1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.
  1. Singing Friend

    Singing Friend Registered User

    Nov 5, 2014
    26
    London
    Does anyone have experience of finding and employing a carer? That is, not someone to come into the house particularly, but to take my mum out and about maybe to a day centre and certainly to a Singing for the Brain group if we can find one near her. At the moment she is still singing in a local choir, and coping OK because it's all familiar (Christmas) music, but even she is beginning to say she might not go next term when she won't know the music. So I thought a singing group with people who understand would be worth a try.

    I live 250+ miles away from my mum. My sister lives with her and is responsible for her day to day care - mum is still fairly able to cope, but gets confused and needs supervision - but it would be good for everyone if she got a bit more time out as well. I spent a weekend with Mum recently and took her away to a church-related conference where there were other people, and it was noticeable how much more lively she was with more people around her. (She came home quite tired and a little more confused, but that's a small price to pay for some stimulation and company! She said she enjoyed herself, and she certainly seemed to!)

    Anyway, to avoid my sister or her husband having to take her out every time, and to make it a bit more of an "event", I think to find a carer, who will need to be able to drive and have a car they can use to transport mum (who lives in the countryside far from any sort of public transport), would give everyone the break they need.

    Any ideas as to how to find someone? What do I need to bear in mind? I'm doing the groundwork and trying to find out what's what!
     
  2. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,731
    First of all has your sister had a carers assessment - this would give her some 'free' hours with a carer each week to give your sister a well deserved break
    Do you claim Attendance allowance - it is non means tested and it is a good idea to claim it.
    Re carers have you thought of asking at your church for a companion/carer? If your sister could get to the local carers cafe (carers organisation) she would be able to get a lot of info about local carers etc
    Also do you have a local memory cafe - they can go together to this but again there will be people there who use carers/services/agencies and they will be able to tell you the good from the bad. local info is always best xxxxx
     
  3. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,992
    Suffolk
    I had respite care from our local crossroads, now sadly defunct, though I think someone has taken over part of their work. We also have, in our county, two villages that run their own caring schemes where local carers, fully trained and checked, are available to look after anyone who needs it. For several years I always asked the carer to take OH out for a walk and coffee and cake. We were fortunately that we lived in an area well endowed with both walks and cafes! But they would do anything you asked, though there were no singing for the brain groups around then. These were 3 hour respites. While he was out I was able to get on with things or go out.

    When OH was no longer able to walk, the carer would keep him entertained at home, photos, chat, chess with OHs rules etc.
    Invaluable.
     
  4. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,746
    Female
    London
    What you are looking for is not so much a carer by definition but a sitter/befriender. Contact your local Age UK office to see what could be offered. You also need an assessment through Social Services. Most council-run Day Centres offer transport as part of the deal.
     
  5. JigJog

    JigJog Registered User

    Nov 6, 2013
    237
    #5 JigJog, Nov 22, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
    Hi, this sounds very similar to the help I was looking for for my OH. He loves to walk out on the hills and although physically well, he was beginning to lose confidence. I have searched for two years through all the usual channels for someone to accompany him. Everyone offered me a sitting service but this didn't meet his need, as he really loves to walks in the Lakes, Dales etc.

    At last I have found someone through an agency. She is brilliant and he loves going out with her. This agency will accompany people to anything they would like to go to or support them with their hobbies. The agency calls it companionship care.

    I know I will use them even more as his needs develop. It has offices throughout the country so there may be something near your mum.

    I'll PM you with the name of the agency. Fingers crossed.

    JigJog x
     
  6. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,746
    Female
    London
    Sitting service is only a word! Our sitter takes OH out for walks etc.
     
  7. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    I have just got Mum's name on the waiting list for the local (non dementia) Day Centre. The thing that persuaded her is that they have a choir session once a week. I had hoped to take her to a 'singing for the Brain' session that we could do together, but she cannot be accepted until she has a diagnosis. Meanwhile, the choir has sold her on the idea of the DC (we talk of 'the choir' rather than 'the day centre'). You might find the same thing for your mum.
     
  8. jasmineflower

    jasmineflower Registered User

    Aug 27, 2012
    335
    Hi. If you look on Care.com I think you can do your own advert. If I remember correctly the registration process includes checking applicants qualifications and crb checks etc (although I'm not sure how good the system is). You could advertise for exactly the type of person you are looking for
     
  9. Singing Friend

    Singing Friend Registered User

    Nov 5, 2014
    26
    London
    Thanks all for your ideas, suggestions and support. I will look into it all in more depth. If it was near where I live it would be no problem finding both things to do and someone to take her, but sadly rural areas are not so well served. AgeUK do monthly lunch clubs in the villages around and about, but they don't appear to do much in the way of other activities.

    But I have a lot more information now and something to work on!

    Thanks again.
     
  10. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,731
    Your nearest carers organisation may well have someone who will visit you and talk you through the local options and transport options - worth a call x
     
  11. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,682
    North West

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