1. Lulu

    Lulu Registered User

    Nov 28, 2004
    Would anybody be willing to share their experiences of Day Care with me? If you used it, what stage in this disease did it begin? Was it accepted and enjoyed? Anything you can give me would be appreciated. Good and bad. I have absolutely no experience of this. What goes on there? We have a meeting regarding this next week, and I have thought long and hard about what Mum needs. It would be helpful to know if I haven't thought of something I should have. Whatever is suggested to us, I wish her needs to be put first becuase I think that if she isn't happy, then I can never be. If the right thing is done, we shall all benefit. Does that make sense?! Many thanks.
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi Lulu

    Main thing to note: Jan is a dementia person who is Early Onset. This makes a huge difference - there were no facilities for younger people in my area at all, at the time we needed them. I imagine things have not changed much.

    Day Centre was suggested mostly to give me a breathing space. I was supposed to be working from home, but Jan's care needs [no help available so just me] meant that I couldn't do even the minimum of work.

    I resisted in the same way I resisted Respite Care - it would not be respite for me, as I'd worry about her all the time she was away.

    And so it was with the several day care sessions Jan attended before she was banned and told never to come back.

    The first session I talked her into going along to, I had to stay the entire time to keep her happy, and also for me to understand and experience what she would be doing.

    The place was a room with all people who were over 70, many much over that age. At this stage Jan was 54. We tried to suggest that she help, but in some ways she was less advanced than the others, in other ways much more advanced. A tricky mixture.

    She hated it.

    I hated it.

    To get her to the second day was a major undertaking. I stayed a short while, then asked the staff to distract her, then I ran for the door and out. I have never felt such a swine.

    I went home, did no work, just watched the clock until it was time to drive and pick Jan up. She was so pleased to be rescued and was also totally confused as to why she had been there.

    Next time the same thing, only it became more of a challenge to get her to go. More of a desperate sprint for me to leave. Worse feelings.

    Final time, I was told not to bring her back as she had been agitated and had made the other people anxious.

    I felt great relief at that, and deep despair because someplace deep inside, I had wanted it to work.

    On looking back, I'm glad that for the most part I was able to care for Jan 24/7 until the last assessment visit. There was no care on offer besides me. I'd have gone on longer, till I burnt out, had I the choice, but the hospital wrecked her and that took the matter out of my hands.

    Sorry... not a great recommendation, but it was just our story.
  3. Lulu

    Lulu Registered User

    Nov 28, 2004
    Thanks, Bruce. I was sorry to learn of your experiences, but I can understand actually how you felt about all that, well in a way, as obviously I haven't been in that situation. When Mum first went to the AS Group I felt awful, abandoning her there, amonst stangers ..and to what end? So I could have a few hours off? I just waited and waited until it was time to collect her, and never got anything done because of thoughts of what I was doing to her! I now take her, knowing she actually enjoys it, so no longer feel bad. If she didn't like it, I wouldn't take her.

    I am asking for Day Care because I am finding it so hard to do everything, and there is the thought that we could be in this situation for a long, long time. I am all she has, and so I want to make life work as well as I can for all of us. But I wouldn't want that at any cost -it must be right for her first of all.

    I think, also, that Mum is letting me know, in her way, what is right for me to do for her, and what is wrong. On the afternoon she goes for a walk with a Carer she more often has a headache than not, and it gets cancelled. On the afternoon she goes to her AS Group, she goes every single week. She even puts some perfume on!

    Bruce, I do admire you. You have been through such a lot, and thanks for replying.
  4. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Day care - Lionel's experience

    Lulu, Lionel was 62 when he first went to day care. He is taken some 18 miles, by taxi, to the only centre which tries to cater for 'early onset' dementia.in our area.

    He started willingly, said he would give it a try for me to have a break. He loves it, it has given him some structure to his week, and has made friends.

    They do word games, painting, dominoes, and for those more physically active than Lionel, badminton, table tennis and outdoor skittles.

    He feels very, very comfortable with this arrangement. I think it took me a lot longer than him to accept help in this way.

