How do I find dementia friend/befriender

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by annielou, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. annielou

    annielou Registered User

    Sep 27, 2019
    143
    I have seen people mention befrienders on here and in gps waiting room saw a display about dementia friends.
    How do I find out if my mum could have one?
    I've looked online and all I can find about dementia friends is pages about becoming one.
    I wondered if this might be something mum would accept, it's possibly not as shes adamant she doesn't need any help, she says her problems are down to being old (72) and lonely. But I did wonder if someone coming just to chat might be something she'd accept eventually.
    It would be someone else to talk to and give me an hour or something off.
    Apart from 4 week respite which shes against shes not been offered anything else from SS and she told SW she doesnt want or need any help.
    My sister did look at private care company who offer companionship visits but mum didn't want to pay and said she couldn't afford it. She's on pension credit and doesnt have much savings, though she probably could afford to pay for odd visit a week out of her pension as she doesnt spend it all, but its her money and I can't and wouldn't want to make her spend 20 odd pound for me to have an hour off and I cant really be paying that regularly either.
    So I wondered about a befriender or dementia friend but don't know how to find them, cant find out on my quick online searches, before I mention it to mum and try persuade her to try it.
    Can anyone advise how they found theirs please? X
     
  2. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,757
    Female
    Dundee
  3. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    1,312
    Have you had a carers assessment? Social services are obliged to carry these out if requested and there may be some help they can offer to support you in your role of carer even if your Mum won't accept help for herself.
     
  4. annielou

    annielou Registered User

    Sep 27, 2019
    143
    Thank you, I didn't spot that page before X i will try this on laptop when mum and I go to my house later as when I try it on my phone the postcode option doesn't work but hopefully I might get somewhere on laptop x
     
  5. annielou

    annielou Registered User

    Sep 27, 2019
    143
    When social worker visited she said would refer me for carer assessment and to carer support someone rang n left a message from carer support service other day but not had chance ring back yet. Not sure if that just to offer support or assessment.
     
  6. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    1,312
    They will usually do the assessment first to establish what support you need. Hopefully when you call them back they will be able to offer some sort of help/support for you, and will know about local support groups too.
     
  7. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    1,047
    My mother-in-law had a befriending service from the Royal Voluntary service. This was about 3 years ago, so not sure if it is still available. I remember there was a 6 month waiting list though and they would only befriend those in the early stages of dementia
     
  8. Sarasa

    Sarasa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2018
    567
    Hi @annielou, I know your mum doesn't want to go to a care home for respite , but I think that her needs now trump her wants. You can't carry on not being able to do things, even things to help your mum, if she isn't letting you. You may find that once she is there she settles well. I'm not sure from what you said that carers coming in a few times a day would be enough to help her now.
     
  9. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,735
    Kent
  10. annielou

    annielou Registered User

    Sep 27, 2019
    143
    I agree Sarasa. I think mum needs help but it seems she won't have, and actually doesn't seem to be able get any, other than me. Though SW talked about them at home visits, when I got care plan this week carers weren't offered, only the 4 week respite. So looks like they aren't even an option anyway. Not that mum wants either and did tell SW this repeatdly.
    Unfortunately I cant make mum do anything as SW said its up to mum. We don't have a POA or LPA thing and SW said she thinks it too late to get one now. I do think it's ironic that think mum not with it enough to agree to a thing which lets someone else decide her care but is still able to decide what care she accepts.
    So here I am with mum telling everyone who talks to her that she is fine and doesn't need any help but then telling me shes scared to be on her own and doesnt know what to do and in my opinion unable to cope on her own.
    I keep thinking if I at least find things that might help a little, or give me a bit of break, one day Mum might agree and I'll know whats available and be ready to implement them.
     
  11. annielou

    annielou Registered User

    Sep 27, 2019
    143
    Thanks I'll look them up and see if available in our area. Thats a long wait though eek. Probably be that long before I get mum to agree though. X
     
  12. annielou

    annielou Registered User

    Sep 27, 2019
    143
    Thanks X
    I'll try to ring them next week, mum tends to get annoyed when I'm on the phone so not had chance to call them back yet. Pushed my luck and managed to call SS and talk to OT on phone this week without mum getting too annoyed and with only a few minor shouts while I was on phone bit she did moan a fair bit afterwards so didn't risk another. I might get chance call them on Monday as my sister is coming down today and going to stay at mums till monday so hopefully I can ring before she brings mum over to mine and goes home.
     
  13. annielou

    annielou Registered User

    Sep 27, 2019
    143
  14. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,712
    Female
    South coast
    Im going to be blunt
    There comes a time when you have to stop enabling their wants and start implementing their needs and I think that your mum has reached that stage.
    If you wait till your mum agrees to care then you will wait forever. After all - she has you, why would she need anyone else?
    Your social worker has explained the problem - unless your mum is in danger they will not go against her wishes and all the while you are there, plugging the gaps, she is not considered at risk.
    I honestly think that you will have to start to take control of the situation and start implementing things (probably by stealth) or else it will have to reach a crisis (probably either her, or your, health) before something changes.
     
