Advice for a carer


Registered User
Sep 6, 2007
Dublin, Ireland
My mum was diagnosed with AZ about 6 years ago now. She turns 65 this month so it was early onset. My dad has been her full time 24/7 carer for her during these 6 years. It has taken a major toll on him but I cannot get him to take a break. He has said to me that if things keep going like this he will be gone in 2 years. This has scared me greatly. He and I don't believe she is ready for a home yet although many relatives think she is. I would like to get her to go to Day Care a few days a week for 2 reasons. 1 - so she is kept suitably occupied for the day and 2 - so Dad can have a bit of a break. Even if its only so he can potter in his garden again. He believes she is okish during the day and can cope although he can no longer hold a conversation and she can't understand if you try to explain anything to her. The evenings are the hardest when she wants to "go home" and gets in bad form and gives out (viciously at times). She does, if left alone, work through this herself and comes back and apologises, snoozes on the couch and then wakes up happy ish again.

Does anybody who has been though the stages of should they send their loved one to Day Care or not questions have any advice for me to persuade my Dad with because I cannot afford to lose him and if I do then the only option I have is a care home for my mum as I work full time.

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006

If your father can arrange day care for your mother please encourage him to do so.

If he is experiencing `sundowning` every evening , it will wear him down, so having your mother at day care will give him a chance to recharge his batteries.

My husband has similar behaviours to your mother in the evenings and I know how much it takes out of me. Sadly he is resistant to day care, tried it a couple of times and now refuses to go. But the days he did attend were so peaceful, I actually looked forwards to him coming home at the end of the session. I`m sure your father would be like this too.

And the bonus...........he was quite tired so his sundowning was far less intense.


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hello dgirl

well, I've been in your Dad's position - though it was my Mum who was worrying about me. We too were a young onset couple.

Taking a few points from your post:

He has said to me that if things keep going like this he will be gone in 2 years.
he may be hoping for just that. Dementia destroys the life of a close couple, and close relatives. I certainly wanted out of everything for a very long time.

The evenings are the hardest when she wants to "go home"
sundowning is one of the worst manifestations of dementia at that stage.

should they send their loved one to Day Care or not
I think a family where dementia has come through the door should try anything that might help. try it, but if it doesn't work, stop, regroup and try again with something else. Maybe even try the same thing again, a little later.

Anything that works for the person with dementia works for the family.

to persuade my Dad with
the only thing that would work for me at the time was to be asked "what will become of Jan if you crash out? Who will give her the care and love you do?"

Nothing else worked - begging from my mum, etc.

The husband/wife who is caring needs the smallest excuse to keep on trying, but it must be the right excuse - any old thing won't do.

Final point
I cannot get him to take a break
my response to someone wanting me to take a break was "how can I rest when I know that Jan is so bad and needs my help?"

When she went just once or twice to a day centre, I would sit at home [or even in the day centre car park] fretting and worrying how she was getting on. For me it was almost worse than the sundowning.

Funny old thing, love.


Registered User
Sep 6, 2007
Dublin, Ireland
Thanks for the help especially Brucie as I can now try to see it from my Dad's point of view. We'll just soldier on and who knows maybe he'll come around and maybe she will love the Day Care - fingers crossed


Registered User
Jul 17, 2008
clacton on sea

When I wanted to go to a care group for two hours once a month
they said he could go to the day center in the next room he would only sit in the reception area with his paper he would not go in with the other caredfor he said they were to old
Imust say I found it very hard to relax when he insisted on

sitting on the chains by the door

but in time he did go in and enjoyed his cup of tea and a singalong
good luck keep trying marg


Registered User
Mar 6, 2007
Wigan, Lancs
Hi Dgirl,

We are going through the Day Centre experience (had a few weeks at a non-dementia day centre and 4 weeks at a dementia specific day centre) although my Dad at 83 is a lot older than your Mum.

We are not sure of the advantages for my Dad yet, and my Mum although she can breathe a sigh of relief for a few hours has to deal with the aftermath. Nevertheless we are sticking with it for the time being.

I would urge you and your Dad to visit a Day Centre and observe for a while, before deciding whether or not it could be right for you and your Mum.