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Relearning skills


Registered User
Jun 1, 2015
I'm new to this site and to Alzheimer's too. I care for my parents; mum is blind and has Parkinson's and dad has Alzheimer's. Dad has been confused for about 8 months now and has just been discharged from hospital after a fall. My main problem is that now it seems that he needs to re learn how to use the cooker in order to look after mum when I'm not about. Mum gets very frustrated with him, which makes the whole situation even worse.
Any help or advise would be warmly welcomed as I don't get any support from anyone else.


Registered User
May 21, 2014
To be honest with you, once a skill is lost, it is rarely regained. Someone with dementia should not have to look after someone else nor are they really able to. You need to urgently ask for needs assessments for them both. If they want to stay in their home they will have to have carers in. Also think about a day centre for both of them, that would give them a hot meal as well. But with two elderly people with disabilities in one household you will have to think about a care home sooner or later. The main object has to be to keep them both safe and cared for.


Registered User
May 18, 2014
So sorry Deb, but don't think its possible, sounds like they need a care assessment and hopefully someone to visit them and warm up a prepared meal. Do you live with your parents?

Sue J

Registered User
Dec 9, 2009
Hi Deb

I help look after a friend with dementia (80) who I have known for about 15 years. I have had early onset symptoms for 6 years (am early 50s) I have a lot of insight into my condition and refuse to lose all my skills, but I am younger. I have got some of them back albeit they are intermittent. I also have intermittent success in getting my friend to learn some new (old) skills but they constantly need reinforcing which becomes very wearing, more because of my own symptoms, and overall there is evidence of decline.

However, to get your Dad to learn to reuse a cooker without the supervision of an able person doesn't sound very safe for him or your Mum. He may? find he is able to turn a basic microwave but it really depends on how advanced his symptoms are and it must be a great stress on them both given their combined difficulties. I would try and get a needs assessment done by social services asap.

Best wishes


Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
North West
I agree with the others that your parents have reached a point where they cannot safely live alone without a high level of care.

As to whether relearning is possible I think that in some cases it may be. Contrary to the often stated 'lore of dementia' new learning is certainly possible for many people at different stages. If that were not so, nobody would ever be able to settle into a care home with all the changes and adaptations that that entails.


Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
My mum lost some of her skills when she had pneumonia at Christmas and was in hospital for a week and care home (for rehab!!) for nearly another 2 weeks. They sent her back to her flat because they said she was going backwards, and the rehab with the walker wasn't progressing. (She picked the walker up and carried it and went too fast - I digress).

When she got back to her flat she had forgotten her routine completely and how to get to lunch, make her breakfast and cup of tea. She is in an assisted living flat so they provided extra care visits for a few days to prompt her and within a week she was back on track. The only cooking she does is to fry an egg, as she has lunches in the restaurant.

Not sure if the same will apply to your dad-I suspect they need some level of care, and I woudn't leave my mum with access to a cooker if she wasn't in assisted living - but skills can be retaught.

And as Stanley says the routine of places is learnt. Mum didn't know where the kitchen in her flat (very small 2 bedroomed) was if she couldn't see it for first 2 weeks and had to be taken to lunch for weeks as well. She can find her way to park across the road now.
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Registered User
Oct 23, 2014
Hi Deb60. As sad as it is, I agree with the other people posting on here. Your father is highly unlikely to relearn and retain the info needed to look after your Mum. They are both vulnerable and in need of extra help. Please do not shoulder this alone; specialist services exist to help. Please access them. Your parents need help but you need support too. D x

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Registered User
Jun 1, 2015
Releasing skills

Many thanks for all your comments and suggestions. I have today be contacted about my carers assessment but all they seem to be able to offer me is a leaflet about the local carers group (which I already knew about) and sign post me to other organisations. I have emailed my local support group of Alzheimer's society about their information for carers course. Has anyone else had any experience of this? Also I was hoping to ask if they would visit us at my parents home to discuss things and see what support might be available. I do find everyday a struggle, especially when mum isn't eating and blames me. I seem to 'lose' it and that upsets dad as well. Having two to care for is a stressful situation. Dads second week of blister box of tablets arrived today, he said it was helping him to take his tablets, although a couple of times i noticed afterwards he'd taken morning and noon pills together. Rather worrying as they both contained paracetomol! Also the chemist say they can not put the tablets that we got from the hospital in the box with the others so these have to be still in their own box. Hes been given Ebixa starter pack and is now just starting week 3 of 4. I think i have to contact the hospital again and see what to do when these run out. Many thanks again for all your advise as I said I'm new to all this. X
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Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
Radcliffe on Trent
I don't have personal experience of a carer's assessment, but surely you need a detailed discussion of what your needs are first ? I thought under the new care act everyone is entitled to this. Signposting to other organisations might be an interim measure or part of the solution after the assessment, but it sounds to me as if you are being fobbed off.