Forum: No respite with untrained helpers from service

I refer to the letter “Home respite care another option to alleviate caregivers’ stress” (March 9). I am in my late 70s and so is my husband, who is a tetraplegic. When my helper went home for three weeks in 2022, I decided to hire a care professional for two hours daily, as I was just recovering from chemotherapy myself.

The main task would be to shower my husband, dry the bathroom, help him move his limbs and do stretching exercises.

I used a fairly well-known platform to book this service, having given a couple of months’ advance notice to hire help. 

However, the confirmation by the temporary care professionals did not come through till the 11th hour, and the care professionals varied greatly from trained to totally untrained. For instance, one did not know how to put on a diaper and another did not know how to bathe an adult.

It was tiring to show each new person how to shower my husband, and I ended up doing it myself. I found no respite in hiring these part-time and temporary help.

Can platform care providers ensure helpers are trained and that the same helper is assigned to minimise the time taken to familiarise them with the tasks? This should be the basic in respite care at home.

I was totally exhausted when my helper returned. The next time she goes on home leave, my husband and I might just have to check ourselves into a respite care home.

Cheah Chew Ping

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