Elderly Care is it over-regulated?
We see it as a very straightforward job made over-complicated by people who think they know better and poking their noses in. Yes-in our opinion.
Supporting the concept of affordable, sensible and flexible options in live-in care solutions,
Keeping our old folks safe at home.
Often well-meaning relatives and friends become over paranoiac about who might be good enough to be allowed to take care of their elderly friend or a parent/s. WHY?
Regulations, Care Quality Commission, and fear created in the media with the use of words such as;- “elderly and vulnerable” unqualified carers, EU nationals- (not being up to the job) Never mind that British nationals do not want this kind of humble, but hugely rewarding type of work.
Many people today are in our opinion quite unnecessarily living in a care home.
Whereas with some minor tweaking they could instead- still be living comfortably in their own home. In most cases, all that’s needed is to ‘take in’ a genuine and uncomplicated individual with a kindly and practical disposition.
Whats need is:
Basically a mate, buddy, and reliable person. Someone to help with washing, dressing, personal hygiene, cooking, and cleaning.
Frankly a lot of the stuff which could be done comfortably by a girl guide or boy scout. Moreover, these people would not cost a fortune.
Naturally, the individual would need to be screened DBS etc.
Elderly care is it over-regulated
The system at present requires anyone providing home care to register with the care quality commission-nothing wrong with that. But it does present a huge barrier to new provider coming on to the market.The only exception is an individual who employs no staff.
Why is that you may well ask?
The first obstacle is the burden of reams of paperwork and declaration of being politically correct, equality in the workplace, etc.
The presentation alone can take weeks to prepare. Having said that all of which can be lifted and adapted from templates. Completing this part does nothing to demonstrate if you are genuine, or not, but more that you are able to say the right thing parrot-fashion. More significantly, you have to have in place a manager approved by them.
This is the case if you are caring for just one client, or a hundred. This manager needs to possess years of experience at a very high level. Nothing wrong with that we hear you say!
However, managers are usually currently employed somewhere else in the industry and earning upwards of 35k per year. For example deputy manager of a care home.
How on earth can any newcomer to the elderly care market be able to be able to set-up?
(before they start) and without possessing even one client, commit to employing a manager at 35 k per year plus! Especially bearing in mind the kind of people who aspire to own a care agency, are those who are often already working as a carer earning £8.50 per hour.
I am sure they would comfortably be able to fund up (upfront) a manager at 35k a year, I think not! This is why the industry is starved of new creative talent. ‘By and large’ the only people who possess the financial strength to open a care agency are corporate opportunists.
Strangely no such conditions are required for nanny’s or an au pair who deliver just an important role.
With minimum formalities parents, every day entrust their precious child to a relatively unknown- au pair.
Yet when it comes to elderly care, there exists paranoid hysterical attitudes: platitudes of protection and vague misgivings as to safeguards.
The real area which causes concern to the family is a stranger providing personal care. Nobody is good/trusted enough to provide any form of physical contact with their beloved parent/s.
Even worse and god forbid, the thought of a foreign-born carer helping their mum or dad if they can’t manage the loo. This brings out all the indignant hand-wringers basking in smug British superiority.
Yet conversely and rather baffling, an au pair helping with taking a child to the loo is deemed as ok.
Washing, bathing, and physical contact with children are more accepted. Indeed if it’s an au pair taking care of the child and changing a nappie is seen as an endearing trait-ah “bless and all that!”
Could it be that there are vested interests and protectionism in the highly profitable live-in care industry? Against the fact, there is little profit in childminding au pairs, etc.
The media play a big part here by using emotive words such as vulnerable, risks of harm, lack of training, etc. But with childcare, and using a UK born person to handle, it is OK.
It’s also an irony that more than 400,000 spouses handle caring for their partner without any form of training.
They are however trained in life experience and practicality and common sense. It seems and how come, a partner or spouse untrained can care for a loved one unpaid and without training? Interesting that!
Let’s look at the kind of training carers are given.
Usually, it’s 4 days in a classroom with registration to sign on an NVQ course over 2 years. The course is usually distance learning. That’s-it, and off they go. Of course, there are carer who may have accumulated years of experience and higher levels of NVQ.
What needs to change?
In our view a scaled-down less stringent requirement. For example, a watchdog who is more flexible. Or crucially continue with CQC but offer a grant to enable newcomers to surmount the crippling cost of employing a manager.
Or closer monitoring without the need of a manager in place. More newcomers into the market would force down the high charges currently in place by what resembles a cartel.
Moreover many new care providers would be more than happy to settle with lower margins.
Currently, a live-in carer in the south of England is charged out at 30-40% more than what the carer is paid.
Lastly, let’s touch on hospital discharges.
Elderly care is it over-regulated?…..yep!
In our experiences, Doctors are not always the most practical of people.
We have many cases where social services have been unable to release an elderly person from the hospital due to some baffling Drs opinions. For Example, the elderly person needs two carers to steady them when supporting them. What would be the case if it was an anxious spouse waiting on welcoming them home again?
Of course in hospital, this can be implemented more easily but at home, the sheer cost of an extra carer makes it prohibitive. So, basically often against their will, the elderly person is stuck there.
We had many carers from abroad many who worked previously in Germany and Switzerland who stated that rules in those countries were not so rigid.
We agree 2 carers might be ideal, but if the elderly person is prepared to take a chance in order to return home then their wishes should be respected. But in UK no-means no. Elderly care is it over-regulated? We leave you to be the judge on that one!
Conclusion. We need to devise and mobilise the masses into becoming live-in carers to support our elderly folk.