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Care & carers

Interviewing live in carers

(16 Posts)
Rozziebee Mon 06-Mar-17 09:19:37

My 95 year old mother lives on her own in her home. Following a recent hospital stay she is now back home but her needs are now more than carers visiting as she has fallen several times.

We have decided a live in carer is the next step before moving to a home which she is passionately opposed to.

I've never done this before, or had an au pair so am really at sea regarding questions I should be asking candidates.

I'd really welcome suggestions please.

Teetime Mon 06-Mar-17 09:28:47

I THINK ITS A MORE INFORMAL PROCESS THAN USUAL BUT YOU WOULD WANT TO KNOW HER ATTITUDES TO CARING GENERALLY AND HR SKILLS, WHAT SITUATIONS SHE WOULD FEEL UNABLE TO COPE WITH AND AGREE SOME GUIDELINES ABOUT WHEN TO CALL FOR HELP sorry I had caps on!! I would try to find out her attitudes to other aspects of life, her usual habits etc and do they fit in with your mothers e.g. does she watch lots of TV and your mother doesn't. If she is going to do some housekeeping you would want to know something about hr skills in that area, what can she and will she cook, does she understand you mother's nutritional needs. I'm sure other Gransnetters wil also offer you some helpful suggestions. Good Luck with it.

Swanny Mon 06-Mar-17 09:35:40

Use an agency - they will have carried out the necessary police checks and 'right to work' checks.

Make sure your mother can hear and understand what they are saying, and vice versa.

My elderly neighbour has had repeated falls too and had 6 carers visits per day last time she came out of hospital. Her daughter and (adult) grandson both live fairly local so are able to make social visits and do batch cooking for freezer meals. All personal care is done by paid carers.

tanith Mon 06-Mar-17 09:36:45

I have a nephew who is a live in carer for young people who live with in the community but not with family, but he works through an agency so that families are assured of his credentials and abilities without having to take someones word for their abilities. The agency vets all its employees in depth and I think he had to have a police check too. It is probably a bit more expensive but might be a safer option if you could afford it.
He has been with some of his patients for a long time and he shares the care with one other person so they do a 4 days on 3 days off rota so that someone is always with the patient and there are no gaps in care as there would be if only one person were living in and the person being cared for gets to know both of the carers.
I wish you luck

MissAdventure Sat 11-Mar-17 09:58:51

I would still want to meet the carer, to make sure they are a good 'fit' for your mum, even though you'll no doubt use an agency.
Ask how they see their role as a support to your mum, whether they are happy for her to get up, go to bed, etc, in her own time.
How do they feel about personal care? What about if your mum doesn't want to wash or bath? How will they deal with that? Do they see their role as prompting, cajoling, or leaving the choice entirely to your mums judgement?
I think by asking those kind of questions, you can get the measure of someone's attitude.

mumofmadboys Sat 11-Mar-17 17:59:50

Ask them to describe a situation in their working life where they used their initiative and things went well and also a situation where things went badly and what they learnt from it. It is really just a matter of getting them talking and seeing if you feel it is a good fit for your mum. Perhaps you could describe a certain scenario and ask how they would deal with it eg An elderly male/ female friend turns up and wants to take your mum out for lunch. They have arrived by car but don't seem altogether with it. Your mum is keen to go. How would they deal with this situation? Good luck with appointing the right person/s

Charleygirl Sat 11-Mar-17 18:25:27

If you go through an agency please make sure that it is not a different person every few days. Find out from the agency what would happen if for any reason your mother does not like the carer. It may be totally irrational but has to be dealt with.

My aunt did not have live in carers but the daily carers who came had to be white and speak good English. She was in her 90's and very racist. I found this very difficult to manage.

janeainsworth Sat 11-Mar-17 18:42:51

I know someone who arranged full-time but not live in carers for her autistic son who lived in his own house.
It was done through Social Services who technically employed the carers.
If you employ the carers yourself, you will have all the hassle of being an employer, fears about falling foul of employment law if you need to dismiss them for any reason.
It's not like taking on a cleaner or a gardener who is technically self employed - I would tread very carefully if I were you.
good luck.

Riverwalk Sat 11-Mar-17 19:04:01

To be honest, you can ask all the questions you like and set up lunch scenarios and ask as how the carer would do this or that, but what you really need to be looking for is someone with experience in care of the elderly and of a kind disposition.

I'm an RN who still does a bit of work here and there with patients in their own homes, through an agency, and work with many dedicated carers.

I'd advise you to ask around in your local area for agency recommendations.

aggie Sat 11-Mar-17 19:14:33

I agree with going to an agency , get a recommendation from the social worker to make sure all is legal and that they are trained , one live in carer is not a good idea , they need time off and holiday cover . I get a sitter for OH so I can go out , one woman was a real pain , I rang the agency and asked for someone else ......... no problem , another kinder girl came the next day . If she had been sole carer and not suitable and live in I don't think it would have been a problem for the agency to get someone else either , but no way could I have the nerve to sack no1 and employ no 2 by myself

Charleygirl Sat 11-Mar-17 20:25:18

If you employ somebody do you not have to pay their pension contributions? I would leave it all to an agency.

janeainsworth Sat 11-Mar-17 21:29:48

If you employ someone full time and /or it's their main job you would have to pay employer's NI contributions and deduct tax and employee NI, and I think you are right Charleygirl there is now something about pensions unless the employee has opted out.

goldengirl Sun 12-Mar-17 12:42:50

I also think you should use an agency. You probably have enough stress on your hands with the situation and using an agency will help to alleviate that. If you take on an individual you will have all the contributions etc to make and you will have to make a decision as to whether the person is suitable. Chat with social services and friends / acquaintances in the area where your mum lives for recommendations and then have a chat with the prospective agency / agencies about provision, costs, obligations etc before making a decision.

Cherrytree59 Sun 12-Mar-17 18:28:33

As well as knowing who will be the full time carer.
There is also the issue of who will be covering for days off or illness (carers)
Carers health is an issue that needs to be discussed.
If the carer has even a has slight illness she should hand over the reigns to another carer as your mothers age will mean that she may not be able to cope with cold/flu, tummy bugs etc.

An agency would/should be able to help at short notice.

Cherrytree59 Sun 12-Mar-17 18:31:14

Should read... 'if a carer has even a slight illness...'

Hilltopgran Sun 12-Mar-17 18:56:09

There are agencies who provide live in carers for the situation your Mother is in, they provide rotating care, i.e. one person stays a week then has a week off. If you drcide to employ direct yourself, you will need a team of two or three people in order to cover for any length of time to allow for holidays, sickness, training etc.
From personal experience I would suggest an agency, the right agency with caring staff can be a real support for your family.