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Help/advice requested from carers


Registered User
Mar 14, 2007

I wonder if anyone would be kind enough to help me. I have worked for many years with people suffering from various forms of dementia and their carers (in a day care setting and also in a social service dept), and therefore understand what a dreadful disease Alzheimer's is, and the tremendous effect it can have on those who care for people suffering from it. I am currently studying for a masters degree and for my final year research have chosen to look at the best way for social service departments to support carers of people who suffer from dementia. If anyone has had any help from social services (and I know the help offered - if any - can vary a lot), could they let me know what has been most useful. For example, maybe the offer of respite, or a day centre place or even information. Your opinions would be really useful to me and would hopefully make my final piece of research more relevant. Thank you for your time, and I will really appreciate any help you can give me.

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello Cath,
I`m sorry I can`t be of help as, even though my husband has had Alzheimers since, at least 2005, social services are not yet involved with us.
I wish you success with your Masters Degree.


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hi Cath11,

just a few thoughts. My wife is now in a care home [since 2001], so our experiences are a bit dated [1999-2001]

First thought:

you need to separate provision into two groups: younger people with dementia, and the rest. Their needs are significantly different. There are undoubtedly far more in 'the rest' than in the 'younger' category, but the latter category is probably much less well served, and they may be the most challenging because of their young age

In our case we were not served at all by SS.

Some examples.

Day centres: all seem geared [understandably] to older people with dementia, considerably older than 65, the threshold for 'younger' people to fall below. We used a day centre 3 times before we were banned forever.

Respite: all are geared to long term planning of need. Younger families need to be able to give as short a period of notice as two weeks or less, because the needs of paid employment may determine that. I was quoted six months notice being required for my wife to take a respite place. Totally useless.

Home care: where the family member carer works, an hour or two of home care is useless. It may take that long to get to work. If that care is only available once a week, that makes it doubly useless.

... good luck!
There was no help that SS could sensibly give us.


Registered User
Sep 26, 2005
east sussex
social worker

My husband only had a C P N call to see him every 6 weeks or so. After a couple of years or so i asked for a carers assessment for me from SS i was fobbed off and told i did not realy need one. I persisted and when i was alloted a SW i was offered respite stays for my husband plus a Crossroads worker for one morning a week.

I think in some areas of the country help is not always offered as normal procedure. Cynron x x


Registered User
Nov 7, 2004
Hi Cath

The biggest help mum and I got from SS was the telephone number of a private care agency. Lady from SS said SS were always short of staff and as we would have to pay SS for care it would be better for us to go straight to a private provider.

4 year later mum had fallen and was taken to A and E. The hospital in house SS lady said I should get an assessment from SS. Eleven weeks later SS had still not been (though I had reminded them) and I had to take the decision to move mum into an EMI home (which mum’s consultant had recommended) without an assessment.

Two weeks after that there was a message left on my answer machine at 3pm. Message was that SS wanted to speak to me about the assessment, BUT would I please ring back before 4pm otherwise the lady from SS would be out of the office for a week.

By the way the private care agency, which was run by a religious group, was marvellous.

CPN tried to get mum to go to a SS Day Centre. They did not have a driver who was assertive enough to get my mum (with her Alzheimer’s) to go on the bus very often. After a few weeks they said mum’s place had been given to someone else. We did not try again.

And the CPN did not come to see mum in the last 11 months before she went into the EMI Residential Home.

In my opinion the problem is not just that SS were not helpful. What I found really hurt was the fact that mum was seriously ill with Alzheimer’s disease and yet the cradle to grave NHS health care, that I had been brought up to expected, was not there to nurse mum. Somehow nursing Alzheimer’s disease is said to be Personal Care and not mental health care. And the Government of England say mum has to pay for Personal Care from her savings because otherwise it would be a “burden on public expenditure”.

Hope that helps. Possible you will find others are happy with the way they have been treated. Can only give you my experience.

Wish you well with your study.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Hi Cath

I'm in Scotland, so I don't know if my experience will be relevant to your study, but here goes anyway.

My husband was diagnosed 7 years ago, and until two and a half years ago I has no help from SS. By that time I was almost at breaking point, and I was given a carers assessment, thanks to the intervention of Princess Royal Trust.

As a result I was allocated 4 hours (two afternoons) of Crossroads a week. This is free, because personal care is free in Scotland.

My husband deteriorated quickly last year, and I was reassessed. He now has one day a week in a day centre run by Alzheimer Scotland at a cost of £5 a day. I was offered respite, and could have had it virtually straight away, but I didn't feel my husband was ready for that.

I have no complaints about SS, except that they never return calls. I have to go through PRT every time, but that does produce results.

Good luck with your studies.


Registered User
Jan 8, 2007
hi cath11
our mam was diagnosed 6 years ago and we muddled on without help for five of those years cpn dropped off the scene consultant even tried to sign mam off because well she had alzheimers? when we did start to struggle we were allocated a social worker whom after a few teething troubles proved to be brilliant. like a lot of sufferers mam was not easy to help but our social worker did try lots of different things to enable mam to stay at home, day centre, respite, home care, he was approachable friendly and sensitive, a lady from the alzheimers sitting service was also good, i have found the people at the grass roots of care far more helpfull to our needs than those higher up the ladder,


Registered User
Mar 12, 2007
Hi Cath

I've been a live in carer for 5 weeks now and I havent heard a peep from the SS contact at all, Ive been told we have been given a case worker, the local carer's have checked there is someone allocated to us, and have been told she will be in touch at some point to do a home assessment... but so far nothing, diddly squat!

Not exactly what I consider to be a good system, especially as they stated that my 'charge' wouldnt be allowed home without a full time carer in position...they havent even checked that Im here...:rolleyes:


Registered User
Mar 14, 2007
thank you

I just want to thank you all for your very helpful replies, I will keep this thread open and if anyone else wants to contribute I would be very grateful. This will really help my studies and once again I am very grateful. I wish you all the best

Cath 11


Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
When my mother was in hospital we were told there would be an intermediate care team for 6 weeks when she came home, but this never appeared.

I got the doctor (because she wouldn't eat/drink/get out of bed) and he arranged nurse visits and the nurse contacted social services. Then when the SW phoned my brother was there and told her to get lost ... of course it then took much longer before we could persuade them to get involved again.

The first SW who came round seemed quite pleasant and sensible, she arranged the carers who were supposed to come 3 times a day, she said try with carers for 3 months and if it doesn't work my mother would have to go in a home.

The carers didn't do all they were supposed to do, often only came twice a day and didn't stay for as long as they were paid to be there, but they were better than nothing. When my mother complained about them I asked if we should tell the social worker but she said no, she didn't want them to get into trouble, she loved them so much ...

The 2nd SW and the care review were a disaster.

Don't know how much detail you want.