How do I help?


Registered User
Apr 11, 2008
Hi, I'm new here and wondered if anyone can give me some advice.
My family are friends with an older couple both in their eighties. The lady has dementia and has had for around 2-3 years. I wasn't aware how ill she was as I didn't have regular contact and assumed she was having appropriate treatment. Her husband about 2 years ago became ill which ended in him having a leg amputated. Recently I have driven him to a couple of appointments and when he is out the house he pours out the terrible existence he and she are living. Sorry to go on but I feel I am the only person he talks to and I know I need to help them. They both are effectively trapped in the house at the moment. I think she has had an assessment but nothing has happened. She is aggressive verbally wears the same clothes constantly asking the same questions as she forgets. He does all the cooking and taking care of house. Sorry had to get that off my chest, should I print off fact/help sheets and initiate some sort of action plan, he is a very proud man. How do you think he would react? thankyou


Registered User
Mar 27, 2008
Dear Hidecote

You don't need to apologise for saying what you're experiencing - that's what TP is for. Your neighbours are very fortunate to have someone who obviously cares for them - thank goodness you are around.

I do think that it would be best to talk to the husband who confides in you and tell him that you would like to help and tell him ways in which you can help. Assuring him that there is help out there and offering to track down this help and follow it up if necessary is a for instance that you might consider putting to him.

My first port of call was the Alzheimers Society who sent someone round to see me and that started the ball rolling. You mention that they had an assessment before but things can change quickly sometimes with dementia.

I can't emphasise enough how fortunate they are to have someone caring about them and wanting to do something to help.

Good on you.

Lots of love and best wishes. Let us know what happens.

Helen :)


Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
Hiya Hidecote,
I think Helen is right, you need to try and talk to your neighbour....he should be getting support, he may not know what is available. There are allowances he may be entitled to, he should be able to have the support of a cpn and probably help around the house. He may be of the generation though where he is not wanting help from 'outsiders'.

I know my father's neighbours were invaluable just because they were there...they called round for a coffee, they looked out for mum 'escaping', they accepted mum as she was.

I hope that you can encourage your neighbour to accept help.


Registered User
Apr 11, 2008
sad update

Hi, just a word to say that after arranging a get together with the chap, my friend, to start getting them some help last Thursday. That day wasn't a good day for his dear wife so we cancelled. Can't believe I'm typing this but he suddenly took ill and passed away on Saturday. So of course this is a terrible outcome, I think the worst. Not sure what the future holds for his wife we are just taking a day at a time for now. Thanks for having this place for me to say this.
My best wishes
ps I found the info/factsheets extremely helpful, I learned such a lot.


Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
It may help, to speak about "entitlements" rather than "allowances".

An "allowance" always sounds like something that is charitably doled out. It's no wonder that proud people don't wish to feel like they are holding out a "begging bowl".

In fact, all the payments available are entitlements. It may help to speak of them in terms of that, and "it's what you paid all that tax and national insurance for".

If the person is in receipt of a pension, state or otherwise, try to speak of any "benefits" as being "just like your pension", or "an addition to your pension"


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Oh dear Jayne, that is so sad.

That poor man, struggling to cope on his own until his own health gives out. I can't believe that psople can be neglected to that extent. The case deserves to be widely publicised, it's a definite failure of care.

You did what you could. You liustened to him, and that must have felt wonderful when no-one else seemed to care. And you had made arrangements to try and get him some help, that must also have given him some comfort.

Sadly, it was too late, but that's not your fault. You cared.:)

Not much more I can say, this is the saddest story I've heard for a long time.

Love and hugs,