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Care & carers

Older people dying from lack of social care

(35 Posts)
Yehbutnobut Tue 26-Nov-19 09:41:10 the rate of three an hour

Shocking Report from Age UK

Gonegirl Tue 26-Nov-19 09:54:02

That is so sad. If people get to the state when they phone and ask for care, they definitely need it and should get it. No questions asked.

Yehbutnobut Tue 26-Nov-19 09:58:31

It’s a short article on the report, but worth reading.

boodymum67 Fri 29-Nov-19 14:51:10

sadly it isn't that easy to get good care or even any care at all.

I am in the middle of trying to replace carers,,,,,no-one will pay enough money

Yehbutnobut Fri 29-Nov-19 14:53:41

Keeping people in their home saves bed blocking and actually is cost effective. Didn’t Corbyn promise free care? And isn’t this already in place in Scotland?

Whitewavemark2 Fri 29-Nov-19 14:53:47

It doesn’t bode well for us as we age. Particularly after listening and watching Johnson’s reaction on LBC as he bumbled his way through a question about social care.

Jane10 Fri 29-Nov-19 15:14:58

It's a big problem in Scotland too. There are waiting lists to even be assessed and if awarded free personal care or nursing care (separate things) it can be well nigh impossible to find carers. Agencies struggle for staff up here too. There is a big problem with bed blocking as care packages can take so long to assess for and arrange that care needs can have changed resulting in the need to keep people in hospital even longer. It's a big problem in our local area in particular. Several of our poor neighbours are in this position.

Granny23 Fri 29-Nov-19 16:56:55

I agree Jane 10, the care is wonderful if you can get it but the hoops you have to go through to acquire it are beyond the capacity of ill, elderly people to negotiate. As I was suffering Carer Breakdown, I would not have been able to pursue alternative care for DH without the help and support of our DDs. Until you have lived it, i.t is difficult to envisage the difficulties of arranging the necessary appointments with Social Workers, lawyer, Doctor, ect. when you have to arrange alternative care for your LO who cannot be left home alone for even 5 minutes and is doubly incontinent and liable to wander off if taken with you.

The process of getting DH settled into a care home took from assessment in January till the end of July when he was admitted to the local Care Home on a 6 week trial basis. He has settled well there and the care is exemplary. There was a two week emergency respite arranged back in the January and thereafter 2x Carer visits am and pm every day.

The assigned Social Worker was kind and caring but she was a WASPI women, forced to work on past her expected retirement date, She had 2 month long breaks (off sick with stress and on returning chose to work p/t 2 days per week, thus causing lots of delays in progressing OH's care needs.

I believe that the on-going amalgamation of Health and Social Care Services, will lead eventually to a better more streamlined service, but the bureaucracy and half formed protocols have caused untold difficulties for those unfortunate enough to require care during this transition period. Also the introduction of Free Personal Care, whilst very welcome, has led to a surge in applications, without a commensurate rise in SW staff and Qualified Carers to meet the demand.

PS : I think there is a lot of misunderstanding surrounding FPC - it does cover home visits by Carers, but for Care Home residents it only covers the cost of actual care, whereas the huge 'hotel' charges element e.g. meals, accommodation, laundry etc. are still payable direct to the care home. In OH's case £177 per week of his £925 pw Fees is paid by the Council on behalf of the SG the rest has to be met from DH's pensions and savings. A further annoyance is that the DWP stopped DH's £88 per week Attendance Allowance as soon as he went into care. This only happens in Scotland. In England, self funders in care homes can continue to claim this benefit.

BradfordLass72 Sat 30-Nov-19 00:21:43

Unbelievably sad when you live in a society which tells you there is care available.

Older people have always died from lack of care and many still do, in every country in the world.

Granny23 Sun 01-Dec-19 10:18:49

In days gone by, when families tended to be larger and far fewer people lived long into old age, the elderly were cared for by the family. My own Great Aunt Jenny, who lived to be 106, very infirm but mentally brilliant, was cared for by her youngest daughter, a war window, for many years. The rest of the family, all sons, each contributed financially, did the decorating and garden, etc. to allow this to continue.

Such an arrangement is no longer possible with smaller, often scattered families and the necessity for women to work outside the home. Those requiring care have to generally rely on their spouse, if they have one, to provide 24/7 care and these spouses tend to be also elderly and may have health problems of their own, may not be internet savvy, or able to drive, which makes dealing with all the bureaucracy involved in finding and funding alternative care, beyond them.

Baggs Sun 01-Dec-19 10:27:08

Whilst I agree that social care for elderly people is often inadequate, I think it's worth pointing out two things from that article. I quote:

"Age UK estimates" [my underlining]

"No one knows how many of these older people, if any, might have lived longer had they received care in time"

Estimates need more description, more specifics about how the estimate was made.

"No one knows" seems to contradict the claim made in the titles of both the thread and the article.

Baggs Sun 01-Dec-19 10:30:11

I work for a Scottish charity that provides day care for elderly people. One of the charity's establishments has closed recently because in the area it served there was more social care available than was needed in that area.

