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Care & carers

care agencies

(24 Posts)
boodymum67 Fri 15-May-20 16:11:17

Just fired my 3rd agency. It is never the carers but the management that cocks everything up...from not getting a care plan, last minute changes to rotas for no good reason, lack of return of calls, wrong invoicing etc

I`m now employing 2 carers direct. Agencies are a joke!

LadyBella Sat 16-May-20 18:17:24

We're lucky here with good ones. If you happen by chance to be in Devon I'll let you have details. Otherwise probably a good idea to employ direct. Very difficult situation - until you've experienced all this, you have no idea.

Jane10 Sat 16-May-20 18:27:16

Employing direct isn't easy either. The plain fact is that not enough people actually want to be carers at the best of times. Recruitment and retention is an absolute nightmare. That's not much comfort to you I'm afraid. Sorry.

Barmeyoldbat Sat 16-May-20 18:36:01

My daughter is on second lot of carers, and is happier than she has ever been been with her carers. Ok they are chaotic at times, mostly weekends and Bank Holidays either coming in late or not turning up but their hearts are in the right place. I was asked by ifI would employ the carers but I refused point blank. I know from others who have taken this path is that it b....y hard work with loads of paperwork and at 73 I don't want to take on more work, just do less of i\

rachaelc Mon 25-May-20 18:29:58

I'm so sorry to hear you've had such bad experiences with care agencies. I had similar struggles with care for my mum when was diagnosed with dementia aged 56.

I decided to set a up a home care company to try and make it better. We are young but it's going well so far. We have an app that gives you the care plan, details of all the Carers, and soon you will be able to pay though the app too so no more confusing invoices! If you are interested you can find us at No pressure at all, just in case you were interested.

I'd love to hear what could make an agency better. I'm really passionate about making this nightmare easier for people so if you ever felt like speaking to someone about your experiences and how they could be better I'd be so grateful.

In the meantime, I hope you find a solution that works better and do reach out if we can help!

boodymum67 Wed 24-Jun-20 14:54:08

Hi Rachel, it does sadden me to have to fire an agency and causes me all sorts of anxiety.

If you`re asking for tips from a caree's point of view, here are some

1. make sure you aren't over working your staff......some of mine were doing 50/60 hours a week.

Zero hours contracts may have benefits for employers, but it seems unfair to carers. They daren't say no to extra hours incase they lose out.

Keep in touch with clients. Make sure care needs are being dealt with fully.

Good luck Rachel. and thank you for the opportunity to voice my concerns x

Luckygirl Wed 24-Jun-20 15:01:31

I have tried to click on live-in care on your services drop-down box and when I try and get to it it vanishes! So that is suggestion one!!!!

I was only looking out of interest to see how you organise it, as my OH has now died, but I cannot begin to tell you what chaos it was trying to organise his care!

Serendipity22 Sun 28-Jun-20 11:33:01

I was a carer for a agency for well over 11 years and we were wonderful, dedicated carers but the office management was ABSOLUTELY BEYOND BELIEF !! ( More so for the last care agency I worked for ) I stayed over 11 years with the same agency for the simple fact that I loved the ladies land gentlemen that we went to and they built up a trust and friendship with us, it was truly rewarding, I loved every second, but as I say those in the 'office' were beyond belief ....

annsixty Sun 28-Jun-20 12:09:36

What I found with the agency I used, and this also applied to the care home which my H was in for 4 months before he died, was that the managers in both cases had been carers themselves.
Why did they not remember what it was like?
In the case of the care home the manager had absolutely no “person“ skills either with residents or families.
I made an official complaint about her as a person and she was almost instantly promoted into a more senior position within the head office of the company.
I am still trying to reason what that meant.
At least the families didn’t have to deal with her negative attitude any more.

Teacheranne Sun 28-Jun-20 12:54:56

We used a care agency for my mum before she went into her care home. We had no complaints about the agency, it was a local franchise for a national company. The manager was very helpful when we first approached them, taking time to explain things and advise us. The carers formed a small team of three ladies who were the only ones who visited mum, each was was personally introduced to mum before they started. They arrived on time and did the full hours, we had security cameras outside the house and in the lounge and kitchen so could see everything - obviously the agency were aware!

They used a Whatsapp group as a daily record and means of communication, we could add a comment and the carers wrote something every visit, management read the posts as well. The work for mum was easy, although she had Alzheimer's, the plan was for them to spend two hours there each visit to cook a hot meal, sit with mum while she ate and provide company. Sometimes they went for a short walk or did some chair exercises or pottered in the garden or even sang songs together.

I would recommend this agency to anyone.

