A Freedom of Information request submitted by concerned family members revealed that their mother had been visited by a huge number of different carers over the course of five years.
Dr Simon Harding and his sisters submitted a Freedom of Information request to Perth and Kinross council after noticing a large number of different carers visiting their mother’s home. The information returned revealed that 87-year-old Anna, who suffers from dementia, had been visited by 107 different carers, as many as 14 different carers in one week.
Short care visits affecting other families
Following the revelations, Dr Harding installed CCTV in his mother’s home, which revealed that the carers often did not stay for the allotted 30 minutes, with the shortest visit lasting just two minutes. Dr Harding said his whole family were appalled and angry by the findings: “It’s outrageous and we know this is happening to many families. When you have multiple carers like this it is confusing for ordinary people, never mind people who have dementia.”
Wrong focus in care provision?
A spokeswoman for Perth and Kinross Council said: “We would always look to provide consistency of carer wherever possible. Sometimes this can prove difficult owing to factors such as distance, timing of visits, or a change in the way in which a service is provided. Our primary focus will always be upon ensuring that carers arrive at the appointed time.”
This business-driven aim, simply ensuring that carers are on time, unfortunately fails to address the core requirements of care visits. CEO of the Good Care Group, Fiona Lowry, said: “We believe that taking a personal and consistent approach to care is the way to help people with dementia live well in their own homes. Our carers can provide 24/7 live-in care, either on a long-term basis, or as shorter-term respite care, and always with a small consistent team. All carers are fully trained in caring specifically for dementia through a person-based approach. Our service ensures your loved ones receive personalised care, building real relationships that are never ad-hoc or time-focused.”