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How did you introduce home-based assistance?

LHS

Registered User
Oct 5, 2018
72
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?
 

KathrynAnne

Registered User
Jun 6, 2018
270
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.
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,161
Scotland
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.
 

Lindy50

Registered User
Dec 11, 2013
5,239
Cotswolds
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
 

AliceA

Registered User
May 27, 2016
2,863
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!
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,968
Kent
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`.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,864
Nottinghamshire
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.
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,637
Ireland
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.
 

Lindy50

Registered User
Dec 11, 2013
5,239
Cotswolds
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. !
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!
 

AliceA

Registered User
May 27, 2016
2,863
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!
We now have no public transport, the bus was full of chat and banter too!
 

AliceA

Registered User
May 27, 2016
2,863
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.
I am hoping to extend the people that my husband gets used as life changes. Your 'gardener' sounds ideal.
 

AliceA

Registered User
May 27, 2016
2,863
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.
Yes, that is the advice I have been given. Start early enough. I am the problem I like my private space!
 

AliceA

Registered User
May 27, 2016
2,863
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`.
What a character!
 

AliceA

Registered User
May 27, 2016
2,863
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?
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.
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
580
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!
 

LHS

Registered User
Oct 5, 2018
72
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.
 

jknight

Registered User
Oct 23, 2015
786
Hampshire
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.
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! )
 

Hazel P

Registered User
Oct 30, 2018
13
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.
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,637
Ireland
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.
My husband was certainly one who did so much better once he finally moved to a Nursing Home. I had been determined to keep him at home, but in the end, the illness defeated me. He had become aggressive about personal care, having always been a very private person to whom personal modesty meant a great deal. He was also not eating, not drinking much, and going downhill rapidly. Once in the nursing home, which had a high complement of male staff, my husband absolutely thrived! He understood that the uniformed staff were there to help him, and had no objections to the male staff helping with personal care. He enjoyed the stimulation of watching all that was going on around him, the comings and goings. And he loved to walk, and the wide, flat corridors of the nursing home were ideal for him. No door straddles, no steps. The dining room was set up like a fine restaurant, and he ate everything they gave him. He had always enjoyed eating out, so every meal was like a treat for him! He gained weight, and was doing well until the natural progression of his illness brought an end, eleven months later.