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Feel so useless


Registered User
Aug 31, 2015
Swindon, Wiltshire

My grandfather has dementia. He was diagnosed 10 months ago but to be honest the signs were there for about a year before. He's 94 and until last year he was always fit and healthy and his mind was as sharp as a knife! His hobby was repairing clocks in his shed. It was the one place no one was allowed to go in but I was! Everything would be in order and he could put his hand on the smallest tool without any thought. Now his shed is abandoned and he struggles to find the paper beside his chair. As for us, he doesn't remember my husband of 19 years or my 16 yr old daughter. As for me, he has to be reminded who I am. It's heartbreaking.

My 91 year old grandmother is his carer. They live on the edge of a small village 2 hours drive away from me and I'm the nearest relative. We go down there every 4 weeks and my husband and daughter do the garden or any odd jobs that need doing and I try to support my grandmother by chatting to her or sorting any paperwork/advice she needs. She says I do more than enough but it doesn't feel that way. I have sorted and Alert card so I get a call if anything happens to either of them.

I feel I should be doing more, but I don't know what. I lost my maternal Grt Grandfather to dementia 21 years ago. He had his son and his family nearby so I didn't have much to do other than just visit him. Now I feel like I should be doing something but I don't know what. It doesn't help I'm disabled myself and my husband is my full time carer! That's why he does the physical work and I try and do paperwork etc.

I'm after some advice from those who've been there. I've cared for dementia patients in homes so I know what to expect with regards to my grandfather. I just don't know legal stuff etc.

Any advice would be gladly received.


Registered User
May 21, 2014
Hi Vicky
I've answered your other thread about legal stuff but in terms of "just wanting to do something but don't know what" - just be there for them. Visit when you can, lend an ear and try to give your grandmother some respite that way. Also encourage her to to go to social events for carers - anything the Alzheimer's Society puts on is very popular. If it gets too much for her, she has to contact Social Services for an assessment. If you just hold her hand through that, it might help her hugely.
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Registered User
Aug 31, 2015
Swindon, Wiltshire
Thanks I'll go and check the other message.

That's also part of my worries, the going out etc. My grandmother won't. She's worried he won't cope with carers coming in and he can't be left so she won't go out! Shes arranged for a friend to sit with him once a week so she can go shopping but the whole time she's out she's worrying about him and as soon as she gets home he starts having ago about her being out! Even if its for 5 mins to pop next door he gives her the 3rd degree! I know it's because of his illness but I'm worried what effect it will have on her.

Oh well, I'm going to see if I can get down more often but it's difficult. Plus I don't have an immune system so I catch everything and I don't want to pass anything on to him. He had a water infection last winter and that nearly killed him!

Thanks x


Registered User
Aug 15, 2015
I have also replied on your other post about legal stuff.

I agree being there is the main thing you can do. Is it easy for your grandmother to get her shopping or would it help to do it online for her each week. She may of course the break to pop out, but she could still do that for little bits she needs.

I think if you can your grandmother would probably love it if you sent her some flowers for no reason other than just to give her a boost and a surprise, as I believe in flowers for the living not on the graves.

Are their medications being delivered to them by the chemist or does grandmother have to go and sort these out. May help if delivered, you can get them done in a rosette box already sorted out for them.

I always think of the winter in respect of people of their age. I would hate the thought of them having a fall in the bad weather and ending up in hospital and then your grandfather will need more help and more upheaval entails. So anything delivered helps them too.
Glad a neighbour pops in to help out that's something, maybe have a word with them give them your phone number in case they are worried about them at anytime, if they think it's getting your grandmother down etc. you could pay them a surprise visit and take grandmother out for a coffee whilst hubby stays with grandfather.

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