In the last ten years I have seen many changes to the homecare service unfortunately none of them have been for the better. When I first started working in home care if I needed extra time to complete the care it wasn't a problem. Now we are told if the client wants to spend time drinking a cup of tea or having a chat that time comes off the care time.
People are living longer and often have complex health and care needs which often can't be fitted into a 15 minute care call. It is a service that is meant to look after people but forgets people are individuals. The service makes no allowances for the time it might take to persuade somebody with dementia to let you complete their care tasks and it not the type of job where you can leave if you run out of time. You can't leave somebody half dressed or without food just because they have run out of call time.
When we look after clients in their nineties their children are often in their seventies and sometimes find it difficult to help out with the needs of their parents, especially if they are in ill health themselves.
If you have mobility problems you will probably never have a bath or shower again.
I work for the local council so I am paid above average, for mileage and for travelling between calls. I wouldn't be able to afford to do the job if I worked for an agency.
- Mary, homecare worker