Author Topic: Arranging carers  (Read 1996 times)

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Arranging carers
« on: December 21, 2016, 12:48:42 PM »
During the coming year, I won't have my usual level of support from friends and family (a combination of people being indisposed, tied up with other commitments or having changes in their working hours), so I'd like to get some care sorted out before things reach crisis point.

I need some help with personal care (someone has to be present in the house while I'm bathing or washing my hair, and help with some aspects of personal grooming), some with meal preparation (especially if there's no-one available to help me cook batches of food to re-heat during the week), and perhaps most importantly, someone to accompany me when I'm out. Being tied to the house so much this year has caused the agoraphobia and social anxiety to get really bad again, and the only way to change that is to get out there and challenge them directly.


Continuity is very important to me, but I'm trying to be realistic. Unless a carer is self-employed, in my current state of mental health, I won't be able to cope with the paperwork involved in recruiting someone directly. So I've been checking out agencies. Can agency carers provide the sort of out-and-about support that I'll need to improve my anxiety and agoraphobia? Would they be able to help me prepare and cook batches of food?


I know these questions are pretty basic and stupid, but I'm exhausted to the point where I can barely think straight these days. Having to deal with yet another bunch of strangers in the house fills me with horror, but this needs to be done.

Is my strategy of approaching agencies a sound one, or am I barking up the wrong tree?


Thanks in advance >bighugs<


>Editing to add: I have a GP appointment where I intend to discuss this, amongst other things, but it's not until February  >yikes< so suggestions as to what I might be able to get done in the interim would be very welcome.

Thanks again.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2016, 02:06:39 PM by NeuralgicNeurotic »

Hurtyback

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Re: Arranging carers
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2016, 04:15:48 PM »
Hi NN, I'm sorry that you are so low  >hugs<  I'm afraid I am not able to answer your questions but didn't want to read and run.

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Arranging carers
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2016, 04:42:34 PM »
NN, do you have a CPN or similar that you can contact first thing tomorrow (assuming you've not already done so?) They would probably be able to tell you about reliable agencies and what will or won't be provided...

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: Arranging carers
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2016, 05:33:38 PM »
Hurty, thank you >hugs<


Kizzy, it never even occurred to me to try my CPN!  That's a great starting point. Thank you >rose<

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: Arranging carers
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2016, 02:48:25 PM »
CPN was not around this morning when I called. Have left a message and am waiting for her to contact me.

SunshineMeadows

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Re: Arranging carers
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2016, 09:12:42 AM »
 >bighugs<

Try to think as not going out as not going out at the moment rather than having the agoraphobia label growing into a judgement monster.

How would you feel about being ready meals from a supermarket online? Also things like those steam bags of frozen rice and veg that get zapped in the microwave. Some people dont like to have much food in the house at a time but if it is frozen is is not really food so much as a yucky savoury ice lolly until the microwave works it magic.

This time of year I spend weeks at a time not going out and it does make starting to go out again difficult but as you yourself know difficult is not impossible.

 >hatandscarf< >bighugs<

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Arranging carers
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2016, 11:36:12 PM »
Round here, there's a charity that can sort the paperwork if you employ carers directly, and there may be such charities elsewhere.  They do the payrolling, pension stuff, insurance and tax for example.

Wheelthing used to know a lot about this sort of thing but I haven't seen him here for a while.

Using agency carers for Dad was a mixed blessing.  On the one hand, as employers, the agency took care of all the finance etc. but they had their habits rigidly drummed into them, so it took an effort to get them to change.  E.g. they mopped the kitchen floor every day, even though I said it didn't need it (and it was me that had the contract with the agency, not Dad) and then when I upped the care from once a day to three times a day, they were mopping it every time and I had to get heavy about it, pointing out to the agency that Dad really didn't need his kitchen floor mopping 21 times a week, so please could they tell their staff to do more of what needed doing and less of what they'd been trained to do.

(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: Arranging carers
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2017, 08:41:39 PM »
Sunshine and Sunny, thank you  >bighugs<

After much to-ing and fro-ing, I've (hopefully) managed to get the necessary support in place. While awaiting a callback from my CPN, I had a brainwave and contacted the main disability-related charity here, who gave me details of a scheme operated by yet another charity. I had a chance to do some reading up on the scheme before CPN got in touch, and recommended the same place. It took a while to get hold of the person I needed to speak to, but I was eventually able to get a meeting set up. I'm due to meet the prospective support worker on Monday so that we can get a weekly schedule worked out.

Thank you to everyone for all your suggestions and support >bighugs<

auntieCtheM

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Re: Arranging carers
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2017, 08:46:23 PM »
Well done you.  I hope that it all works out.

Fiz

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Re: Arranging carers
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2017, 09:21:45 PM »
How has it worked out NN?

I ask because I've been contemplating the same for the same reasons. I emailed one agency and they charge over 16 per hour.

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: Arranging carers
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2017, 06:00:37 PM »
It's not working out too badly, thanks Fiz.

The charity-run agency charges 13 per hour, which is affordable on my current DLA award.  The visits are three mornings per week, with intervening days off for rest, helping to make anxiety levels a tiny bit more manageable. We venture outside on a Friday, which allows for two consecutive rest days over the weekend. Even with that, dealing with the increased in anxiety is enervating, and I take every third week off otherwise I'd run out of spoons completely. 

More to follow when I have more energy. >bighugs<

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: Arranging carers
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2017, 08:51:34 AM »
Continued from above. My support worker is really lovely - she definitely listens, and pays close attention to the way I like things done, which is a relief. I'm not yet quite ready for her to be completely involved in food preparation, so I've adapted the suggestion made by Sunshine upthread, and am using ready meals. My support worker is here when the supermarket delivery driver comes, so I have help with putting the food away, and then she and I prepare potatoes and parcels of veg for pinging in the microwave as accompaniments. This gives us an opportunity to chat and get to know one another, to build up trust around food preparation (something I get very anxious about), and gives support worker a chance to get to know her way around our slightly eccentric kitchen. The supermarket delivery is every two weeks, so that I have food in the house for my off/rest week.

At the moment, our outdoors work is focused on getting me comfortable in the surrounding streets. I haven't been able to get as far as the main road yet, but will get there eventually. I'm using the same gradated exposure technique taught to me by the clinical psychologist who did my initial agoraphobia management programme years go. For each route you plan to take, identify 'safe places,' such as quiet side streets, along the way. We're using the system of entries behind the houses. Go as far as you can, then when the first symptoms of panic arise, get to the safe place, and wait for them to subside. Then return home. Then try again next time, until you can compete that part of the journey without panic. Then move on to the next part  the route, and repeat the process. It's long and laborious, but a strategy that works for me. I'm also doing some desensitisation work on my own, spending 10 minutes each day sitting at the front door or by an open window, to allow myself adjust to outdoor levels of ambient noise.

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Arranging carers
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2017, 11:36:35 AM »
Sounds promising, NN  >thumbsup<  Hurrah for 'professionals' who actually hear what we want and need!

auntieCtheM

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Re: Arranging carers
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2017, 07:30:54 PM »
Yes that desensitisation programme does work.  I have a friend who had a phobia about injections.  He then became diabetic, type 1, and had to inject insulin.  So they started him on looking at photographs of a needle accidentally and gradually worked up.  He now injects without such problems.

You are very brave to undertake this NN.   >hugs<

Hurtyback

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Re: Arranging carers
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2017, 12:55:03 PM »

You are very brave to undertake this NN.   >hugs<


Seconded! I am glad that you are getting the help you need and, knowing you a little, I am sure you will achieve your goals in time  >hugs<