Recently diagnosed, very elderly and lonely

Discussion in 'Recently diagnosed and early stages of dementia' started by Cudbear, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. Cudbear

    Cudbear Registered User

    Nov 5, 2015
    I'm caring for a 93 year old who is determined to live independently and on his own. He's not eating well (though I manage his larder and menu) as he simply doesn't want to eat on his own any more. We've suggested a Day Centre or a 'club' (since he rejects anything he thinks smacks of 'Care' but he won't hear of it. He won't allow his 2x15min a day carers to do anything more than give him his meds - though they keep offering. He's getting up at 3am to cook his meal (which we suspect he then feeds to the dog) so he can 'legitimately' tell us all he doesn't need help. Has anyone with more experience any suggestions?
  2. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    My Mum remained independent to the end, with a lot of support in the final 6 months. She fought bravely and fiercely at every point but there were some occasions when I knew I had to win the battle in order for her to keep her independence
    One was a day care or rather a lunch club - just give it a different label and it changes the perspective and the other was allowing the carer we had once a day to do a bit more!! I sold them to her as 'no option' because if she didn't I would not be able to cope and so she wouldn't either and the only choice would be a home. I didn't pull any punches and it took me about 3 months of steady plugging and gradually increasing the carer's duties myself to gain even a few inches. In the end she went to lunch club 4 times a week and we had the carer for 1 hour a day and we had 6 hours a week of respite through a carers assessment (but rarely got the 6 hours as I couldn't get it at weekends when I needed it). She resisted for several reasons - the main one was fear that if she gave in that was a sure fire way to the care home, the other was that she would lose my time because I would go off and do other things and the third was that she was worried about money! All quite normal and took a huge amount of reassurance and the Attendance Allowance helped because she felt she could spend that easily as it wasn't really hers lolol

    Suggest you help him apply for Attendance Allowance and also look at council tax. He may well not have to pay council tax if you fill in the form and the doc writes a letter to say he has severe mental impairment and lives alone.

    sorry all a bit long winded but hope some of it helps. Good luck and keep posting xxxx
  3. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    Perhaps your local Alzheimers society has a day a week he could go to, as an activity/mobility day to keep him active (sell it to him that way) or any other local groups such as memory clubs? Singing for the brain is great but someone would need to go with him but it might be a start!
  4. Cudbear

    Cudbear Registered User

    Nov 5, 2015

    Fizzie, thanks for the suggestions - it's reassuring to know others have travelled this route.

    I think 'selling' it as a lunch club is the right approach. Unfortunately we don't have local groups that will cater for him (nearest AgeUK group is 30+ miles away and doesn't take those with dementia); his church has a lunch club but he finds it too crowded to feel at ease and he's scared to attend as they once (jokingly) said they'd find him a job to do - and he took it literally as a demand that he goes back to work - at 93 - I could cry!

    He will not apply for any allowances as he will not accept that he needs any care and he also will not countenance anything he thinks smacks of charity He believes it's a family's duty to care for their own - don't get me started on lack of support from other family members who have the temerity to accuse me of trying to put him in a home when in fact I'm the only one actually doing anything practical to keep him where he wants to be. Sadly, it seems to be that 'the authorities' require him to have an accident before they are permitted to intervene.

    Sorry for the rant: I'm frazzled
  5. pippop1

    pippop1 Registered User

    Apr 8, 2013
    We applied for Attendance Allowance on behalf of my Mother in Law who had been diagnosed with dementia. She did not need to agree to applying and anyway would not have been capable of filling in the forms.

    A family member could do it on her behalf. Then there is money in hand to have more care.
  6. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    How about Salvation Army? They sometimes pop in to see people and chat I believe and I know they have get together a for older people. Is he able to attend the British legion? I'm sure if you got in touch with armed forces service he may have served in he'd probably enjoy someone popping in, who happens to bring a cake too!

    What about his dog, does he have someone in to walk it, or a neighbour who could offer and maybe make him a dinner on a pretence maybe. Even if you bought it or made it and got it heated up and said you'd cooked it before you came, even sit and eat with him maybe?

    We have to become so inventive with this disease unfortunately. Shane his family aren't too forthcoming of course. Well done you for caring.

    How about a piece of cake with you as you go in, on an excuse of someone's birthday in your family?
  7. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    Oh dear you really are having a tough time. I wasn't clear whether or not you were a family member. You might want to think about getting power of attorney, there is a thread on here which tells you how to do it online

    I also applied for Attendance allowance on behalf of my mum. I've done lots of forms for others as well so if you want any help just shout - or private message me might be more effective lol!!

    Also whereabouts are you? message me if you don't want to put it on here. Sometimes there are too many 'hidden' services which take a bit of digging.

    The thing that I found most useful was our carers cafe - it was brilliant for information sharing.

    Let me know and i'll help you search a bit more.
    Thinking of you, keep posting x
  8. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    Also you weren't ranting so please don't apologise and if you do want to rant then this is the right place to do it......lots of very kind and helpful people who are happy to listen and help out where they can. So welcome to TP and stay strong :)
  9. Cudbear

    Cudbear Registered User

    Nov 5, 2015
    More thanks!

    Guys, it's good to talk to folk who listen and understand. I'll check out Attendance Allowance and the see if someone in his church could call. Also I'm going to contact CarersNI as I'm sure they'll have support to offer me. Feeling a bit more positive today :)(even though we had a minor crisis last night when the teatime caller left the garden gate open and the dog escaped - soon recovered by the neighbours but poor J left so shaken he took to his bed). Dog is v old and deaf and snappy and seems (normally) quite happy pottering around in the garden.

    I'm in Northern Ireland and I'm trying to juggle care with work and my own life. It's my father "out-law" that I'm looking after. Neighbours are brilliant but are carers too so it's too much to expect them to do more than be there in a crisis.

    As to Power of Attorney - we've got the first stage in place but can't take it any further as the other family member is co-named and won't even discuss, let alone assist.
  10. Cudbear

    Cudbear Registered User

    Nov 5, 2015
    Attendance Allowance in Northern Ireland

    Just off the phone with 'the authorities'. They seem to be of the opinion that Attendance Allowance can only be paid if J applies (with our help) or if his son is appointed to this role and doctor confirms that J no longer capable of deciding for himself (apparently it's different to Power of Attorney).

    However, here, Attendance Allowance is given for personal care only (dressing/washing, etc) - which J will not permit - and we would not be allowed to spend it on getting someone to call to heat J's dinner for him - which is really what we need at this stage.

  11. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Wow, what a difference :eek:
    I applied for AA on mums behalf and the form was a most intricate one that covered just about everything including whether she needed help with cooking and whether she needed watching to keep her safe. There are no restrictions on what it can be spent on. I cant believe its so different. Yours sounds much more like direct payment for carers.
  12. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    Morning Cudbear
    I'm of the view that it's worth applying for anything, the worst that can happen is that the application is turned down. From what I read on TP Attendance Allowance is generally applied for long after the person really became eligible, anyway. So why not just apply regardless - maybe take up Fizzie's offer of help - there are many on here who can give you a few tips so come back with ANY questions. You can always send a covering letter outlining why you are applying for him - or just wait to see if they raise any objections.
    Once you've got it in place, spend it as is needed - I doubt if there will be any checks. He has a need even if he won't let anyone support him to meet that need. If getting meals sorted out will help him, it may be a way in for him to accept more support.
    My dad wasn't too fond of the idea of 'charity' but was happy to get AA etc as it was his right after he'd paid his dues all his life - maybe try this tack with him. I've even heard someone say he'd get it but not for himself, he'd pass it on to the grandchildren (of course that wasn't what happened but it was a way for him to agree to apply).
    I agree it's trickier if he's more concerned that applying shows he accepts there's something wrong - maybe a mix of other suggestions and saying that most people his age apply and get it just for being over 90; maybe make a joke of you hope you live that long and will use it to go on a cruise ...
    As to Power of Attorney - is it joint only? Or 'joint and several'? If the latter I believe each attorney can act separately.
    All the best
  13. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    I absolutely agree with Shedrech. Also you can fill in the form and then get him to sign it, that's fine too. If you say to him that he's worked all his life and this isn't charity it is what he is entitled to then maybe that will help and if you tell him that really it is to help you and not him if that the first doesn't work!!!

    Also you may be entitled to a carers break - but Carers NI will help with that. Someone I was talking to the other day had a meeting with their carers organisation and they helped them to handle all the entitlements and the form filling.

    Glad you are feeling a bit better today. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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