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Advice on getting help in France

loisamber

Registered User
Mar 4, 2016
4
Hello.

Please, if anyone has any advice to offer it would be very gratefully received !

I am trying to help my Dad who is caring for my Mum who has Alzheimers.
My parents live in the Dordogne region of France.
My Mum is at the stage where she is totally dependant on my Dad and it's now starting to take its toll on him.
He has recently admitted to himself that he now needs help and advice.
He has found an English support group in their area (unfortunately my Dad isn't fluent in French) and they have been a couple of times. The issue is that (at the moment) my Dad is after advice about financial/practical/physical aspects rather than emotional support. He is trying to get information regarding things like help around the house, possibly someone to sit with my Mum from time to time so he can get on with things he needs to do.
He is unsure on what, if any, benefits (with help me than monetary) that they would be entitled to.
Right now he feels like he is banging his head against a brick wall because he doesn't know where to start to get any information.
I feel so helpless as I live in England so all I can do is offer them both emotional support.
It's just a horrible situation and when I talk to my parents every evening I want to talk about nice and good things but I just seem to be nagging my Dad all the time about getting help and that's just not right. I keep on at him because he has to take care of himself as well as look after Mum.
My Mum is still at the stage where she knows she has Alzheimers but as I said is totally dependant on my Dad.
My Dad now does all the cooking, cleaning, everything for Mum etc etc.
He is more than happy to care for my Mum but some help and advice and a bit of 'me' time would help both of them I think.

It's there anyone that can at least point us in the right direction in getting help for my parents ? We understand the language issue is a barrier but I don't think moving back to England is an option as they love their life in France and they want to stay there.

Many thanks in advance. Lois

P.s they are under a neurologist and have full topped up carte vital (apologies if spelling is incorrect)
 

Finbar77

Registered User
Jun 2, 2015
3
Bonjour Emma,

This is the first time that Ive replied to a post, so hopefully it will work!

I live in France, in the Correze, my OH has moderately severe AD and ,yes, there is help and support available; you just have to have the tenacity of a ferret to persevere with the bureaucracy; but it will, believe me be worth the effort.
Firstly you Father will need to contact your mother's médicin traitant.(G.P.) and ask for help with administering medication, help with dressing and hygiene needs.
He/she may wish you to have a home visit by a specialist in geriatrics to validate the request, this may not be necessary if the G.P. acknowledges the problem.

The G.P. will give your mother "un ordonnance" (prescription) with the help he/she deems appropriate,
(for my husband it is the twice daily administration of medication and three days a week for showering etc.)

With this in hand your father will need to take it to the local "Aides Soignants" where the nursing chief will assess the delivery of the prescription. Ask in the Mairie for the address.


Secondly you need to apply for an"Allocation Personnaliseé d'Autonomie". This is the equivalent of Social Services home help etc.

Your father will need to make an appointment with APA , showing the prescription and detailing your situation.
They will send a person to your parents' home to judge the level of need.

After all of that you should get some help, my OH gets four hours a week and the APA aide is from the UK so no language issues.

You may need too pay for some of these services, each case is different.

It is very worthwhile, not only are all the aides, coming in to our home, lovely people but the level of support increases as time goes on. Certainly having the help has made my life as a carer a lot easier.

It may be worth starting the "habilitation familiale " power of attorney, that journey is even longer!

Hope this has been helpful,
We live in an adjoining department, so you can get in touch if you want.
Jayne
.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,163
Yorkshire
Hi loisamber and Finbar77
just wanted to welcome you both to TP - what an amazing place this is to be able to link up the 2 of you, and other members in France, to share location specific information
do keep posting to air your concerns - the rest of us can offer a listening ear and share sympathy
best wishes to you both
 

CDY

Registered User
Feb 23, 2016
5
Finbar

Your post suggests that the process to set up an "habilitation familiale" is lengthy. Wasn't that simplified starting from January of this year?

We're just about to start the process on behalf of my children whose mother is in a French hospital with severe dementia. To make it worse her husband has just died leaving no-one with any authority to manage her assets to fund her ongoing care.
 

loisamber

Registered User
Mar 4, 2016
4
Bonjour Emma,

This is the first time that Ive replied to a post, so hopefully it will work!

I live in France, in the Correze, my OH has moderately severe AD and ,yes, there is help and support available; you just have to have the tenacity of a ferret to persevere with the bureaucracy; but it will, believe me be worth the effort.
Firstly you Father will need to contact your mother's médicin traitant.(G.P.) and ask for help with administering medication, help with dressing and hygiene needs.
He/she may wish you to have a home visit by a specialist in geriatrics to validate the request, this may not be necessary if the G.P. acknowledges the problem.

The G.P. will give your mother "un ordonnance" (prescription) with the help he/she deems appropriate,
(for my husband it is the twice daily administration of medication and three days a week for showering etc.)

With this in hand your father will need to take it to the local "Aides Soignants" where the nursing chief will assess the delivery of the prescription. Ask in the Mairie for the address.


Secondly you need to apply for an"Allocation Personnaliseé d'Autonomie". This is the equivalent of Social Services home help etc.

Your father will need to make an appointment with APA , showing the prescription and detailing your situation.
They will send a person to your parents' home to judge the level of need.

After all of that you should get some help, my OH gets four hours a week and the APA aide is from the UK so no language issues.

You may need too pay for some of these services, each case is different.

It is very worthwhile, not only are all the aides, coming in to our home, lovely people but the level of support increases as time goes on. Certainly having the help has made my life as a carer a lot easier.

It may be worth starting the "habilitation familiale " power of attorney, that journey is even longer!

Hope this has been helpful,
We live in an adjoining department, so you can get in touch if you want.
Jayne
.
Thank you so much for this very useful information. I spoke to my parents last night and told my Dad what you had said. My Mum has medication in the form off patches and at the moment there is no need for help with hygiene issues but you've highlighted the one thing my Dad is in need of which is the equivalent to a 'home help'.
I am going to forward your information onto my Dad and if your offer of getting in touch still stands I think my Dad would like to contact you at some point possibly via email.
Thank you once again. Nice to know there are people who understand !!
Best wishes, Lois xx
 

loisamber

Registered User
Mar 4, 2016
4
Thank you

I would just like to say thank you for all the comments we have received so far. They are very much appreciated
 

MaggiB

New member
Apr 27, 2020
4
Living in France with demential and diagnoses - although a good few years old now, the post above is helpful and interesting, my husband who is 84 has vascular dementia and I am making an appointment to see our doctor tomorrow alone - he has deteriorated so much in the past couple of months and now has delusions and paranoia. I am his carer.

When I contacted his doctor last week she presribed an antiphycotic drug that she thought would calm him down, however despite increasing the dose, this has only made his behaviour a bit less confrontational. What really surprised me today, was that she suggested that I take him to the emergency department of our local hospital - I really do not know what this was supposed to do apart from alarm him as he hates hospitals especially staying in them. Living in a France does present some challenges and I seriously wonder what the future may bring. Odd thing is, we have not had a formal diagnoses yet. I will take on board the advice given above and pursue the matter further.