How can I find a befriending service for Mum?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by MrsV, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. MrsV

    MrsV Registered User

    Apr 16, 2018
    Hi Everyone,

    Mum is 83 lives alone, and has alzheimers. She goes to daycare 2 days a week for company. She's just started getting AA and it covers part of the cost, Mum makes up the difference. But we need to find her something to occupy her for the rest of the time (daytimes). We would like to try to get her into Daycare one more day a week, but she seems a little reluctant to go more often. But we are at work all day, and pop-in in the evenings to make sure she has a hot meal, as she cant use any kitchen appliances, only the kettle. So we make sure she has lots of snack food/pre-packed sandwiches/fruit/yoghurt etc for the daytime.

    She has full mobility and doesn't need a carer as such just yet, its company she needs, someone who could spend a little time with her, or take her out to the shops etc. She cant go to the shops alone as she doesn't understand money anymore.

    How can I find this sort of service please? any ideas to point me in the right direction.
    thank you
  2. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    The care agency my mother-in-law used provided a sitting service and would accompany her out to go shopping. This was about £23 an hour in the week, a couple of years ago, she was in the south east. She also had a befriending service from the Royal Voluntary service at one point, although there was a 4 month waiting list
  3. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    Hi @MrsV

    If you call your local Alzheimer’s Society office they should be able to tell you what is available in your area.
  4. wonderfulmum

    wonderfulmum Registered User

    Aug 20, 2015
    Hi I have this same exact issue too. I've tried other day centres but mum doesn't like them. With befriending I would let my mum know what time they would arrive and they would ring me saying your mum is not home.
    Mum is still able to make decisions too.

    I'm looking preferably for a day centre with same familiar friendly faces that she'd get into routine of going to and enjoying everyday.

    I plodd on searching
  5. MrsV

    MrsV Registered User

    Apr 16, 2018
    Many thanks Rosettastone
    Thanks for the info. My goodness 23 pound that's really expensive, I don't think Mum could afford that on a regular basis, in addition to the 45 pound a day she pays for daycare. Are the people they send out trained professional in dementia, or people who are on minimum wage (as other care workers are according to the press)?

    The Altz society website directs us AgeUK when we put the postcode in, and when I contacted AgeUK Mum wouldn't be suitable for that service (Befriending, Companion, or Sitting) because she's not an invalide and housebound, Mum has good mobility. Technically she is housebound because she cant leave the house alone. Gets lost easy, doesn't understand money, or paying for things in shops, loses her purse, keys etc. They told me the only other option available is to contact a Care Agency, and employ a carer, they will send me a list in the post. Mum is reluctant to go to daycare for an extra day a week because she's 'got too much to do'. She doesn't have anything to do and rings us all the time to come and take her out. We work full time and cant do that, we can only get there after work in the evenings. Will have to see what the care agencies say, and their fees. thanks
  6. MrsV

    MrsV Registered User

    Apr 16, 2018
    Hi Bunpoots
    Ive already done a search on the Altz website, theres nothing in our area, unfortunately. Its daycare or employ carers - nothing in between
  7. Bikerbeth

    Bikerbeth Registered User

    Feb 11, 2019
    I am afraid I am in much the same situation so cannot provide any positive help.? Age Uk in my area said they did not provide a befriending service for anyone with dementia (even early stage) Mum initially reluctantly accepted Carers coming in twice a week to do housekeeping for an hour each time. They were asked to chat to her as they cleaned which they do. After the first. 2 months she no longer queries why they are coming and enjoys their chats (on the basis Mum keeps saying that was a nice lady who came today). I feel better that Mum has some albeit limited company when I am not there. They have also been good sorting out phones, tv’s etc
  8. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    Hi @MrsV the care agency my mother-in-law used was a national agency with a local franchise . They weren't the cheapest in the area I have to admit, but I chose them because the staff were supposedly dementia trained whatever that means, and they also had a good backup from management and a proper complaints service if we needed it. My experience with the carers that on the whole they were empathetic ,keen and did their job well. The sitting service that they advertised was done by the same carers that also did the meals and personal care. There wasn't any spectacular specific training for the sitting service as far as I'm aware and to be honest my mother-in-law often just used the carers anyway as paid talking companions.

    The care agency were initially employed to provide my mother-in-law with meals as this was her chief problem when we first started .

    As to whether the staff were on minimum wage I suspect in this particular case that they were actually paid slightly more than minimum wage in order to try and attract recruits. There was a severe staff shortage in my mother-in-law's area ,not news of course because there is a national recruitment crisis. I'm afraid that in the area she was the £23 an hour was probably about right . No more magic answers I'm afraid . With my mother-in-law she just used her funds to pay for everything I told her that everything was free anyway . As I have power of attorney over finances if she had known the true cost of anything she would have refused to have anybody or cooperate
  9. Philbo

    Philbo Registered User

    Feb 28, 2017

    If you would like to share the approximate location where your mum lives, then maybe others on this forum from the same area might have some ideas of what, if any, services are available?

    In my area (East Kent) I was lucky to find a local carer support charitable organisation, who were absolutely brilliant at signposting all sorts of help, information etc. They also put us on their waiting list for what they call a respite visitor. It took about 9 months but for the last 2 years or so, a lovely young lady has come every Monday afternoon (13.30 to 16.30) to sit with my wife. This is absolutely free, so I try to make a donation each year as I am so grateful.

