Buddying and Day Care - some positives

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Just thought it might be worth sharing the good has come out of mum receiving a ‘buddying’ service ….

Twelve months ago she was very reluctant, and I - selfishly - tried to push her towards accepting help of any kind - companionship or on practical levels - without relying solely on me and mine …..

I have read here how people, understandably, can’t relax, find it difficult to cope with their loved one being cared for even briefly by others and try to understand how it may be different where a partner is concerned but thought it might be worth sharing …... as a non-full-time carer … but a working mum/carer the chance for even a few hours respite (just from the worry) not necessarily the physical ‘having to be there’ … the idea of having someone call in on mum for a few hours while I am at work … or be able (CRB checked, insured etc) to take her for a brief outing or to the local lunch club organised thru' (unnamed charity) was a welcome idea to me as a carer ….

In twelve months, mum has come not only to accept her ‘buddy’ and look forward to her visits ….. but has really enjoyed going to ‘out for lunch’ (10 -3 - mum was always a ‘lady who lunched’! :) ) …. and even a trip to another day centre (not specifically for dementia sufferers) ….. Even if she grumbles some of the activities ‘are not for her’ (bingo/charades etc) … she is so animated about her ventures out ….. and whilst essentially they are not, of course, independent, they ARE independent of me …… and has given us both some sense of mutual space …..

The stimulation she gets from either the buddy visits or her escorted ‘outings’ are clearly making a difference to her in terms of mood and alleviating depression and otherwise lack of social interaction other than 'putting up with me' ……. in environments where she does not feel challenged but secure …….

I appreciate mum is (still?) ‘early stages’ and this kind of support would not be beneficial to everyone, but thought it might be worthwhile to share some positive ……. and the good that has come out of it for both her and indeed me as an indirect result …….

Love, Karen, x


Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
Hi Karen'
I wish to goodness we had a similar program here in Australia! It would be a HUGE relief to me if I knew Mum had someone outside of family to visit / chat / play Scrabble with, especially when work prevents me from visiting as often as I wish (as is happening this week and next week).

My Mum is still in the reasonably early stages and needs more contact than I can manage. If you have any information about how you accessed the "buddy", could you let me know??

So glad it is working well for you and your Mum!


Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
Newport, Gwent
Hi Karen

So pleased for you and mum that this is working, Oh how I wish we had something like this when mum was still at home.

Enjoy your worry free time, and try to turn it into 'me' time for yourself, you deserve it.


Cate xxxxx


Registered User
Aug 3, 2006

Hi Karen,
What wonderful news, you have done just the right thing in bringing another person into your Mom's life, someone to bond with.

This kind of support as opposed to the caring side WOULD be beneficial to everyone.

Though I'd not want anyone to take on the caring roll of feeding, washing and changing pads etc, should another person show empathy towards my wife that would be good for both of us.

Tomorrow when we go shopping, I can tell she'll be over the moon to have one of the staff make a fuss of her. There's one girl who always rushes to her and gives her a hug and spends time talking to her. To see that relationship is very moving. Jean wells up with emotion and looks deep into the girl's eyes as she's hunched down stroking Jean's arm. Jean could well be saying: "Thank you for being there for me".

If there's one thing I feel strong about it's people with AD should not be kept out of sight. Those who look the other way, that's their problem, but as more people stop to talk to her I explain about Alzheimer's. Now, more and more people are getting to know us as a couple and I'm told the staff at the supermarket ask after us.

When I try to imagine, as I often do, what it must be like to be in Jean's shoes, a lost child in a strange world, is it any wonder I try to get through that invisible wall to offer her reassurance, comfort and warmth.
Karen, when you have been once like that child, you can now see it as a special gift of understanding. I'm so pleased for you, may you grow stronger. Padraig

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Hi Nell ... more for UK carers - mum's 'buddy' was arranged by her Psychogeriatrican. In this part of the world, the Primary Care Trust (NHS) have a partnership arrangement with a charity (not sure I'm OK to name them?) to provide the service to those identified by the Consultant as candidates for the 'scheme'.

The charity can also be approached directly on a self-referral basis (the 'package' includes me having an allocated Carer's Outreach 'worker' I can approach anytime for support and advice .... Carer's support groups - although they are mostly daytime so not practical for me on a normal working week, their own Day Centre facility, transport for mum to state run Day Centres if she chooses .....).... absolutely amazing .... and at no cost to mum or me apart from a token amount towards lunch once a week at the Day Centre ..... The service is run by a combination of paid workers (the charity's employees) and volunteers .....

As Padraig has noted, the service offers no 'hands on caring' (if that's the right phrase) - it is meant purely to promote social activity and stimulation as well as some routine and structure through the week ..... probably one of mum's greatest needs at this stage and in our circumstances.....

Nell, sorry, I know little of Australian support networks/organisations (but do have some contacts who could find out!) ..... I can only suggest approaching any charities in your area to see what they offer????? (The UK one is not dementia specific, by the way).

I have to say I feel mum and I have been very lucky to have this level of support.... only wish it was there for everyone who could use it....

Love, Karen, x


Registered User
Sep 10, 2005
Hello Karen

I read your post with interest and found it very encouraging for me personally. My mum is 'early stages' and like yours needs social interaction other than from her daughter!

Distance makes it very difficult for me to spend any more time than I already do, and so the little hours we do spend are often 'negated' by the weeks she spends without any stimulation from anyone else. Recently she has started to have an OT drop in once a week and I am hoping this softly, softly approach to mum eventually attending a day centre will work.

I'm really pleased that your mum's visits out are helping her mood and, of course, helping you (because you have enough on your plate).

I hope that my mum can avail herself of this service. At the moment she says she can make her own entertainment, but when I ask her where she's been, of course she can't remember. She has given up all her hobbies. Now, each time she complains about not seeing anyone/no-one calling/says she will die of 'boredom,' I am going to mention the buddying service, etc.

Thanks for your positive post. Food for thought for those of us at the beginning of the journey.

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada

Good to hear from you again. I've been rather erratic myself lately.

My mother had a "Friendly Visitor" from the Alzheimer Society here and it was a very good thing. Jan had to stop because her son had twins, one of which had Down's Syndrome. I have kept in touch with her every 6 or 8 months, just to keep her updated.

I'm glad it's worked out for you and your mother.



Registered User
Dec 1, 2006

Karen, that's really interesting. Well done! I think the buddying system sounds extremely promising and hope it catches on elsewhere. Love