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carers not doing their job

(115 Posts)
overthehill Thu 04-Jan-18 23:53:09

I was seething today and I don't seeth very often.
I go to a knitting group. A person in a wheelchair turns up with their carer. Room has to be made and one knitter was asked to move to another seat to make way for the carer. The wheelchair is next to me. When coffee time came someone made this person a coffee in a mug they had with them. I now have to get involved as he/she cannot reach the table to put it down. They then get a carton of special milk out and fill the mug to the brim. Not wanting this over me some was tipped away by another knitter. In the meantime at two different times two knitters tried to get this person knitting without success. Later the lady who runs the group notices the carton of milk on the floor spilling out over the carpet. The lady who runs it gets down on her knees she's over 70 and cleans the floor up. The carer so called does absolutely nothing and isn't sitting next to her charge, I am.

Of course being an all inclusive group we have to let anyone in who wants to come. I know it sounds unkind but this person was not capable of knitting in any shape or form. This carer knows she can have any easy ride and rest by bringing this person along and basically dumping them there while she has a relaxes.

Strangely enough I have another example from the day before (which probably added to my annoyance today).

DH and I were on a bus and a wheelchair with carer got on. After a little while there was the ghastly smell of some greasy take away. It became evident the man in the wheelchair was eating it. He then tried to attract the attention of his carer who had earphones on and it took another passenger on the bus to poke him as the man in the chair had dropped the food all over the floor of the bus. The carer did clear up after a fashion, but did he think it was a good idea to give food to someone with limited capacity a meal on a bus....I question where they get these people from and why aren't they doing the job they're paid for.

Bellanonna Fri 05-Jan-18 00:25:24

I’m just grateful I’m not in a wheelchair.

kittylester Fri 05-Jan-18 07:27:37

Me too!

I suppose it depends what the 'carer's' job description was.

I am concerned that you say a 'wheelchair' got on the bus. The wheelchair was presumably being used by a person.

DS1 has a 'carer' (now called a Personal Assistant) whose job is to help facilitate him being able to live as normal life a life as possible.

Grannyknot Fri 05-Jan-18 07:42:37

I think the carer's job description is implicit in the job title... similarly e.g. fireman, bus driver, receptionist etc. Care for the person in your charge.

mcem Fri 05-Jan-18 07:44:43

How can you be sure these carers are being paid? Could be family members or volunteers. I have only second-hand experience of carers but the families who need need them are full of praise. You sound very bitter about this and l wonder if there's more to it.

OldMeg Fri 05-Jan-18 07:49:33

It’s a lottery. Carers are very poorly paid. While some are marvellous, sadly others couldn’t ‘care’ less.

Marydoll Fri 05-Jan-18 07:51:16

Whether the "wheelchair user", can knit or not, I suspect they were probably happy to just have some social interaction.
I understand the point you are trying to make about the carer not carrying out their duties, but as Kitty said, the "wheelchair" actually had a person sitting in it.
I often have problems using my hands and I get so embarrassed when I drop things like milk, tea, food etc on the floor and have to ask for help to clear it up. If it weren't for other's kindness, I would be in a right mess. I'm sure the person appreciated your kindness in helping them.
We never know what the future will bring.

GracesGranMK2 Fri 05-Jan-18 08:53:28

Vote to pay higher taxes and we will get better services. Keep voting to have your services cut because it is not something YOU need at the moment and that is exactly what will happen. Many an underpaid, undertrained carer goes above and beyond what they are required to do but a few just do the bear minimum. As Marydoll said, the lady in the wheelchair was probably very glad to be in company - just as you or I might be in the same circumstances.

In this something for nothing society people seem so very surprised when what they end up getting is exactly what they are prepared to pay towards having a great society for all - nothing.

Lisalou Fri 05-Jan-18 09:05:33

I understand the point you are trying to make, and the carer is clearly not doing his/her job. Maybe the best thing to do under the circumstances is to ensure the carer sits next to the lady and when she needs something point it out to this person. i.e. "Miss X is asking for her drink, could you help her, please?" The carer will get the message soon enough. If that is not enough, take carer aside (I would) and point out her job in simple English, out of the lady's earshot.
I feel sorry for the poor lady, she is clearly coming to the group because she wants to learn to knit. It is not her fault she cant knit at all. Also, as others have said, it is a way of having some social activity. She may lead a very lonely life.

Christinefrance Fri 05-Jan-18 09:11:18

You are right GG so many carers are low paid and have little or no training. Shame on our society for leaving the care of the most vulnerable to the least well equipped.
As others have said overthehill the social interaction within your group is more important than the actual activity.

Luckygirl Fri 05-Jan-18 09:13:47

I sing in one choir where one of the members has Alzheimers and another a stroke. Neither sing in concerts, but they come for the "crack" and are happily welcomed, just as they should be. Welcome this lady, get involved, help her and ignore the carer, whoever she might be.

Auntieflo Fri 05-Jan-18 09:14:02

Overthehill, I am so sorry that you have had an unfortunate meeting with a disabled person in a wheelchair. I know two folk who have to use wheelchairs. One is self centred and very demanding, the other is the complete opposite. The first one, I tend to try and ignore as she makes me so cross, the second I would do anything to help. Neither of them have carers, and I know I should not feel so differently about each of them, I just do, and it is their attitude to life that makes the difference. Sorry this turned into a bit of a rant.

NannyTee Fri 05-Jan-18 09:16:16

My DH has now had to become my unpaid carer. He can't work because I can't be left alone. Yet the switch over from D.L.A to P.I.P has decided to stop everything. Oh well . We muddle on.

whitewave Fri 05-Jan-18 09:18:08

We are in the process of hopefully getting care for Mum. The social services lady said that even if we are lucky enough to get assessed as needing care and why won’t we? Mum is 99 with a respiratory illness, we may have to wait an unspecified time as the care providers are short staffed due to the carers returning to Europe.
One assumes it can only get worse!