MissAdventure Sun 28-Jun-20 13:02:55

That sounds fantastic!
It's lovely to hear of an agency getting it so right. smile

Mem80 Sun 16-Aug-20 21:58:26

I’m new to Gransnet. My grandmother is 94 and in need of home care - we are having some difficulties finding the right agency. Can anyone help with where I might find recommendations in her area? (Rustington on the South Coast)

lucyanne Wed 19-Aug-20 20:30:55

Welcome to Gransnet Mem80. I have had care needs for 40 yrs as a wheelchair user. We have moved around the country but not the South coast. From your post it sounds as if you do not live in the area yourself.
My recommendation would be:
Decide on a budget.
1. Has she income or could she qualify for County Council care? See point 4 below. If recently ill eg. stroke should get 6 wk continuous care free from the C.C. health budget.
2. Look up the area newspaper 'carer award' that is
given locally to agencies every year. They are usually the best company. Talk to neighbors ask if they have seen a carer call on another resident in the area or can recommend someone.
Her weight and movement. Do you need 1 or 2 carers?
New laws restrict one carer from moving someone over 8 stone.
Look for adverts in local shop. Local chemists know most care agencies as carers collect patients medication.
3. Write the exact needs your grandmother has. There are different agencies for different medical conditions. Has she had a diagnoses and an assessment? Most agencies now ask for one.
If her needs include Alzheimer or Mental Health contact MIND. Dr. District nurse, S.S. to do an assessment.
4. Social services can provide a list of approved independent private and agency carers. I am not suggesting you use S.S. as carers if she has income above £10,200 yr and more than £23,000 savings. Just ask for a list of agencies.
5. If she lives alone have you a plan if she is unlucky enough to get the Corona virus? Gov.doc. Family expected to care for a relative 6 wks for free!
6. If you employ a private carer do they have someone to cover if the employed carer is ill or on holiday.
7. Interview several agencies/ carers with your grandmother
before making a choice. Do not be tempted to get the first
care agency just for speed.
8.N.B. Always get a written contract with a care company or private carer. 4-6 wk notice each way. Add to the contract small things too e.g. washing a floor, wiping a surface, bleach toilet, put washer on etc. as these are care needs.
Having had extensive care over the years has given me lots of personal experience, I am well versed in problems that can arise and the relief at getting a good reliable carer for my own health and well being.
If I can be of any more assistance just private message me.
I wish you luck with your search. Kind regards.

rachaelc Sun 13-Sep-20 20:27:15

Hi Mem80 - this may be too late. I run a home care company called Lifted we can provide live in care in that area if you are looking for that. We do do visiting care but only in London at the moment sadly. Clearly I'm biased but you can read our reviews on our website for an unbiased view smile If not then can I suggest or both have lots of great local companies. I hope this helps and best wishes.

mamagran Mon 14-Dec-20 14:29:52

My one and only experience with a care agency has been with Guardian Carers. I've always worked with them and have had no issues.... 100% recommend.

GillT57 Mon 14-Dec-20 15:16:46

Like Teacheranne I used a local franchise of a national company for my late DM and was very happy with the service. We always had one of a group of four carers, the communication was excellent and the carers were happy with their employment conditions too. This was possibly because the agency would not do visits of less than an hour (SS provided can be as little as 15 mins), this worked well for us as it gave time for a shower for Mum, or a meal and a chat depending upon the time of day, and it meant less driving around for the carers. Happy to recommend the franchise if anyone wants to PM me.

Artaylar Mon 14-Dec-20 16:24:02

The website Small Good Stuff has a directory of micro care and support enterprises. Some (though not all) provide personal care. While I can't say they will all be brilliant providers, with being very small, they are more likely to be able to offer a more personalised and individually tailored service.
Some areas of the UK are better served in terms of numbers of these micro providers than others (Somerset in particular)

RachaelC if your company meets the Small Good Stuff joining criteria (check out the link below), you might want to promote your service there by having a listing on the Small Good Stuff directory. Its free to do so, plus you get some free provider resources as well

Artaylar Mon 14-Dec-20 16:27:55

Also, a website called You're the Boss has a directory of self employed carers

boodymum67 Wed 23-Dec-20 14:03:55

Well I wrote that post in May this year and here I am just 7 months later, about to engage another agency.

One of my carers who has been with me for 9 years, has gone on long term sick. It is doubtful she will return as she has spinal arthritis.

So my other carer has fitted in extra hours where she can, but that cant continue for long, as she has other clients.

I have advertised for temporary cover, but no -one interested as I need weekend cover.

I have contacted a local agency, who is coming to see me next week.

PLEASE PLEASE let this 4th agency be good.

Happy Crimbel everyone!

silverlining48 Wed 23-Dec-20 16:23:07

Good luck with this agency body, hope things work out.

silverlining48 Wed 23-Dec-20 16:23:48

Boody not body. Typo!

boodymum67 Mon 04-Jan-21 12:12:10

Just had my first weekend with the new agency. It went extremely well. Loved the girls (2 on first visit...1 thereafter)

Such kind, caring and good training showed.

Lets hope it continues.

Corindli Sun 21-Mar-21 16:07:25

Employing direct isn't easy either. The plain fact is that not enough people actually want to be carers at the best of times. Recruitment and retention is an absolute nightmare.

Hellogirl1 Sat 15-May-21 20:35:30

My daughter has carers from an agency, as she is chair bound, can`t walk and can`t feed herself anymore. 2 carers come 4 times a day, then 2 more late at night to put her to bed. They are a wonderful band of women, and a few men, but their office is blinking rubbish! So disorganised.
I also think that minimum wage isn`t enough for what they do, especially as they only get paid for the time they are in clients houses, not for the time spent travelling between, and only get 20p a mile petrol money. It`s a job that I couldn`t do, but they do a wonderful job.