1. Q&A: Looking after yourself as a carer - Friday 25 January, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of that person will often come before your own, and this can mean that you don't always look after yourself.

    However, it's important for both you and the person you care for. But how do you do that properly?

    Our next expert Q&A will be on looking after yourself as a carer. It will be hosted by Angelo from our Knowledge Services team, who focuses on wellbeing. He'll be answering your questions on Friday 25 January between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

Helpcards for carers

Discussion in 'Alzheimer's Society notices' started by HarrietD, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. HarrietD

    HarrietD Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 29, 2014
    4,381
    London
    Our Knowledge Services team are looking to develop carer ‘helpcards’ which would be similar to the current ones for people with dementia (an example of these can be seen below).

    These cards would help carers to notify others - for instance, shop assistants - that the person they are with has dementia.

    The Knowledge team are looking to find out:
    • whether there is a need for these type of cards

    • if so, what information would be useful to include on them.
    It would be great to get your views on this, as it will help to inform their decision and will influence the content of any helpcards that are produced. If you could let us know your thoughts by Tuesday 21 August that would be really helpful.

    Thanks very much :)

    Helpcards.jpg
     
  2. Amethyst59

    Amethyst59 Registered User

    Jul 3, 2017
    5,709
    Female
    Kent
    One of the things I’d find most useful at the moment is a card to flash around when out using public loos. I either look suspicious hanging around outside men’s loos, or we both get dirty looks using loos for the disabled, as neither of us looks disabled.
     
  3. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    10,939
    Female
    London
    #3 Beate, Aug 7, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
    I think there is one. It says something like "I have a medical condition and need to use the toilet urgently." You are supposed to wave it at restaurant owners to ask to use their loo. The organisation charges you something like £5. Can someone help jog my memory which website this is?
     
  4. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    639
  5. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    10,939
    Female
    London
    That's it - and free now, excellent! :D
     
  6. BLIP

    BLIP Registered User

    Jul 22, 2018
    66
    I think the help cards for carers are a good idea especially in our case when or should say if M.I.L. comes home ? As we aren't allowed to tell them what she needs ourselves. They put their hand up to our face and say ' we are talking to PWD not you ! Well excuuuuse me but we know M.I.L. a damn sight better than they do , plus we have been her carers for last 5 years. Spoken to care home every day and apparently M.I.L. hasn't asked to see us which I find odd as we are the only 2 people she has.
     
  7. BLIP

    BLIP Registered User

    Jul 22, 2018
    66
    Fantastic idea, a card like this would have been useful when M.I.L. wandered off and was found a mile away. The police rang us as M.I.L. takes her battered old handbag everywhere , and I mean everywhere lol.and she has a piece of paper with my husbands phone number on it. A card saying she has dementia with a contact number for a family member would be good. The only downside I can see is that the PWD could be taken advantage of or even attacked if the card got into the wrong hands !
     
  8. LynneMcV

    LynneMcV Volunteer Moderator

    May 9, 2012
    3,140
    south-east London
    I can't think of specific wording right now but there were two particular situations where I would have found it helpful to have a carers card on me -

    Taking my husband to hospital for blood tests - unlike most medical appointments where my husband's medical notes were easily pulled up on screen, this is not the case with blood tests carried out on a turn up and queue basis. I always had to quickly tell the person doing the blood test why I was there with him, that I would need to answer personal ID questions for him, that he might take longer than the average person or become anxious etc. It's not a nice thing to have to do in front of the person with dementia.

    There are also times when out and about when it would have been helpful to have had a card to show - particularly if unusual behaviour was taking place - e.g. my husband would follow women in supermarkets if he became disorientated, have mini tugs-of-war over the wrong trolley or look blankly at people who might request his help at getting things off a high up shelf for them as he was so tall. Of course I would put everyone's mind at rest at the time by explaining the situation - but again not nice for my husband to hear - let alone the lack of privacy as passers-by also got to hear about his diagnosis too.

    It would have been so much easier if I'd had a card to say the person I was with had dementia and to apologise if their behaviour had caused any upset and ask for their understanding etc.
     
  9. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    5,055
    Male
    Bristol
    I was appointed by the DWP as my partner's representative in dealing with them. She also signed a form authorising me to chaperone her at the GP surgery. Those, and a Debit Card for her account in my name solve many problems of being able to help her communicate.
    Would it be possible to do something like that for your M I L ? Sorry, if you have tried and not managed to set anything up.
     
  10. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    5,055
    Male
    Bristol
    I think it is a good idea. You may have to keep the information to a minimum and display the Alzheimer's logo prominently as I doubt many people have the patience to wade through too much detail.
    I'm getting quite good at standing outside disabled toilets and even letting myself in occasionally without looking suspicious. A little embarrassed sometimes, but even that fades after a while. Something to make it look more official may persuade the inevitable person who will question you.
     
  11. Angela57

    Angela57 Registered User

    Jan 22, 2016
    195
    This is a great idea! I recall taking my dad to a hospital hearing test and the waiting room was large and full, my dad kept making what he considered 'funny' remarks about different women's breasts, who were also waiting. It was a difficult situation because if I had voiced that dad had dementia, he would have become challenging and aggressive, because he believed he was fine. So I just kept mouthing to others 'sorry, he has dementia'. It would have been much easier to have a card that I could produce and show to others, to alleviate the situation.
     
  12. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    16,859
    Male
    North Manchester
    You can get NFC enabled tags, hold a suitable mobile phone ( most smartphones) near the tag and the phone displays the person's name and a contact phone number.
    The basic cost is £5 a tag but some LAs subsidise this cost or even provide free tags, filing in an online request will identify whether or not your LA does this.

    http://dementiabuddy.co.uk/guardian-angel-buy.php
     

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