Eglantine21 Fri 05-Jan-18 09:18:26

You can feel differently about them Auntieflo. You don't have to nice to a nasty person just because they are in a wheelchair!

Luckygirl Fri 05-Jan-18 09:20:49

People of very different characters become disabled - it is OK not to like someone if their behaviour is a pain. The fact that they are in a wheelchair is not relevant.

When teaching a group if students, I sent them out into town with one of them in a wheelchair and asked them to try and do various things (I knew they were things that the town hindered for wheelchair users). When they came back they were less excercised by the lack of access than they were by the attitude of the general public, who fawned over the lass in the wheelchair until she started messing about (as teenagers do) when they were very shocked indeed. How dare a disabled teenager behave normally and fail to fulfill the angelic long-suffering image of a disabled person!!

annsixty Fri 05-Jan-18 09:21:31

I think we must be careful not to shoot the messenger here.
The OP was pointing out, certainly in the first instance, that the carer was just not doing their job properly and I agree.
She should have it pointed out that it is her job to cater to the needs of her charge, saying she is poorly paid, doesn't do it for me, it is a job she chose and she is doing it badly.

glammanana Fri 05-Jan-18 09:30:05

All of the carers that I have come into contact with have been very helpful and professional.
The carer at the knitting group does not sound as though she is qualified and may be doing the job as part of a work related scheme of some sort or she could be an unwilling relative,the gentleman using the wheelchair on the bus (please op notice the person not just the wheelchair) may have been house bound and grateful for some kind soul taking him out on a bus it is unfortunate he had this accident.
Why not offer to help the lady with her knitting between your group and make her feel welcome you all sound very standoffish to be honest.

Maggiemaybe Fri 05-Jan-18 09:55:51

Neither of the carers overthehill came across was doing their job, if they were indeed paid helpers. What was the one at the knitting circle doing while others were making the new member a drink/mopping up the spillage/trying to help her knit? The OP isn't at fault here for pointing out that the two vulnerable people weren't actually being cared for at all, and if this is how they are treated in public, it doesn't bode well for the help they receive behind closed doors. DMIL had carers at home four times a day and they were, with one exception, caring and hard-working people who built up a relationship with her, took a pride in their job and made sure her needs were met. It's unfair to carers to imply that because they are poorly paid they often don't do their job properly, or are somehow not up to the job - there are bad apples in all walks of life.

vampirequeen Fri 05-Jan-18 09:57:40

It seems, as in all jobs, that there are good and bad carers. I hear a lot about different carers from my mam who has a lot of elderly friends (well she's elderly too lol). Some of the carers are wonderful whilst others do the minimum possible.

If the lady is brought again make sure the carer does her job by pointing out when her attention is required. Did the carer knit?

MissAdventure Fri 05-Jan-18 10:14:25

Being paid low wages doesn't mean you don't have to do the job properly.

Granny23 Fri 05-Jan-18 10:16:43

OP - how do you know that this was a paid carer? I ask because since DH developed Dementia I have been inundated with leaflets urging me to take him to various groups, including singing and craft groups, where he can 'socialise' and I (the carer) can relax for a bit.

I'm also reminded that after a fall, DH was walking with a zimmer frame and we hired a wheelchair to take him to various events and on holiday. No training was given as to how to get him in and out of the chair or what to do on steep hills etc. We (two DDs +me, none of us over 5'2") must have appeared totally incompetent as we tried to transfer this big man from car to chair, take him to the toilet etc. Thank Goodness for the 'kindness of strangers' who came to my/his assistance rather than seeing us as a problem or inconvenience.

Cold Fri 05-Jan-18 10:21:51

Many carers are not professional carers but family and friends who have volunteered to help out. You don't know on what terms the "carer" that attended was employed (if they were employed) - she might be more of a transport escort and not qualified in personal care. What would you do if someone else in the group had split something?

My DH has been my carer ever since a life changing accident. He still works fulltime and has to fit his "caring duties" around that washing, bathing, all transport out of the house, medical appointments, physio appointments cooking, cleaning etc etc

He drives a 20 mile round trip in his lunch hour to sort my lunch daily. So he is exhausted and often forgets to be the "perfect housewife". We have had words this morning after he split my porridge on the floor and didn't notice - so it can happen easily.

I think sometimes it can be a hard balance to know when to jump in and help and when to allow the disabled person to sort out their own problems/ask for help - I know that I have snapped at DH from time to time for swooping in and not allow me any say it how things are done.

Sometimes when you are disabled you just want some social interaction outside your own 4 walls. It is sad to know that groups such as OP's are not welcoming unless you can achieve their standards.

overthehill Fri 05-Jan-18 10:29:42

These were definitely paid carers not family members we come across them a lot at the knitting group. The one on the bus was a white man with a young black carer, so I do not know for sure, but are pretty certain he would be a paid carer.

I think a lot of you are missing the point, I have not truck with the wheelchair users, it is their carers I am cross with. People need to realise some disabled people are just not suited to an environment which is very cramped (God help us if there were a fire). We already a have couple of ladies who have to be brought by dial-a-ride so are unsteady on their feet. They are both lovely and we help them all we can as they arrive under their own steam without carers. Good sense needs to prevail.

Jane10 Fri 05-Jan-18 10:39:55

Unfortunately many paid carers are just people who have to take any job going. They are not necessarily predisposed to be sympathetic caring individuals. The pay and conditions are poor and there is a very high turnover among them.
I've seen and worked with excellent committed ones and ones I'd like to kick up the backside. Sounds like the OP has experience of the latter kind!