Home Care Issues

At the end of September, the care agency providing my home care changed, as the previous agency lost the contract for not sticking to it. I’d had various issues with it, mostly due to lack of communication (I need to know what’s happening and when or I panic). I hoped this new agency would be better, but unfortunately it’s not been.

The new agency has only just started in this area, and they took on a lot very quickly. Unfortunately that meant they were incredibly disorganised. My care plan is a mess (the care workers struggle to find what they’re meant to do in it), it was missing the communication book for the care workers to write what they’ve done, and they promised to provide me with an email address but haven’t.

That was just the start. They’ve changed the times of some of my calls without informing me, and don’t send rotas so I have no idea who is coming or when. One morning call (written in my care plan as 10am) didn’t turn up until 12.30pm. Then a lot of times the carers just don’t turn up. There was one week where I only actually got 6 out of 14 calls because no-one actually turned up for the call. That is improving a little bit now (it’s been just over a week since the last missed call) but it’s made me very anxious and panicky. There have also been care workers showing up smelling so strongly of perfume or cigarette smoke it immediately makes me feel incredibly ill (the agency are aware that I can’t cope with strong smells and said all care workers are to read the sign on my door, which mentions it but often gets ignored). That’s on top of the problems of not being able to explain what I need every time and getting several different care workers each week, most of whom are new.

Johan hasn’t been able to contact them about any of this as he’s been too anxious, but he did tell his social worker when he had his review. The agency claimed he had been sending the carers away, but that happened twice on one day, due to that care worker smelling so strongly it took over an hour for the smell to dissipate (and Johan found it too strong, so it wasn’t just me). Most of the rest of that week no-one showed up with no explanation.

Physically I’m doing much better, but I’ve been doing a lot worse cognitively, at least partially because not knowing what’s going on with the care workers means I get incredibly anxious twice a day, and often end up having a panic attack, which was rare until this started. I’m now terrified to be left alone if a care worker is going to turn up, as I have no idea if they’ll know what to do and I’m not always able to remember things myself (mentioned in the care plan). I know me being autistic makes things a little more complicated, but just telling me when things change would be a massive improvement. If it weren’t for Johan needing the help I’d just cancel them all until I was able to cope again, but Johan doesn’t feel able to do some things and he shouldn’t have to.

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