    I Googled "dementia befriending services near you" and this one was listed:

    Try putting in your postcode and see what's available?

    Hope this helps.
  10. MrsV

    MrsV Registered User

    Apr 16, 2018
    Hi Philbo,
    Thanks for the info. It sounds like it worked out ok for you, which is really nice.
    I had already put the postcode in, and as mentioned above it only threw up AgeUK in our area and they were not much help really. Daycare; or they will send me a list of care agencies to employ a carer. I'm just waiting for the list to arrive in the post. The Befriending/companionship and Sitting are for people who are housebound, incapacitated with no mobility. So that excluded Mum as shes mobile.
    Thank you and much appreciate your reply all the same
  11. chippiebites

    chippiebites Registered User

    Jun 27, 2018
    My husband has a gentleman volunteer from a local hospice, who comes for 2 hours every 2 weeks. I know that's not a lot of time, but it might be worth you enquiring if you have a hospice nearby. It is free.
  12. MrsV

    MrsV Registered User

    Apr 16, 2018
    Hi Chippiebites,
    Thank you I'll do that. I'll look into it.

    The pack of info that AgeUK sent was just leaflets, about lunch clubs in our area, and carers support. Those are no good for us, as Mum cant get to the lunch clubs or activities, as she's stuck in the house alone all day with no one to take her. She goes to a daycare 2 days a week, they provide transport, so we may have to increase that by another day. We work full time, long hours and cant take her as were at work ourselves. There was a list of care agencies, which is our only option really. So we will contact them and see what they offer and how much etc.

    Someone mentioned Pension Credit? if Mum will be paying for carers to come in, she could do with getting this benefit, to help with the costs, that is if she's entitled to it?
  13. Tea and. toast

    Tea and. toast Registered User

    May 8, 2019
    Hello Mrs V I am sorry that you are having problems finding some support for your Mum. I followed the link from Philbo to see what services were available in my area and a service that I know about didn't show. It maybe worth contacting the local authority to see if they have a carers centre as part of their Carers Strategy. The one in my area has a befriending service which I am going to contact to see if they could provide some time for my PWD. I think there is a waiting list but I will see what happens. Though I realize services are different in different areas. There are Dementia Cafes in my area but I would have to rearrange my working days to take my PWD.

    Another option maybe to see if any local churches offer a visiting companionship service? Not sure if a person would have to follow the churches religion but they may just offer friendship and some company.

    I saw that from Philbo's link that Independent Age offer a free telephone befriending service. Not sure how your Mum is using the telephone? It wouldn't be any good for my PWD as they may not answer the phone and forget to put the receiver back!

    It is a shame that Age UK cannot be flexible with their criteria for a housebound person. Age UK however maybe able to to a benefits check for pension credit or the local authority benefits section, CAB or the Alzheimer's maybe able to help.

    I hope you find some support.
  14. MrsV

    MrsV Registered User

    Apr 16, 2018
    Hello Tea & Toast,

    Thanks for the info. Telephone service wouldn't be any good as Mums not good on the phone, wears 2 hearing aids and they whistle when she puts the phone to her ear and often unplugs the phone. Unfortunately, she's not a church goer either, she's been to church lunch groups but she had someone to take her then, but not now so she's stuck in on her own all day.

    We've come to the conclusion that the only option is a carer agency, and they charge 18 pound an hour, plus their travel costs, and we need to have an assessment of Mums needs first. Perhaps they could take her out one a week for an hour. Its looking like we have to get carers coming in we think, as Mum will need someone to get her up in the morning and ready to go to daycare, we will go in the evenings.

    AgeUK, yes, they say bring her to the daycare centre, but she already goes to a different one and seems happy there.
    Thank you for you help, its very much appreciated
  15. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    Does your Mum get attendance allowance? If not, it’s worth applying for it.
  16. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Even if your mother is not a church-goer, I think it would be worth contacting the local churches to see what they can offer or if they would have any suggestions.
  17. BryanG2001

    BryanG2001 Registered User

    Mar 2, 2014
    I even leafleted a local retirement community to see if I could find some friends for Mum, but didn't find any help. All the locals she used to know are long gone. I don't understand why there are healthy older people feeling lonely at home yet they don't go out and help others. Maybe Age UK are missing a trick here. Maybe the country is missing a trick here.
  18. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    I could never find a befriender for my dad. I suspect the problem is that people with dementia are seen as high risk due to potential aggression and wandering off. Probably an insurance issue. It seems very unfair when people in the early stages are excluded from this sort of help but I can understand why.

    Dementia is so expensive :(
  19. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    I had the same issue, AgeUK were no help at all, all they had was a lunch club, which my mother couldn't get to. So like other members, I arranged self-funded carers for my mother. Hers were £22 p.h., and that was in London, so probably cheaper in other areas. If you find the right person it can work really well, my mother really liked her main carer. By that stage my mother needed help as well as companionship, so the carer took her shopping, helped her round the houses, prepared meals etc. If you got someone to come in for two hours once a week it would also set the groundwork for when your mother needs more help - she will be used to having someone come in.

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