    I shall be sending Christmas greetings from Lionel day care centre soon. I will post it in the Tea Room. The centre users have witten a lovely poem of their Christmas memories. It is not all bad out there. Connie
  5. bernie

    bernie Registered User

    Jul 28, 2005
    south london
    day centres are great. 5 years ago mum started going to a day centre she went once a week and then walked out. as she got worse they started taking her 5 days a week to a general day centre. then as she got even worse she started to go 7 days a week to a specialist day centre,

    had mum not gone to the day centre I would not have been able yto cope and mum would have had to have gone into a home. she did not like the alzheimers day centre, but she would have hated going into a home worse.
  6. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
  7. carol

    carol Registered User

    Jun 24, 2004
    Hello Lulu,

    My mother in law is 83 and been diagnosed with alzheimers for 7 years. Day centre has been a part of our lives for approx. 18months. My father in law didn't want her to go, but our experience has been very positive, she enjoys it while she is there, but several minutes later has no recollection of ever having been. We started day care because they offered a bathing service ( she was not washing and my father in law could not get her into clean clothes, so the bathing service was fantastic, we now have an agency coming in to deal with personal needs, every morning and evening, and this ensures that she is clean, so we no longer use the bathing service at day centre.)

    They have lots of activities, and sometimes people come to entertain, but most of all she receives stimulation that she doesn't get at home. My father in law accepts the day centre very happily now and wouldn't be able to manage without it, it gives him 3 days a week, and he now realises it is the best thing for his wife. At the present time we are trying to sort out respite, this is a new route we have not travelled before, just to start off with one week, he is 86 and needs a rest, but it is not easy trying to find somewhere, after a week of phoning around, my husband found a respite place yesterday, he is going to speak to his father today to see if he will accept it for his wife........ social services have spoken to them both about the advantages for both of them and he seems to understand that at least he will get to recharge his batteries, I am sure if he accepts he will be at the residential home every day, but at least he will be able to have a full nights rest.

    I suggest you visit the local day centre, ours is a very happy centre with lots of laughter and I think that is important.

    Hope this helps.

  8. Loiner

    Loiner Registered User

    Oct 29, 2005
    Leeds, UK
    my experience of day centre's is unusual as its from the staff side.
    When i was in nurse training I did a one month placement at one.
    Like bruce said, I hated it too. Quite a few ppl were asking all the time to go home, thats why I've never considered it as mum was dead set against it before whatever happened to give her vascular dementia happened.
    Now, I can see mum being very disruptive if I tried to make her go, even tho its been suggested to me numerous times I should.
    At the time of my placement I decided one thing, these places are good for ppl who are either at home alone, or like company and want to be with ppl thier own age.
    My mum falls into neither, but for ppl who do like that sort of thing, they are good.

  9. Claire

    Claire Registered User

    Mar 31, 2004
    Hi Lulu

    My Mum started at day centre after she had been wandering in the day - I had to go to work to pay the mortgage and keep a roof over our heads. Initially she went to a standard day centre for the elderly, but they soon realised that they couldn't cater for her needs, especially as the centre had an open door policy. She was then given a place at a specialist dementia day centre, within a care home, five days a week, which was increased to six when they had a weekend vacancy. She was collected in the morning, and brought home in the late afternoon, and she seemed to enjoy it much more that the other centre. They did some craft activities - painting, fabric crafts, there was always music. Mum just enjoyed everyday things, like laying the table for lunch. As they had their own minibus, there were outings in the summer - they went out for a pub lunch, a canal cruise, and a Christmas lunch at an hotel. I know she looked forward to going, as she would be looking out for her bus almost from the moment she got up, and was happy as she waved goodbye. When I knew she was going to start day care, I talked to her about it as a sort of club where she wouldn't be on her own , as she often was before. I have to say she seemed so much happier at the specialist centre than she was at the one she went to first. I think she felt more comfortable with people in the same situation, and she relaxed into it once she was in the right place.

    Hope this helps.

  10. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    As with all things to do with people and dementia, we clearly need to take it a person at a time. And this also depends on your location in the country.

    What works for one may not work for another.

    Importantly, what we may think won't work - sometimes does, so we must try it, for their benefit. Even if it doesn't work the first day, try another day, but just don't force the whole thing if it is clear there are major problems.

    But we must also expect that what we think will be great - may sometimes not work at all.
  11. Lulu

    Lulu Registered User

    Nov 28, 2004
    Thanks so much for all this.
    Mum is very sociable, but was never a joiner-in, a group sort of person. She and Dad kept themselves to themselves, yet helped their elderly neighbours etc. I thought the AS Group was going to be a flop becuase it was exactly what they used to avoid ....but unbelievably, she really does like it.

    It is the stimulation that she needs, and which I shall try to get more of for her. For the time being, I can see to all her other needs.

    Can't thank everyone enough.

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