My Home Helper?

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

  1. MrsChippysMum

    MrsChippysMum New member

    Jun 13, 2018
    7
    Hi, I'm new to the forum. My Dad (75) was diagnosed with Alzheimer's a few years ago after maybe 5 yesrs of problems wuth memory and behavioural changes. Up until my mother's sudden death last month, she was caring for him in their home and they enjoyed an active life. Although she did almost everything he felt independent and doesn't realise how much she did. Now my sister and myself are trying to take on caring for him, which is being met with a lot of resistance, anger and frustration. He wants to stay in own home and 'look after himself', but it is clear he can't without a lot of help. We have lots of things to sort out and negotiate with him, but he us clear outside help or even assessments are out of the question. We are already struggling to get him to take his tablets unless we are standing next to him, but he wants us to give him more space. The idea of an electronic pill dispenser is being met with a lot of resistance but seems only answer.

    I have been looking into remote communication devices/Electronic calendars reminders. The My Home Helper tablet looks ideal (apart from cost). Does anyone on here have any experience of it please? I tried to post a link but it didn't seem to be accepted.
     
  2. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Registered User

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,480
    Toronto, Canada
    I haven't personally used anything like that but I don't think they would work. The situation is that your father is having problems doing things he used to know, so thinking he would be able to learn something new is, sadly, not going to happen. Sorry I can't offer better advice.
     
  3. MrsChippysMum

    MrsChippysMum New member

    Jun 13, 2018
    7
    Thanks for reply. I agree hd couldn't learn something new, but this particular device is a screen that you can send messages on (he doesn't like or hear phone) and pill reminders come up in screen or you can Skype etc on him). He would not have to interact with it just get messages reminders sent by us. I think!
     
  4. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Registered User

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,480
    Toronto, Canada
    But would he a) remember to look at the screen and b) follow the instructions? I'm not trying to be negative, just trying to point out potential hurdles, particularly if it's an expensive device.
     
  5. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    6,015
    Female
    South coast
    #5 canary, Jun 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
    If he is anything like my mum he would simply ignore the messages, or forget where the screen was. Mum would also bin stuff that she didnt understand - her hearing aids went missing and were never seen again - I think she forgot what they were and simply binned them.

    Edit to say that if he is already using a tablet regularly, you might be able to find an app that would send him a message at a given time. My OH spends all his time on his tablet, so it might work for him, but unlikely if hes not used to being on it.
     
  6. MrsChippysMum

    MrsChippysMum New member

    Jun 13, 2018
    7
    This is what we have been wondering too! I think the idea is that you set the screen up somewhere near where they sit, next to tv for example, and messages and reminders pop up and stay for a certain about of time. He has a whiteboard with info on it, which he forgets to look at. I think the idea that it's a changing display is to encourage them to look at it from their chair. But obviously the advertising blurb is always going to make it sound like it solves all problems! Just grasping at straws really. He won't accept help from others and is already kicking up a fuss about us doing meals and tablets, but missing them when last to own devices.
     
  7. MrsChippysMum

    MrsChippysMum New member

    Jun 13, 2018
    7
    Hmm. There is that risk! Although I think it' meant to a secured device on a stand. Otherwise he would burg it under papers, like his phone, keys, wallet! He is currently able to use his old tablet and surf web/Amazon etc, admittedly in a haphazad fashion though, do maybe he would 'get it still.
     
  8. MrsChippysMum

    MrsChippysMum New member

    Jun 13, 2018
    7

    Thanks! See reply below or actually above!
     
  9. lambchop

    lambchop Registered User

    Nov 18, 2011
    108
    Just to add something that may not be helpful at all and which you are very aware of, I'm sure, but your mum only died last month and your dad must be so confused - suddenly she's gone and you are trying to do the things she was doing up until very recently. He must be scared and confused. What is his understanding of the current situation? It's a very very difficult situation for all of you and I am very sorry for your mother's loss. It might help to talk to the Alzheimers' helpline as they must come across these situations a lot.

    Good luck.
     
  10. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    9,951
    Female
    London
    I don't want to be negative but we got a Dementia Day Clock that says quite clearly what day it is, and put it on a small coffee table in front of the TV, so clearly in OH's line of vision. He still turned to me to ask what day it was!
     
  11. MrsChippysMum

    MrsChippysMum New member

    Jun 13, 2018
    7
    Yes, we bought my Dad one of those a couple of weeks ago. It has revolutionised things! It has really really helped him. He was getting confused about what day it was, taking wrong days tablets, constantly complaining to newsagents about having yesterday's papers! So it really helped him, money well spent, but he does still stand next to it and ask what day if is!
     
  12. MrsChippysMum

    MrsChippysMum New member

    Jun 13, 2018
    7
    Thank you so much for your kind words. It has been such a shock for us all, especially him obviously. She wasn't ill, so we hadn't thought what we'd do without her at all. I think we all thought she would go on forever! Thankfully, apart from briefly the next morning, he has been able to remember she has died. Sadly he is already forgetting the funeral, which was a wonderful positive celebration. But it is already fading for him.
    I think we will need lots of advice, especially as he won't even contemplate carers or social services coming in to help. It makes him so angry as he thinks he can cope. But I doubt he'd eat or take his tablets most of the time without out help, but he's already trying to push us away to 'cope' by himself.
     
  13. jknight

    jknight Registered User

    Oct 23, 2015
    734
    Hampshire
    #13 jknight, Jun 13, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2018
    I engaged a care agency for befriending. One hour visits. They make a sandwich for tea, lay a tray for meals, make sure she has her meds and chat.
     
  14. lambchop

    lambchop Registered User

    Nov 18, 2011
    108
    It is horrendous for all of you - you are coping with so much on top of losing your beloved mother. It's good that you are seeking advice from any source you find and I hope it's not too overwhelming. I think dad must be very overwhelmed and it could take time for him to accept the smallest of changes at this very early and shocking stage. I'm just speculating but, as you have and will find, the grief of losing a loved one takes you completely by surprise in various ways and dad must be in shock even though he may understand in some way that his wonderful wife and your mother has died. It doesn't help you of course, as you need to give him the care he needs but won't accept yet.

    Is there anyone - a family friend say - whom he may accept help from for the timebeing, until professional care can be sorted out? He may accept help from someone whom he knows but is not directly related to him.

    I sincerely wish you the best of luck.
     
  15. Amethyst59

    Amethyst59 Registered User

    Jul 3, 2017
    4,842
    Female
    Kent
    A horrible situation for you, right on top of losing your mum. The only thing I can think of to add is at some point, and maybe soon, your dad will probably need people to be calling in, for cleaning or help with meals and meds, or for company and I know some people have used one of the following two strategies to get such help accepted. Either tell him that the help is for you, as you are ‘too tired/busy’ to do the cleaning, or introduce carers as ‘friends’ of yours, who have some spare time and would like to keep your dad company for a while.
    I have bought quite a few gadgets for my husband, the latest is an Echo (other devices are available!) which he cannot use as much as he used to. I can, however, play music on it for him, even when I am not with him, and we find this useful.
     
  16. j.s.king

    j.s.king Registered User

    Oct 23, 2017
    18
    Female
    Southampton , England
    I got an automatic pill dispenser for my dada but he couldn't remember he had to turn it over to get the pills out when the alarm sounded and ended up breaking it .The dispenser and his alarm he wears round his neck were all supplied for free by the council /social following a visit from the Wellbeing nurse.We bought him a dementia day clock which he uses all the time as it is easy to read so that was a good buy even if he still asks the day sometimes. Look to see if you have a wellbeing service in your area , they are great and are there to give and advice and support to you and the patient. Even if your dad wont accept help yet you and your sister need some support now .If you could get a visit from a wellbeing nurse posing as a friend to visit then they will be able to help im sure.
     

Share This Page