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Care home workers poor English

(154 Posts)
Primrose53 Tue 05-Dec-23 10:32:19

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12822429/Dementia-sufferer-91-died-trapped-stairlift-foreign-care-staff-not-understand-difference-breathing-bleeding-meaning-ambulance-not-triage-correctly.html

I thought this was shocking! Indian and Romanian careworkers could not understand the difference between basic English words like “aware” and “alert” and “breathing” and “bleeding”. This has got to change.

Poor lady, what a way to end your days. 😢

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 05-Dec-23 10:48:10

It’s appalling. It’s not just that these workers didn’t qualify for visas, how on earth did they pass an interview with the care home which decided to employ them and to leave them in sole charge?

silverlining48 Tue 05-Dec-23 10:57:20

That’s shocking. She was the only resident and it was her first day. How dreadful for her and her family. My was mum in a Home where none of the staff had fluent English, it did cause a few problems but they were very kind,
The problem is carers pay is low, they are not valued as much as they should be which means no one wants to do the work.
Suppose the other problem is (the lucky (?) ones ) live too long.

OldFrill Tue 05-Dec-23 11:00:39

silverlining48

That’s shocking. She was the only resident and it was her first day. How dreadful for her and her family. My was mum in a Home where none of the staff had fluent English, it did cause a few problems but they were very kind,
The problem is carers pay is low, they are not valued as much as they should be which means no one wants to do the work.
Suppose the other problem is (the lucky (?) ones ) live too long.

She was the only resident with a room on the first floor. She wasn't the only resident in the home.

aonk Tue 05-Dec-23 11:01:31

I completely agree. It’s such a difficult situation but it urgently needs addressing. My friend’s elderly mother has carers who visit her. They do a very good job but there can be problems with communication especially as this lady has a severe hearing loss. She is hesitant to discuss this with the agency in case they think she is racist. In her case that couldn’t be further from the truth.

lixy Tue 05-Dec-23 11:13:31

aonk snap! My mum is in exactly this situation.
I find myself trying to sort out all kinds of tangles sometimes, ranging from which day it is to how to operate the garage door to the bins.
Part of life's rich tapestry for me I suppose, but could be really dangerous.

silverlining48 Tue 05-Dec-23 11:29:47

Ok must have misread

Margs Tue 05-Dec-23 11:55:21

This is just too awful. Care homes have an appalling image and no wonder when incidents like this come to light. Just as past generations rightly feared The Workhouse, today's 60+ generation - unfortunately - fear the prospect of The Care Home.

welbeck Tue 05-Dec-23 11:57:20

this situation is all too common.
there is rarely any kind of interview for care work, beyond do you have the right to work here, when can you start.
i do think that emergency services call centres should have an express link to language line on speed dial.
sometimes it is hard for callers to make themselves understood, even native english speakers, and bleeding can sound like breathing over the phone.

VioletSky Tue 05-Dec-23 12:08:16

The problem is that care homes are run for profit

They should be a public service and not privatised

Staff should have more training and sometimes that training should involve learning English as a second language

Staff should also be paid a better wage

Treelover Tue 05-Dec-23 12:15:32

its so biased. The refusal to recognise the complex demands of a carer's role and pay a professional wage. This allows the status of the work as very low. Which is an insult. And we all know the biggest influx of immigrants has been to the university sector who squeeze large funds from them and they have been allowed to bring in their dependents. The government would rather save the university sector than the care sector. And if you do sell your house to pay for a care homeyou will be charged at a much higher rate than council placements, so shoring up that too. Let not forget how there was money to bail out the banks. The will is not there. and the old and the poor suffer.

Luckygirl3 Tue 05-Dec-23 12:22:13

Care homes are desperate for staff.

sodapop Tue 05-Dec-23 12:32:22

Worst thing County Councils did was to privatise care homes. Not just for elderly people but for others who need care because they are vulnerable. I agree with you Violetsky

WhatamIdoinghere Tue 05-Dec-23 12:39:39

sodapop

Worst thing County Councils did was to privatise care homes. Not just for elderly people but for others who need care because they are vulnerable. I agree with you Violetsky

I don't think it was the Councils' choice to privatise care homes, it was the policy in the Thatcher years to make councils privatise or contract out almost all of their services.

pinkquartz Tue 05-Dec-23 12:47:42

This also happens when you need carers in your own home.

