We watched with interest the second of the documentaries Ed Balls made ‘Inside the Care Crisis’ and we wanted to comment on some of the issues raised as they were so pertinent to the ethos, we work towards here at Sambhana Care.
- Ed raised the fact that it is clear that the government is keen for people to be cared for at home as it is cheaper than paying for them to be in a home and also there is the perceived safety of being away from the risk of covid.
- There are other very clear benefits of caring for people at home that did not get raised and one of the principal ones is we aim to keep our lovely clients independent at home but still living where they feel comfortable and safe and for those living with dementia that can be extremely important. It shouldn’t always be a financial advantage that is the principal driver to keep people being cared for at home
- Ed was shocked that home carers don’t get paid for the time they spend travelling from one client to another certainly when it is paid for by social services!! How is this fair?
- We pay all of our staff full time, when they are one duty, including travel time between visits regardless of what clients they are visiting private or otherwise. A fair wage is something we are passionate about offering to our teams
- Ed Balls shadowed a home carer for a day and was shocked at the pace of the visits he made whipping in and out of client’s homes to make the timetabled visits for that day
- One of the things we feel very strongly about is that we don’t operate our visits as a formula one race pit stop. All of our visits are for a minimum of 45 minutes as we want to make sure that our clients get the best possible care, and this is not always the case with all homecare providers.
- Ed highlighted the resourcing problem as there is increased demand for home carers, but people are not so keen to join the sector as it has a reputation of being poorly paid and there is no career plan compared to working within the NHS so little incentive to stay
- We offer all our teams a living wage and a training programme that offers them real career progression and increases in salary to reflect training and experience. Although we need government support on this issue, we believe we can make a difference from the ground up and it is our responsibility to keep our talented staff happy and motivated
- Ed very bravely and sensitively covered the story of the stigma dementia brings to some Asian communities. This is a story that is so rarely told and needs to be raised to help educate and change the culture. In many Asian languages there isn’t even a word for dementia other than ‘madness’ and some families believe that dementia can damage their reputation as it is not understood that dementia is not a genetic disorder and marrying into that family would not necessarily mean the condition would affect future generations. This stigma means families are left alone to cope as they won’t admit they need help. Not only this many care homes are not well set up to cater for cultural differences, so families struggle for much longer at home as they feel their loved one won’t be looked after well in a care home.
- Our Director and Business Owner Tony Rana is a British born Sikh, and he brings his unique perspective to all the work that we do offering our home care services. With his charitable work in the community, he is keen to change long held prejudices about dementia within Asian communities and can ensure that cultural differences will always be catered for. He believes it is so important that loved ones are not left alone to look after elderly family members who need wider ranging support for their own mental health and safety.