How did you introduce home-based assistance?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by LHS, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. LHS

    LHS Registered User

    Oct 5, 2018
    My mum who lives in her house on her own is on the point of needing some home-based assistance (which she denies needing). Things like meals, cleaning, gardening etc - I do some but can't manage more. Anyone got any tips for how to start off this process (practical and emotional) for someone who is fiercely independent and does not want anyone else coming into their home?
  2. KathrynAnne

    KathrynAnne Registered User

    Jun 6, 2018
    South Yorkshire
    I would definitely steer away from the word ‘carer’. Most care companies do light housework so I would say you think it would be good to have a cleaner in. Maybe start it off as just once a week and then increase the frequency as your Mum starts to accept it.
  3. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    We have carers to do showering etc three days a week. I describe them as nurses because of his bad knee. He never questions it.
  4. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    To be honest @LHS, my mum never did really accept the need for help, no matter how desperately she actually needed it...
    There was a hierarchy of semi-acceptance, though. Starting with the most acceptable, it ran something like: podiatrist, hairdresser, cleaner.....for everything else there was me! Since she needed help constantly with medication, food and drink, washing and dressing, going to the toilet, etc, etc, I had in the end to go over her head and simply organise carers. I started with them doing medication ( I said the doctor insisted), moved on to food prep (again blaming the doctor) and the last things that were tackled were personal care and toiletting / continence. She never did really accept help with those things :(
    Anyway I guess I tried to decide a) what she'd accept and b) what was most essential, and took it from there.
    Good luck - it's not easy, I know.
    Lindy xx
  5. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    Well done Lindy, a lot of hard work but worth it. Good advice.

    I am in a parallel situation, I care at home 24/7 as a carer I need to let go and accept more help.
    It is extremely difficult to do. Letting someone into your private space can seem like an invasion of privacy.

    When the children were small and I helped run a business I had a 'home help' it felt like an invasion then, I used to whip around before they came and put stuff away. I needed to find the stuff again!
    One had a peculiar way of arranging things. She cleaned well and polished the floors with our two year old on her back.
    The second became more like a friend,

    So from your parents point of view it is a probably big deal on several levels.

    In two weeks I have someone coming in to top and bottom clean clean the awkward areas, someone else to paint the fences and tidy our simple garden.
    Up to now I have managed with a bit of help from a daughter.

    Our home is our castle, the place to relax. So parents are not being difficult, I know I need help, I accept that then I have a few days when all goes well and then I question myself.

    Now if it was affordable to hire a personal chauffeur I would jump at the chance!
  6. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I told my husband we needed a home help to help me and it worked well.

    I told my mother, who was living alone, help was provided by referral to Social services by her GP so life would be easier for her. My mother had had cleaners in throughout our childhood while she helped my father in the family business so there was no question of intrusion of privacy. However with dementia she objected with vigour and gave everyone `the sack`.
  7. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    I introduced dad's first helper as someone who was looking for a cleaning job and did he think he could give her some work. She also did gardening.

    As he got worse she would make sure he had a hot meal when she got there. If he hadn't cooked his own she'd microwave him a ready meal or cook him a full English breakfast (at any time of day :rolleyes:).

    She'd do a couple of hours 2-3 times a week and keep dad company when she'd finished her chores, making him a cuppa and helping with his latest jigsaw or whatever. It gave me a break on those days.

    I think introducing his "cleaner" in the early stages made it easier for him to accept personal care later on when his needs were much greater.
  8. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    My husband was a keen gardener (a lot more enthusiasm than skill), so I introduced a man to "do the heavier and routine work in the garden, so you can concentrate on the planting". Thankfully, the man was also a chess player, and although by then, my husband's playing was creative, to say the least, they played many long and happy games together. On wet days, there were dvds to be watched, and the man read snippets from the newspapers to him. Over time, there was less and less gardening as my husband couldn't be left alone in the house, but by then, he was so used to the guy coming, he looked forward to it.
  9. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    Oh how I agree with this @AliceA !!! I can’t drive currently for medical reasons and my life seems to revolve around arranging lifts and taxis in this semi- rural area. I find the loss of independence eats into my self esteem big time, and I have to prioritise what has to be done, rather than pursuing interests or social life (what’s that??)

    Decent public transport (in the absence of a chauffeur) would make so much difference!
  10. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    Sorry @LHS for going off at a tangent.....
  11. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    We now have no public transport, the bus was full of chat and banter too!
  12. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    I am hoping to extend the people that my husband gets used as life changes. Your 'gardener' sounds ideal.
  13. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    Yes, that is the advice I have been given. Start early enough. I am the problem I like my private space!
  14. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    What a character!
  15. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    Sounds like people have several ideas. I have found someone who sounds adaptable. Gardens and cleans she sounds bright and cheerful too. Good luck and hope you find the right help.
  16. Lynmax

    Lynmax Registered User

    Nov 1, 2016
    Our problem with getting my mum to accept help ( almost at that point I feel) is paying for it. Mum will be self funding and can afford to pay but won't want to as she thinks she is a poor pensioner! Although I ( and my siblings) have now set up the LPA with her bank, she has enough capacity to be able to understand her bank statements and query any unknown payments.

    I am going to arrange for bank statements to only be available online once I manage to get through on a very busy phone line as I cannot do it online. Hopefully after a while she will forget about them although she is likely to go to the bank on her own and ask for a paper copy again!
  17. LHS

    LHS Registered User

    Oct 5, 2018
    Thank you to everyone for some thought provoking comments. I might start with a bit of gardening help. Am going to arrange an appointment with local alz carer group to see if anyone has any recommended people.
  18. jknight

    jknight Registered User

    Oct 23, 2015
    My mum wouldn't accept any help with anything. I always do that, was/is the response. I introduced carers as friends of mine 'Just popping round for a chat'. They now make sandwiches for tea & occasionally help change the bed. My hope is, when more care is needed, she will be used to 'the ladies (Not holding my breath! )
  19. Hazel P

    Hazel P New member

    Oct 30, 2018
    I’m also trying to introduce support to my dad. Part of the challenge is that any professional care organisation I approach will only engage with his permission. I don’t think that will ever be given by him. How have others overcome this? I’m wary of volunteer organisations in case I’m bringing in someone whose untrustworthy or unprepared.
  20. Sarahdun

    Sarahdun Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    So much good advice here!! I too would avoid the word carer - and focus on the specific tasks that need to be done (in my OH's case the most important need was 'companions' and 'friends').

    I asked for help in finding people/agencies - at first through the local Dementia support - and then shamelessly via anybody I knew. I found better solutions that way than just using care agencies. Really important to start small and as early as possible so that you don't lock yourself into being the only person who can give care.

    Then we built up gradually over a few years to where we are now (homelife run in shifts and the place organised a bit like a care home). I do the overnights and weekends.

    And yes I had to let go of the idea of my home and homelife as a private space. Moving house actually helped that although we started with carers long before that. So, lots of changes that are hard to accept and hard to achieve - but so worth it once you have care in place.

    This is all for my OH - for my mother-in-law we started the same way but eventually reached a point when she had to go into a care home (I can only do the overnights in one place at a time - surprisingly!). Of course we found that once there she was fine and it has been a godsend as she has gradually moved closer to the end of life. Care homes are much nicer than most people think they are going to be - it can be a relief to be looked after and have company and things to do. I have seen even fiercely angry and independent people adapt at least a little with time and have huge respect for the care workers.

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