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Ex carer how to start a new life at 72

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by ASPIRE, Sep 22, 2015.


    ASPIRE Registered User

    Jan 9, 2014
    My wife of 50 years marriage is in a care home with 24 hr Care, l visit her 3 times a week and take her out for 2\3 hours which l look forward to.
    These visits mean a lot to me they give me a purpose l am caring for her when l take her out and she is with me.
    Some of the care home staff say that l have to let go and make a new life for myself but this is easier said then done.
    I have thought a lot about this. my situation is that I don,t have much contact with my family ( No grandchildren ) and I don,t see my neighbours and l have no friends. The place l live in is not geared up for retired people. I do feel lonely.
    I think that moving to somewhere which has social groups and hopefully with people who l can talk to would help. I also have wondered about joining a on line friendship group.

    Any comments please
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    Haw dare they say you should let go! Yes it's important to make new friends and pursue hobbies and interests but if you get joy from visiting your wife, who are they to tell you off for it?
  3. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    #3 Shedrech, Sep 22, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015
    So agree, Beate.
    Hi Aspire - well you've made a start by posting here on TP - lots of friendly and thoughtful folk here to chat to about anything.
    Visit your wife as much as you wish and enjoy taking her out - 3 times a week sounds like a happy median for you to enjoy each others company but also for you to have some time to get about a bit.
    Maybe take up again a hobby you used to have time for - join an adult education class - walk out with the Ramblers ... have a look in your local paper or pop along to the library, there are probably leaflets about local clubs there - would you enjoy volunteering for a charity, maybe in a shop or as a collector?
    Not sure about actually moving - only you can know what your current location is really like but moving is stressful and time consuming and may be out of the frying pan ....
    If you did move you'd have to make an effort to get to know neighbours - maybe pretend you have and say hello to those around you, a chat across a garden wall is a pleasant way to spend a few minutes and who knows you may end up having a coffee and sharing a lovely cake you just happen to have in the pantry.
    Let us know how you get on.
  4. Essie

    Essie Registered User

    Feb 11, 2015
    #4 Essie, Sep 22, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015
    I expect it's said with good intent, that you can now have some time for yourself and live your life a bit rather than just attending to your wife's needs but of course time with your wife is what you have had all your married life so letting that go is not a choice you'd probably make - as I've said they probably mean well without really questioning how their remarks might be interpreted.

    I would say be there as much as makes you happy, if that's everyday for 8 hours, so be it, it is your life and that is your choice - I visited my Mum in her nursing home every single day because that's how we wanted it and yes, staff did say to me "you can skip a day sometimes, she'll be fine..." but I didn't want to, I liked spending time with her and she liked me being there, even if we weren't doing anything much - there were many at that home who visited everyday - you were encouraged to do whatever you and your relative felt suited you best. So decide what that is and do it, think Frank Sinatra "I'll do it my way!" and if there are staff who persist in saying not to come in so much then speak to the manager and say that their comments are not appropriate on a repeated basis - once or twice yes but not on and on.

    But maybe try and make some sort of life for yourself too, even a club or group that meet once a fortnight will be something where you can interact with others as yourself on an individual basis which is important too.

    And you have joined an online friendship group....:D we're all very friendly and will happily chat about anything really as you'll see from other threads so post away, there's always someone around to listen and offer support.
  5. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    #5 Spamar, Sep 22, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015
    Agree with Kassy, there's nothing ex when ones partner s in a care home!

    A friend of mine, whose wife has been in a care home with late stage dementia for several years now. She is in a wheelchair, can't speak. He takes her out every afternoon for a while. She is much better with him and responds well. Awhile back social services said she couldn't respond to anything, but even I saw how much she enjoyed a hand massage.

    You know your wife better than anyone.. If you want to take her out and she enjoys it, you do it, and don't let them tell you otherwise. It could be she's in the wrong home!

    I can understand the lack if facilities, Cambridge is a bit of a young peoples town, but have a good look around, they must be something,
    With all good wishes and good luck,
  6. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    The U3A (University of the Third Age) have branches in most towns and organise a large number of different activities - meals, talks, bridge groups, outings, etc - at different times of the day. How about trying them?
  7. Bree

    Bree Registered User

    Oct 16, 2013
    I have to agree with the posts on here, advising you to join in something. Whilst you take your wife out, and visit, you are now living the majority of your time alone, which isn't always the best thing.

    I care for MOH, and can't leave him for long, but if he ever needs a care home, I will have to do something with my time. About fifteen years ago we went to live abroad, retired and enjoying the sun, but missed friends. I met a neighbour, another Brit, who said she volunteered in a hospice shop, and would I like to go too. I did, and so enjoyed it, met new friends, and the found that it was easier to communicate with locals than I had imagined. I'm sure a charity local to you would appreciate your time, and you might find you enjoy it as did I.

    Good luck.
  8. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    When I started my first job I moved to a new area of the country where I didnt know anyone at all and did evening classes/night school where I made a lot of friends.
    It doesnt matter what you do - learning a new language, creative writing, car mechanics, craft work, woodwork, natural drawing..........
    Over the years I have done all sorts, learned lots of things, had fun and met new people.
  9. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    North East England
    Well you've already joined an online friendship group by signing up to TP! Welcome :)

    Visiting your wife is obviously very important to you so no need at all to give that up. But also making some new friends and indulging in some hobbies and pastimes that interest you sounds just the ticket too.

    Good luck - do let us know how you get on :)
  10. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    . I
    There is some great sheltered accommodation around both local authority and private and they often have a social life attached. I think you might have an Abbeyfield near you. I'll pm you.

    The other option is a carers cafe - you are still very much a carer and we have a number of carers at our cafe who have a loved one in a care home and they are a great support for each other. I''ll have a quick look

    Definitely a couple of social things - one thing leads to another but it sometimes takes time x
  11. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    I'd like to echo what the others have said. Spend time with your wife, but don't miss out on this opportunity to meet new people too.

    The voluntary sector is ALWAYS looking for fresh blood :D And if you're a little reserved, it's much easier to help people with a task or project than to turn up on your own at a social event.

    There should be lots going on in the Cambridge area

    Cambridge Age UK might be a good place to start http://www.ageuk.org.uk/cambridgeshire/about-age-uk-cambridgeshire/

    and also http://www.cambridgecvs.org.uk/

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