General issues with the care system from a spouse's view point

Nearly twenty years’ ago D’s wife needed home care to help her get washed and dressed, whilst he worked long hours in a Union. D would frequently get calls from his wife, distressed that no-one had arrived and she would often be sat waiting for hours for someone to come so she could eat breakfast and get dressed. D tried to raise issues with social care, and also raise the fact that care workers needed to be treated properly, that the European time directive should apply. He blamed the lack of workers and training provided. D’s wife was sent a male carer once, but the care company asked in advance and provided a female chaperone. 

Eventually D’s wife was transferred to a nursing home, which initially seemed better as the workers were on site. The staff were overwhelmingly female. However, D soon found there were too few workers for the number of residents and felt there was too much focus on profits. He noticed staff turnover was very high with people regularly working 12-hour shifts. He also noticed people receiving care would ask to go to the toilet and be kept waiting a long time. He managed to campaign for another hoist to alleviate some of the burden and help speed up care. 

Another issue he saw was people receiving care would be wheeled back into their room after dinner and instead of being helped into their bed or room chair would just be left in their wheelchair. D told us people receiving care don’t want to cause trouble and always seemed worried to say too much as they were depending on these carers to look after them. This power imbalance and lack of investment ultimately led to people not being cared for with dignity in his eyes.