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Hi new member here


Registered User
Jun 9, 2015
Hi everyone,

I have been assigned a new client who has mixed dementia and Alzheimer's. It was my first visit with her this morning and I didn't know what to expect with her because my agency posted me a note which tells me that the client wanders outside her home and can have very changeable moods but not violent.

I turned up at her home today and rang her front doorbell. There was no answer so I then used the letterbox. My client then came from the side door and asked me why I was there. I told her I'm from the agency to help look after her and she told me she didn't know why I was there and didn't know what I was talking about. The caregiver who was mentoring me then came out and explained to her why I was there. Which is to cover the days she cannot do.
The client kept saying she didn't need looking after and had lived in her home by herself for 40 years. She doesn't remember her husband, thinks her mum is still among us and her daughters moved out but hardly come over to visit her and help out.

I couldn't help but feel offended because this is the first time any of my dementia clients has said they don't need anyone to help them. This client then said she didn't think she'd like me coming to her home and going through her stuff (when the caregiver I was shadowing told her she was going to show me where the recycling goes)

She also wanders at night and sometimes the caregivers have found her halfway down her road in just her cardigan (nothing underneath) and her skirt. She bangs on her neighbours' doors for things like butter when she herself has run out.

Her daughters do visit on the odd occasion but once one of them said she would get the client some butter and didn't give her the butter til 3 days later. The other caregiver has said the client's daughters have a "can't be bothered" attitude with her which doesn't help us as caregivers.

This client is not fully compliant with her medication and will only take the smaller tablets, the others she throws down the toilet. I had a client like this before and despite my prompting and encouraging her to take them she refused to take her medication and ended up in hospital with pneumonia and intestinal obstruction (two of the medications she refused to take were laxatives)

When I was asking the other caregiver some questions the new client said she didn't like us talking about her behind her back and that it wasn't very nice.

I was told that the new client I'm with is lovely but I'm guessing because I'm new to her she became agitated. Is it highly likely that in time she will adapt and warm to me? Seems like that is ages away at the moment and I've only just met her today for the first time!
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Sad Misty

Registered User
Jun 8, 2015
Sounds to me like my mum (Alzemiers 4 years and counting live home still )

Now what i personally think is that the caregiver should along with you sit down with the caretaker and there the caregiver should also explain things fore her mother that (and so on ) I believe the mistake here is that you just showed up without first meeting the care taker along with the caretaker first rather then as seems to been done just throw you in there right away. This is the way i have done before any staff (home helpers, contact person , etc..... ) as this gives both them as well as her a chance to properly meet eatchoder

So what i would do is that you talk to you're caretakers caregiver about what you feel and how the two of you (along with you're employer of course ) could best get this in motion

Let me draw you a small true story about my mum and the home help that are assigned to give her her med ´s (and now also sadly more caring to help me get some load of ) in the beginning mum refused as she "could do this herself 2 to even lt them in . i then talked to my mother and made it clear that she needed to accept this help and take the med`s (and here i come to you need the support from the care giver ) or we have to take things even further as she would get il quicker and well faster to the home ,once this was discussed between me and mum things started to move along and the home helpers are without question let in and so on. what im driving at here is the caregiver cant just say here is the new help thats gonna come in you're life and impact in you're personal life a complete stranger . (again what i do is i tell mum if you trust me (and she does so far in most things ) she should trust the help that comes to help her , and This is what the caregiver has to do with her mum fore you dear ,

also give the caretaker some time dear you have to understand although she is il just trusting someone new coming in al at ones 1000 % isent going to be easy it takes time dear (same as my mum acts )

And also try to try to not be offended ( i know its not easy ) we have to keep in mind they are not them self and im shore they dont mean half of the things they spit out when they are in this stage

Give it some time dear and see how it goes and do talk to the caregivers about they need to stand up fore you against there mum and more or less stand up fore you

Oh and from a new member to another warm welkome :eek:
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Registered User
Aug 28, 2014
Try not to take it personally. This lady sounds like she was a bit taken aback by "carers" turning up. Not understanding you need help is a big part of dementia. I would say you are a friend of the daughter who is going to visit.

Behaviours change days to day and also depending on the person. My mum could hate someone one day and think they were wonderful the next. Its all about how this lady feels. Its really nothing to do with you. She is in her own world and at the moment you are not part of that.

