would contact the care agency and express your concerns. Ask to speak to the registered manager and to see a copy of the care plan. Request to make some adjustments to it if you don’t feel that it meets your parents needs.
As for the PPE, you are not being unreasonable at all. This should be totally non-negotiable. I work in care and in our company, PPE must be worn at all times and carers are constantly reminded of this and spot checks carried out.
If your parents are paying for their own care then they have the choice to shop around. There are some terrible companies out there but also some great ones who provide a fantastic service with carers who go the extra mile so if you don’t get far with your discussions with their current provider then find someone else.
there should be a care plan in the house for one for each of your parents you need to find them and see whats in them and definitely report them for non ppe
Wouldn’t they be better with 2 x care visits and 1 x cleaner visit a day?
There should be a folder with a care plan outlining the tasks the caters are there to do, and a log sheet for each carer to sign and detail things done on each visit. You need to have a good look at that.
Quite honestly 3 x 1hr daily visits from a carer is wildly excessive if they don't need personal care. I commission care plans, and that's far more than I'd put in. Frankly for most of it, they don't need a carer, they need a cleaner. I'd consider scaling back the care visits to half an hour and getting a cleaner in twice a week, it would be far cheaper and more effective. Carers don't really clean, so it's unsurprising they're doing a half assed job of it.
Feel free to DM me if you need help working out what's needed.
Call the care company tomorrow and discuss what the carers are supposed to do when they go.
my mum had a personal carer who did shopping, stayed and chatted and did social things as well as the local authority carers who basically kept her clean and tried to feed her. She also kept a beady eye on the care team and let me know if they were failing.
Yes check the care plan.
Also have you discussed these concerns with the care manger? If your still not happy then support your parents to change care agencies. You can also get adult social care involved.
*Am I being unreasonable to think they should wear PPE, actually mop the floor, wash clothes? Ensure fridge is semi full of food?
It's so depressing to feel my parents are being taken advantage of.*
It sounds like they need cleaners as well as carers, like others have said, i don't think carers will usually mop floors etc?
PPE should be non negotiable, but again arrival times and being late sometimes can't be helped I don't think when you're a carer, if there's bad traffic or the last clients slot ran over because there was an emergency or needed extra care?
There should be a folder with a care plan in it - of what they are supposed to do. They should fill in a day sheet of what they have done each visit.
The company used by SS for DD had the carers ring in as they arrived and left to check the hours they did. Carers can cook, wash up and do the laundry for the people, the care plan is about. If necessary they can go food shopping with the service user(s).
They won’t do housework like cleaning the kitchen, bathroom, etc.
DD got the care free from SS, as per her assessment of need, as she had no assets nor income other than her benefits. However, if carers were doing as little as you say, not wearing PPE, etc then I’d definitely complain to the carers company, regardless of who was paying for it.
She also did cleaning and other household jobs, like feeding the cat: the care team can’t do that.
My 90 year old aunt paid for her own home carers. They didn't do main shopping but would pick up milk or prescriptions. Only light cleaning, such as, wiping down kitchen tops after preparing meals or shower after helping with personal care. They did run on time (this was part of why she sacked off the other carers as she liked a strict routine).
But they did engage with her. She came to adore them after not wanting them. I couldn't fault the women, they did a fantastic job.
Self employed carer here
What precisely have they been asked to do on their visit? How long are they there for? Is it an agency?
Carers don't generally do things like shopping. So the fridge being empty is not their responsibility.
Likewise the cleaning. Carers don't have time to clean people's homes. If your parents can no longer manage the cleaning they need to employ a cleaner. Some carers will do a little bit of cleaning. For example I do light housework. I will our washing on and hang it out for example or I will clear up spills on the floor. I don't however clean the entire floor.
As for lateness I'd look at the contract they have. Some companies don't actually give you a time it will just be between x and y. The carers will almost certainly be doing a run of clients and unless your parents are first on the list then I'm afraid lateness is inevitable. Often the times are too short, there is an emergency or their are delay getting between clients. It happens. But I would raise it if your concerned.
Please login first.