  15. annielou

    annielou Registered User

    Sep 27, 2019
    143
    You're right I know Canary. x
    Mum says that, she has me and would rather be with me than strangers, and she doesn't need anyone else. The social worker, memory nurse and occupational therapist all have tried to say to mum what would she do if I wasn't there and she should not rely on me so much but she doesn't get it. Sometimes she'll say to me she knows she shouldn't rely on me and she wants help from others but then says the opposite again. With her flipping between things and not really thinking that she has a problem I fear she'll never agree to anything and stick to it. That's part of whats wrong isn't it.
    Even though she agreed to be referred to memory team and social worker assessment she changed her mind or forgot when they came and told them she didn't want or need help and was quite snotty to them, especially the occupational therapist who came last week.
    I just don't really know what to do apart from leaving mum alone to get panicked and upset and risking her safety as I cant spend mums money to pay for carers she doesn't want, not that she could pay for long anyway, and social services aren't offering anything other than respite which they say is mums decision whether to accept it or not and if she does go she could leave the home anytime if she wanted to.
     
  16. Dimpsy

    Dimpsy Registered User

    Sep 2, 2019
    383
    Female
    Hi @annielou, I am a volunteer with the Royal Voluntary Service and take library books to the housebound.
    The RVS offers various types of befriending, including dementia support, but of course, for a service which relies on volunteer's, the level of service varies by area. Please visit the website www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk and search for local services with your mum's postcode.

    Our local hospital has a very well supported League of Friends who also offer a community befriending service (as do the Alzheimer's Society), again, varies according to area. The social worker might not be aware of all the community services available in your mum's area, you may need to do the donkeywork yourself to find support for your mum - suggest start with the local library?

    I noticed an earlier post where you mention in reply to another suggestion of RVS befriending, that your mum may be resilient to the idea.
    Us volunteer's receive basic training to help give a quality service to the user, but also to protect us in uncomfortable situations; a volunteer can play a pivotal role in providing companionship to the lonely, but only where the contact is wanted.
    In a hostile situation, it may be that more professional care is appropriate, it would be unsuitable and unfair to place that level of responsibility on a volunteer.

    I hope you are successful in finding help for your mum, having regular contact with someone other than you could be really beneficial for her once she has settled into the relationship.
     
  17. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,712
    Female
    South coast
    Ultimately, that is exactly what you will have to do. Do you have POA? If not try and get it while she still has the capacity. My mum refused and I had to go down the Court of Protection route once she lost capacity. If she will allow you third party access this will be a stop-gap, while you sort out a more permanent arrangement.

    I think you need to develop the art of using "love lies" (aka Therapeutic Untruths, if this concept is easier for you). It is difficult to do as we are all raised to tell the truth and to respect our parents, but once someone with dementia is not able to comprehend their true situation and unable to understand why they need things, then you have to become inventive and come up with a reason that they will accept in order to meet their need. People on this forum have come up with all sorts of "reasons" why their person with dementia needs carers/befrienders - its a government scheme, they are friends of yours (rather than theirs), they are here to help you (rather than them), or anything else she will accept.
     
  18. annielou

    annielou Registered User

    Sep 27, 2019
    143
    Thanks for the link I've bookmarked it on laptop so can have a good look whats available in my area.
    If I know what is available I can be ready for if mum ever agrees to try something. x
     
  19. annielou

    annielou Registered User

    Sep 27, 2019
    143
    @canary Unfortunately we've not got a POA and SW said at mums visit thinks its too late to get one now, not that I think mum would consent, which SW agreed she didn't think mum would have agreed either, so we would have to do anything like that legal route, like you did.
    I really do need, as you say, to get more inventive with way I put things to mum, it really doesnt come naturally to me especially at the moment as I don't get time to myself to think and my brain is mush lately. But I'm going to have to try to get better at it.

    I also think I need toughen up a bit as I am letting mums wants for me to always be there and be solely focused on her take over everything in my life and I can't do it for much longer. When I'm with her, which is now all day and night, she doesn't like me to do anything else, read, knit, do my craft work, look on laptop, talk on phone, or clean even. If I leave the room she comes looking for me. I have my phone turned down to the bottom or on silent so I can text and look online on my knee where she cant see properly or hear notifications, although she often kicks up a fuss when notices me on it. I sneak on for a bit when she goes to bed but as it takes her ages to settle, constantly getting up to see if turned this or that off n locked doors, I'm usually shattered and go to bed not much later to try get a bit of sleep in as she wakes a few times in night disturbing me and gets up pretty early so I'm always shattered.
    I need to find some way of getting a bit of time for myself

    I've been lucky this weekend as my sister came down to stay at mums so I could come and sleep at home for a couple of nights, but she goes home in the morning and don't think she'll be able to come back for a long time. I've still seen her and mum in the day but got a bit of time on an evening at home with hubby and also not been mums sole focus when been all together in day.
    I've managed to look up a few things online, although where we live doesn't seem to have much in the befriending volunteer visiting line unfortunately. A few dementia cafes, which mum won't go to and I'd have to go with her anyway, an age uk day centre which again she says doesn't want to go to. There is a local carers service which says can give information on whats available locally so I'll contact them and see if there's anything I've not spotted online.

    We did manage to get mum to agree to go look at the care home up my street today about respite stay, though mum said she wasn't ready to go to staff and also told us that she didn't want to go there. Though she did say it wasn't as bad as she thought and they do seem better nowadays than way she thought of them. My sister told her well if you don't go there we should look for somewhere else as you can't keep having Annie to stay. She just mmm'd at that.
     
  20. katydid

    katydid Registered User

    Oct 23, 2018
    49
    Hi your s/w is able to arrange a sitter usually for 3 hours or so just to chat and drink tea, they are paid by SS. Speak to them. Good luck.
     

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