I hope she lets you in and that you keep trying as its sounds like she really needs you. Be careful of your facial expressions - she will be able to read your face more than understand your words.


Registered User
Aug 30, 2012
Brixham Devon
You will have to adopt a 'water off a duck's back' mentality I'm afraid. Plenty of eye to eye contact, lots of smiles. no tutting or frowning!!! If she tells you she doesn't want you there don't be offended; acknowledge what she says by saying' that's a shame I was so looking forward to seeing you today', or something similar:)

It's not clear how much experience you have with Dementia sufferers-not much up til now I'm guessing. Refusing to accept that you need help, not compliant with meds etc is very common. In the world of Dementia some sufferers genuinely think they can cope-when they clearly can't. Some sufferers are disturbed by strangers in their homes- some don't have those concerns-they are all different.

Give the lady time-from the sounds of it she isn't getting support from her own family, and she sounds very vulnerable.

I hope things work out for both of you

Take care

Lyn T

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
There are so many obvious pitfalls in your report Sunny8, I`m afraid to itemise them in case I put you off for life.

1. I believe as a new carer you should have been introduced to the client before being put in charge of her.

2 . I`m not surprised the client objected to you discussing her `behind her back` or even in front of her. We all know the offence caused by `does he take sugar?`

3. We cannot be all things to all people and one of the first rules when working with dementia is not to take things personally. Easier said than done I`ll be the first to admit, but think how this poor lady feels when strangers come into her house when she doesn`t want them. She feels it`s intrusive, doesn`t understand why you`re there and becomes defensive. Her defense is to attack.

You are there for the person with dementia. The person with dementia is not there for you. I`m sorry for being so blunt but I really do feel you need either more experience or more training. Anyone can care for angels.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
SW London
Your client sounds a bit like my mother at that stage. According to her there was absolutely nothing wrong with her, and she was certainly not the chatty, sociable type who would invite anyone in for a cup of tea. So 5 times out of 10 she would not allow in the carer who just came to make sure she took her Aricept. 'Who are you? No, you're certainly not coming in! I'm not ON any medication - there's absolutely nothing wrong with me!' (Normally of course this would be perfectly sensible behaviour with any random stranger coming to the door and expecting to be allowed in.)

Of course it had been explained to her that the person would be coming, and she had apparently accepted it, but her short term memory was so bad that she would invariably have forgotten when it came to the point.

She also absolutely HATED people talking about her in her presence - it really wound her up and got all her prickles going, so I do understand the objection to that. And IMO this should always be avoided - such conversations should take place well out of the person's earshot. I don't think any of us would like it, whether we had dementia or not.

I would hope the other carer can help to smooth your path with this lady, but it will very likely take tact, sensitivity and patience, and a good understanding of the added problems dementia can bring in such circumstances.
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Registered User
Jan 14, 2015
Fife Scotland
hi Sunny, must ask are you talking about my mum? Apart from the going down the road, it could be her.

Mum doesn't want the carers, but will go put in the car with one of them. Mother is fed up with them ( the carers and the nurses AM/PM ) coming into her house. I think she mentioned someone steeling ot taking things. Daughters quote <The other caregiver has said the client's daughters have a "can't be bothered" attitude with her which doesn't help us as caregivers.>

Who actually said that the client or the carers, mum I'm sure tells her carers sis and I can't be bothered with her.

I visit her every three weeks as my husband has Parkinson's and Angina. I go when I can. I take her shopping.

Not saying what you are saying is wrong, but I'm sure my mother tells people stories they want to hear.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
SW London
V good point, Patsy - it's important to understand that everything someone with dementia says should not necessarily be taken at face value, particularly regarding their relatives.

My mother would complain that she hadn't seen my brother for weeks on end - and she honestly believed it - ('He never comes near!') when I had met him on his way out, just as I was arriving a mere 20 minutes previously!
But I'm sure anyone who didn't know would have believed her and thought what a terrible family we were - she probably said much the same about me.

This sort of thing is very common because of short term memory issues.


Registered User
May 21, 2014
She isn't personally rejecting you, she is rejecting intrusion into her life. She thinks there is nothing wrong with her. If you feel offended by that you might need a lot more dementia training.