In 2017 it was reported that ‘social care’ was in cataclysmic crisis.
Disclaimer: it’s important to remember NOT ALL Carers and Care Agencies are the same and this post is just about care at home not care homes.
As someone who relies heavily on having extra help at home due to having a disability with complex needs I have experienced having a council sent care agency as well as a private care Agency. But I’m sure we have all watched a documentary or read in the news a horror story about having home care and the level of care people have received probably with your mouths wide open, hitting your social media platforms in utter disgust that people are actually treated this way, all while screaming at the TV! Or you could have you own horror stories.
Last week I sent out a message on my social media asking people if they didn’t mind sharing their experiences with me of having care agencies who provide their care at home, It was a mix of good and bad but mostly bad. It seems to be a common frustration with most people that use care agencies the lack of –
- Communication (language barrier)
- No Basic knowledge
- Common sense
- Lack of Training
- Jobs never completed
but in the same sentence, some people’s needs were met and they had nothing to complain about.
There are an estimated 13.9 million people living with a disability in the UK.
What is adult social care?
Adult social care covers a wide range of activities to help people who are older or living with disability, physical or mental illness live independently. It can include ‘personal care’, such as support for washing, dressing and getting out of bed in the morning, as well as wider support to help people stay active and engaged in their communities. Social care includes support in people’s own homes (home care or ‘domiciliary care’); support in day centres; Social care is often broken down into two broad categories of ‘short-term care’ and ‘long-term care’. Short-term care refers to a care package that is time limited with the intention of maximising the independence of the individual using the care service and eliminating their need for ongoing support. Long-term services are provided on an ongoing basis and range from high-intensity services like nursing care to lower-intensity community support. Both long and short-term care would be arranged by a local authority and could be described as ‘formal’ care.
In 2018/19, 841,850 adults received publicly funded long-term social care, primarily in care/nursing homes or in their own homes. In addition, there were 223,605 episodes of short-term care provided.
When I was reading everyone’s comments some of the stories were heartbreaking to read, Disabled people with complex needs are being put in dangerous situations because of the lack of knowledge and skills.
Here are a few examples (Disclaimer these are the words others, not myself),
- Most didn’t like staying for the full length of time but expected to be paid for it. No training in regards to using vital equipment. Carers are given no information except name and address when going to someone for the first time. Lack of communication, Lack of knowledge in regards to mental health issues. Being taken advantage of my memory problems. Not willing to help with basic home hygiene. Lack of respect/understanding/common sense. Carers using your equipment for their needs.
- No awareness of the emergency situation around them I.e losing consciousness because the carer had communication barrier and didn’t have the knowledge and skills in how a ventilator worked.
- I don’t consider myself complex at all but due to my need/ wishes but angecies don’t seem to cope with understand my needs it varies from day to day, carers are used to working with the elderly and know what they are doing and what they need. The lack of knowledge mean that i been stopped from standing as they assumed i couldn’t walk (and forgot) people from the office have always worked against me rather them with me.
- My experiences of having Carers for a year employed via the council. Left me very vulnerable more than once. Not much good to say I’m afraid!
- I’ve been left without care again this evening as they arrive early they never arrive on time. Often hours late or early and just expect me to be ok with it. I’ve lain on the floor for hours or had no medication or food multiple times.
- I’ve been bullied, left hanging in pain in a hoist while they make themselves a cup of tea, gone with out fluids and food for ever 12 hours. I’m bed bound and been left in the same position for hours because the carer didn’t have the skills or knowledge to under what I needed.
And these are just a few examples of what disabled people have/are going through, even just having to write them all down after reading them again infuriates me at the way people are treated when you rely on care 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day, 365 days of the year. But yet your you’re expected to be treated this way and grateful for the care given. This will be hugely detrimental to anyone’s mental health and wellbeing when already faced with everyday struggles of living with a disability.
Unfortunately, you can’t teach common sense or awareness that is down to the individual but the Agency is itself can make sure that the appropriate training and knowledge is given before sending somebody into care for someone that relies heavily on their help for their care needs.
We also need to remember that For every bad carer out there, it does unfortunately reflect on all the amazing carers that do the job because they care and enjoy the job it’s not just a job to them.
My question is who is accountable. The carers? For their actions or The administrators of these care agencies or the local authorities like commissioning support units and CQC Care Quality commissioning. Surely more can be done, yes.
I would love to hear what your experiences with having care at home? Good or bad? You might even be a carer with your own story to tell, feel free to leave me a comment.
Come give me a follow and say hi.
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