Whitewavemark2 Sun 01-Dec-19 10:31:39

Of course an estimate can be wrong both ways. There may be many more than the estimate.

In fact we know that an accurate picture would be almost impossible

Baggs Sun 01-Dec-19 10:36:13

Delays in replying to calls for help is something to target. A target which, I think, should not be beyond the wit of whoever oversees these things to improve on. I would say that is the crux of the article.

Jane10 Mon 02-Dec-19 10:37:02

Baggs a lot depends on how 'social care' is defined. My MiL was offered 'social care' which amounted to three hours at a care centre with sandwich lunch provided. To take up this offer she'd have needed someone to go in and get her up dressed breakfasted etc then waited with her till transport arrived or taken her there then either collected from the centre and taken home or someone waiting at home to receive her and get her organised for the rest of the day etc etc. Its the lack of thinking about all thats involved thats such a problem
My neighbour is in and out of hospital all the time despite his wife paying for 2 staff three times a day to get him in and out of bed etc. She's in her 80s. Recently he was discharged home at 2 in the morning due to ambulance availability but she had to refuse as she can't get him in and out of bed and see to his catheter etc as she's a wee thing herself. She worries when he slips down the bed and chokes and she cant pull him up. I've said to call me without hesitation but they are very proud and don't want to bother neighbours. Its all just a boorach!

Yehbutnobut Mon 02-Dec-19 11:19:50

The standard definition is

‘Social care is a term that generally describes all forms of personal care and other practical assistance for children, young people and adults who need extra support.’

I think everyone can agree it’s inadequate and especially when people are paying for this.

GracesGranMK3 Mon 02-Dec-19 11:51:44

Yehbutnobut thank you so much for putting the link on.

So many things lost "all for the want of a horse-shoe nail" and it will cost so much to put them back together again. I find myself closing down when I read the stories; I cannot go back go that place. My mother has been in a lovely home for just over a year now, celebrating he 99th birthday last week.

Just one incident. We waited six weeks for the "emergency care" after one stay in hospital because of yet another fall. Yes, I covered with my doctor telling me my own conditions were deteriorating and I shouldn't continue, and yes, my daughter, like so many, help support us both while trying to do a job that has a great deal of travel and a family to care for. In the end mum had to fall and break her ankle, be move from hospital to hospital, temporary care home to the one she is in all while suffering - and she was suffering with huge anxiety - with dementia. And all the time you are asking, what if there was no "us"? What happens to the people on their own?

I can't thank the carers enough but the running down of the system over the last 10 years by the Conservatives, privatising under the guise of a pseudo need for austerity is wicked. There is no other word for it.

EllanVannin Mon 02-Dec-19 11:59:05

Where is all this money that the Conservatives have squirrelled away these past years, under the cloak of austerity ??

EllanVannin Mon 02-Dec-19 12:00:02

Because as sure as Hell they haven't been spending it in the areas where it's needed.

Yehbutnobut Mon 02-Dec-19 12:03:13

There isn’t any EV. The National Debt has increased year on year since they have been in power. I think it’s now at its highest level EVER.

Alexa Mon 02-Dec-19 12:24:35

Jane10, your stories are among many others that demonstrate there is no natural division between social and medical care.

The term 'care package' is good. However the several caring agencies should be orchestrated by one adequately capable person. In one of my experiences as a paid carer this 'orchestration' such as it was was initiated by a good neighbour, the old lady herself having no living kin.
I rang her GP to alert him about her specifically medical needs which were not being met by anyone. It should not happen that even the GP is unaware of the needs of a vulnerable person who is on his books until the GP is alerted by someone who is not employed for that responsibility ,such as a 'carer' or a good neighbour. There should be a designated fully capable individual who actively visits the vulnerable person and has the responsibility to institute whatever care the vulnerable person needs.

I should say the good neighbour in question was indeed very good and maintained her interest in the old lady , but the old lady's total care should never have devolved upon the random chance of there being a good neighbour.

GracesGranMK3 Thu 05-Dec-19 09:02:23

Remember, it's a Johnson Care Crisis. If he is back it will only continue.

Hetty58 Thu 05-Dec-19 09:34:36

My dear (late) friend was a carer for her very frail and confused mother. When my friend suddenly became ill, (with brain tumours) she was whisked off to hospital and her mother was just left alone.

Neighbours broke in through the back door (the mum would never answer it) only because we visited my friend and she was worried sick. There was her mum, just sitting in a chair, waiting for her daughter to come home. It's dreadful to think what might have happened.

Hetty58 Thu 05-Dec-19 09:55:00

My friend, having received treatment (and terminally ill) was sent home, with twice daily carer visits arranged. She expected her mother to be there, but no, she was in hospital, having rapidly gone downhill.

My friend had always lived at home, never on her own. Even the family dog wasn't there. I'd taken him in after neighbours had fed and walked him for a few weeks and he'd become depressed. I couldn't return him - because the carers wouldn't allow a dog in the house.

GracesGranMK3 Thu 05-Dec-19 09:58:24

Oh, Hetty. What can we do to change all this? Looking after mum I have learned the system but the very good people in it are battling against the cuts to councils, etc., just as much as we are.