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An hour in the life of….. Someone needing agency care..

As Chair of Active Independence I talk to a lot of people who receive their care from a care agency. This about sums up their experiences:

Paul a 72 yr old man lying in bed waiting for the carer to come in the morning.

His phone rings*******

 Who can that be ringing me at this time in the morning, better answer it, “Hello!! Who is it?”

Morning Mr Green, it’s the carer, sorry I am late, just wondered if you can give me the code for your key safe so I can get in, office has forgot to put it on my sheet.

No, you ring the office & ask them. I am sorry but I don’t know you & I don’t give out that number to strangers, I could be letting anyone into my home.

Ok, I will ring them, hopefully the line won’t be engaged, I was just trying to save a few minutes.

 Hyia, were are you Mr Green? Got the number from the office so here I am.

I’m in the bedroom on your right, keeping walking to my voice then you will find me.

Ah! There you are, my names Gemma, I am your carer this morning, now what do we have to do for you today.

The care plan is there if you want to read it, I am getting fed up with a different carer every couple of days, by the time I have explained what I need doing 10minutes of my care time will have been taken up, then you wont have time to do everything for me.

I understand, I will have a quick glance through care plan, H’m says medication, insulin , assist to check blood sugars, help out of bed, shower, Change urine drainage bags, dress, put on leg splints, support stockings & breakfast, How am I going to get that lot done in ¾ of a hr? Right that’s got your blood checked, how much insulin do I need to dial up on pen, I have never used one of these before.

Just dial up 72 units & I will inject myself, thanks.

Do you mind if I don’t look? I don’t like injections.

That’s it all done, Just need to take away needle etc before starting to get up – You have put needle etc in yellow bucket for sharpe’s in the kitchen haven’t you?

Oh! No I just put it all in the bin in kitchen, I didn’t realise you had a special bin for them.

Ok, out of bed we get, just help me turn onto my side & swing my legs off the bed, than I will use the mattress variator to get me into sitting position. That’s good now I need my transfer board to transfer onto shower chair,

There that’s got you showered & dried, what now, do you need help in getting dressed.

Yep help with dressing & my day drainage bag connecting, could you please just check I have no red blotches on my skin, had trouble with pressure sores in the past. Hope you ok with putting on my anti embolism stockings. This time I need to transfer into my wheelchair

Golly look at the time, these stockings are hard to get on, they really are a tight fit. I have got to be at next client in 15minutes & we still got to get you dressed, your breakfast etc, Oh dear I am going to be late & they need medication at a certain time too. This always happens when I am given extra calls to fit in.

I am being as quick as I can, hope your not going to Doris down the road, she has dementia bless her, if you are going you will be the 6th carer she has had this week & its only Wednesday, it don’t half confuse her all different people going in to her. Have you not had any training putting this type of stockings on? There is a lot easier way than the way you are trying, good job I not got much feelings in my legs.

Some of us have had training putting compression stockings on, I haven’t was covering another carer’s round when it was done so I missed out.

I could have done with not suffering the pain you causing me putting them on, but I got to wear them.

What would you like for breakfast?

A couple of weetabix in milk and a couple slices of toast & a cup of tea please. Please fill my flask up with boiling water too please, then if your late back at lunchtime I can have a hot drink.

Sorry but you are not down on my list for a lunchtime call, it will be someone else.

That should be a 30 minute call, but they only stay for 20minutes if I am lucky. But I still get charged for 30 minutes, that means I am paying for over an hours care I am not getting per week. It’s not right you know, nobody listens. Your Boss must be making a fortune on the extra 10minutes per client charged for and care not given, they always say when you complain the next carer will stay an extra 10minutes free to make it right but they never do.

Is the bathroom tidy so I can get in there in case I need to empty leg bag before someone comes or else I might finish up looking like Michelin man!

I will go & do it now, hey I am 5 minutes late now, can I leave your cereal bowl & plate for the lunchtime carer to wash up, no one ever died from dirty dishes. I am sure she will have a few spare minutes.

That’s what night carer said last night, last night’s plate, mug & cutlery are there in the sink still, she said they would be done this morning as she had been given extra calls to do. Will you have time to straighten up the bed please. Oh! Can you put my nomad so I can reach it for my tablets. The soiled continence pad goes into bin outside back door please, Oh! Look the one from when I was put to bed last night is still in the bathroom the night carer didn’t take it out last night, thought it was a bit smelly in the bathroom.

Look I am sorry I will have to go, I am now 15minutes late for next lady & she needs medication & her drainage bag will be full to bursting, sorry but I have got to go. Might see you another day.

Thanks, you be careful, please make sure you put front door key back in key safe on the way out.