A relative, known only as Susan, highlighted the carer’s language as part of a report into home care in the city.
Independent body Healthwatch says families want care workers to have training to improve their communication skills, especially when looking after people with dementia.
Susan said her relative would benefit if his care workers spoke to him differently. She said: “First one carer said ‘Ey up chuff nut’. I think she was trying to be friendly, but it was not a good start.
“Ian can’t speak now and can’t walk but still treat him as intelligent. Don’t treat him as very childlike, singing nursery rhymes to him! Presume who you are looking after has had a life before. They see you at the worst time in your life. For training, that is important – how to speak to people.”
Susan’s comments are part of a wide ranging report by Healthwatch, which has gathered the views and experiences of users of home care and relatives.
Families want to see more general dementia training and specialist training in other areas, for example, physical disabilities, mental health and long-term health conditions such as diabetes.
One person said: “It is no good asking what they need from the shops because they don’t know. My relative always says they want trifle, but this means the fridge is just full of trifle.”
Healthwatch says in the report: “There is a perception that there is a lack of training, supervision and monitoring of home care workers, and no experience or qualifications are needed to do the job.
“Families reported having a lack of knowledge about how care workers had been recruited and trained, and it was perceived that no relevant experience or qualifications are needed to be a care worker.
“They expressed a need for more training and supervision of care workers and increased monitoring of the care provided, although it is unclear how much knowledge they had about what already happens in these areas.
“It was also acknowledged that a lot of good practice already takes place and that care workers should come together to share their learning.
“It needs to be clear how the providers are vetting and employing staff. It needs to be possible to find out who the carers are.”
The report says there was some general satisfaction with home care, with care workers going ‘the extra mile’ and people building good relationships.
Families describe good experiences with care workers getting to know the person and them getting on well together.
One woman, known as Emily, said home care enables her to stay in her own home and keep enjoying the things that give her pleasure in life.
“Alzheimer’s is a cruel thing. It is taking any sense I had. It has changed my outlook on life. I accepted that I was going to finish up in a home somewhere, I just hope it is a warm and caring place. With home care I’m able to stay at home and can see the gardens and stay near my neighbour who I like.”
Healthwatch adds: “These findings suggest that building a good relationship between a person and their home care workers plays an important role in influencing how satisfied people are with their care. The right conditions are needed to enable these relationships to form.”
The full report can be read here: