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Caring advice


Registered User
Dec 11, 2015

My dad has dementia and my mum cares for him full time at home.

I try and look after him as often as possible so she can get some respite. The issue is that he is completely dependant on her being there, to the point that he is constantly trying to find her.

It makes it hard for me to take him out somewhere as he will wander off and often knock on random people's houses, stare at passing cars and try (emphasis on try) to ask strangers where she is.

I try to explain she will be back, and sometimes he gets it... But eventually he forgets and is off again.

He has no hobbies or things to engage him.

Any advice on what I could do would be most gratefully received!


Registered User
Aug 30, 2013
Is there anything, that will distract him?
Would showing him a recent (this year) photo of his wife, calm him down?
Oh and welcome, keep reading us, there are folk here who've been where you are now, your not alone.



Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
This is a difficult one and I'm sure others will be along with some advice soon but i'm going to bump your post up to the top :)

I would suggest that you find some activities for people with memory loss and take him along - that way you will meet people and so will he. Alzheimers run singing for the brain sessions and everyone i know who has been has really enjoyed it. There are some dementia cafes where carers and the person with memory loss can go together. The best source of information is your local carers cafe - they will be able to give a lot of info about local goings on

Has he been to any day care? Sometimes a lunch club/day care works well and it would give your mum a break too. It is worth getting a carers assessment from social services for your Mum and they may well offer either some sitting hours or some day care - but ask about daycare anyway. As the memory loss progresses your mum will need a break so it would be really useful to get him used to carers in one form or another now - the earlier the better is the advice I was given

Would he go to a film with you - or perhaps that would be too long unless he is a film buff.

Are you getting the allowances such as attendance allowance which is non means tested and your dad would be eligible but get someone to help fill in the forms - your local carers organisation will help with this too or age uk have people who will help as well

just a few thoughts


Registered User
Dec 11, 2015

Had him today and it was a much better experience...

We decided to distract him while my mum went out, and whilst he was a little distressed initially, he was much calmer than normal. Seems the anxiety of seeing her leave may be the catalyst for his excessive search and find missions? Or maybe it was just a 'good day'...

Thank you for the suggestions :)

We have tried daycare, but he really doesn't like them and does his usual wandering routine.

We've also tried a home care route as well, but he often got very anxious about the visits and sometimes aggressive to my mum, so we stopped them.

All of the allowances and such were sorted with help from AlzeimersUK.


Registered User
Apr 15, 2015
Hi Jonny.. wanted to respond to your post as it sounded like you were describing my dad! When mum was caring for him at home she couldn't leave him at all - he would get distressed when she went to another room! I would sit with him in evenings and at weekends so she could get out ( if one of her friends would take her - she is losing her sight) or so that she could go and have a bath and read for a bit...and he would constantly ask where she was and keep trying to get up to look for her ( not a good idea as he was losing his balance). He was initially very resistant to day centres and would get very aggressive towards my mum ( less so towards me and he was, at the time, sometimes able to understand that she needed to have a break.. but he would take it out on mum when she returned).
As he was increasingly less mobile in some ways, over time, this made it easier.. I used to distract him with photos, quiz shows, crosswords ( with me providing answers of course!)and seemingly endless DVDs of Poirot. Lots of talking at him and reassuring him that she would be 'back in 5 minutes'. Over time he became less resistant to the day centre and was there 2 days a week, we also had a befriender from Alzheimer's Society- which was invaluable..., some help with practical things at home and began to use respite care.
We are in quite a different place now as his dementia has progressed so rapidly. Thinking of you - hope he becomes less agitated and more accepting of the help that's out there .. I know it's such a difficult journey.. take care x

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