Carers are sent out who speak NO english.

It is a miserable experience for the elderly and disabled.

OldFrill Tue 05-Dec-23 12:49:28

Can they read/write English? How do they write up the visit? Or isn't that necessary?

Theexwife Tue 05-Dec-23 12:49:42

The criteria for working in a care home is often, can you start tonight?

Did the lady's family not check the place out before she went in there?

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 05-Dec-23 13:12:54

Responsibility lies with the care home operator. If they are desperate for staff, either pay more money for people who can speak English, or close.

silverlining48 Tue 05-Dec-23 13:23:11

Local authorities began selling care homes and domicilliary care in the 80 s, they also sold their children’s homes .
All to private companies looking for profit.
Carers used to get regular training, upgrading and a possibility of promotion.
Thought it was wrong then and still do.

Aveline Tue 05-Dec-23 13:32:52

Not all care homes are private. We have good ones run by NHS, local authorities and also by third sector/charities. There are also some private ones but part of larger conglomerates.
My mother was in a lovely not for profit place with all the money ploughed right back into the place. It was lovely. The quality showed throughout the establishment. Local university nursing courses sent students on placement there.

Tenko Tue 05-Dec-23 15:10:21

Gosh there is some misconceptions here. And as it’s the daily fail I’m not surprised.
I have had experience of carers both in care homes and in the home via my fil and my mother .
They do speak and write English and write up notes , which I have been able to read as they leave the folder in the home , but they have heavy accents which make it harder for people to understand especially if hard of hearing . It’s the accents which are the problem not the lack of English .
CQC require staff to have extensive training and to provide proof if the home is inspected. All care homes and care agencies have to be investigated by CQC .

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 05-Dec-23 15:12:43

So how do you explain the coroner’s comments Tenko? Her words are quoted. She would be nobody’s fool.

Tenko Tue 05-Dec-23 15:21:06

Theexwife

The criteria for working in a care home is often, can you start tonight?

Did the lady's family not check the place out before she went in there?

No it’s not , I have friends who work in care homes and for agencies . They have to have CRB checks and training which includes safeguarding , h & s and numerous other policies which all takes time.

Primrose53 Tue 05-Dec-23 15:24:14

Tenko

Gosh there is some misconceptions here. And as it’s the daily fail I’m not surprised.
I have had experience of carers both in care homes and in the home via my fil and my mother .
They do speak and write English and write up notes , which I have been able to read as they leave the folder in the home , but they have heavy accents which make it harder for people to understand especially if hard of hearing . It’s the accents which are the problem not the lack of English .
CQC require staff to have extensive training and to provide proof if the home is inspected. All care homes and care agencies have to be investigated by CQC .

You win the prize! I wondered how long it would be before someone pointed out “it’s the daily fail”. How very original …… not! 😳

M0nica Tue 05-Dec-23 15:30:53

I was involved in regularly visiting friends and family in care homes for about 40 years, from mid 1970s to mid 20teens and the rise in the use of foreign carers in that time worried me and still does.

It has got nothing to do with the quality of the workers, or even their command of the English language, but their lack if any shared cultural background at a trivial level.

When people are old and frail they think and talk of the past. Shops they knew, radio and tv programmes they watched, actors and filmstars of the past. Remembered food and household products. There is a cultural shorthand of shared phrases, words and memories shared by carers and cared when they share a cultural background which contributes immeasurably to the mental health of care home residents.

No matter how kind and gentle a carer is, someone from the Philippines, Romania or India does not have that shared background so necessary for those with dementia and other memory problmes. Having some foreign workers is fine, but for a short while an aunt and uncle where in a care home where without exception all the care staff were Phillipinas. The physical care was superb but there was rarely ay conversation be tween cared and carer, that did not directly relate to care - and that bothered me.