• We're currently experiencing technical issues with our newsletter software, so our Dementia Talking Point monthly updates have been put on hold for now. We hope to restart the newsletter soon.

    Find out more >here<.

advice please


Registered User
Oct 7, 2003
My mum has alzheimer's disease. She is 57 and lives with me, my husband and my 19 year old brother. I work three long days a week so my brother looks after mum while i am at work. mum seems to becoming more and more dependant on me and cries every time she knows i am going out and then when i have gone. i have a carer who comes in for 45 minutes when i am at work to help with washing, dressing, breakfast and tablets but she hates that too and we have more tears. she has recently become obsessed with how long the tv programme is going to be on for. she has very limited concentration now so trying to keep her amused is really hard. she won't go to a day centre at the moment but is tentatively considering it. she always looks so sad and i just feel helpless. does this ring any bells?


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
All too familiar!

As Jan and I had no family of our own and relatives were miles away, and there was scant help available, the only thing I could do was to drop everything and be with her 24 hours of each day. That stage lasted for over 6 months.

Hooray for the Internet and Tesco's home delivery service, or we wouldn't have eaten!

Of course there were occasions when someone could come and stay with Jan for a couple of hours, but she hated that. She became obsessed with the idea that other people came to the house only to eat her food - even friends of long standing.

She point blank refused to allow one care assistant in because she was 'too fat' and clearly would eat everything in sight. [well, she wasn't a size 10, but I've seen much bigger!]

Day centres weren't an option as she wondered why she was there with so many old people [she was about your Mum's age then] and I hated having to ask staff to divert her attention while I bolted and left her there, on the three occasions she went. Then I would sit at home worrying about her, so I got nothing done anyway, and it took me ages to bring her back to normal again afterwards. Situation was resolved when the day centre threw her out as being too much work. I was relieved, frankly.

With this condition, you often have to go through the motions with things you know won't work, just so the social services etc can tick off a box that something on their list has been tried.

With no attention span at all, the best we could manage towards the end of her time at home with me was to sit together for hours, holding hands, with me trying to make simple conversation. TV, radio, music... all useless as diversions.

It is a challenge I never really won. Sometimes the anger was easier to handle than the tears.

All you can do is your best. Keep trying things, anything that you think might be a diversion.


Registered User
Oct 17, 2003
Hi there

unfortunately this seems all too familiar. My Mum is 80 and lived with us but showed similar types of behaviour, crying when I went out getting distressed when I was in the house and only in another room. Even when I sat with her and the 'sundowning' came on there was nothing I could do to lift her mood. Mum though did tolerate and enjoy her carer who came in and did go to a day centre, church group and support group right up until going into the home. But we could have a full day out shopping and lunch etc and she would still complain that she never did anything! I reckon she had a more varied social life than most people her age. In the end I found this and the lack of sleep intolerable and sadly Mum had to go into a home, but taking account her age my situation is much easier than yours and you do have my sympathy