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reluctant to accept a visitor(official) to befriend him

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by mickeyplum, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. mickeyplum

    mickeyplum Registered User

    Feb 22, 2018
    77
    The family who help when ever they can, worry about me needing a break from caring for my husband who is 90. I am 84. It was arranged for a man to come and chat with a view to taking him out at a later stage.The session was meant to be for 2 hours but I said an hour would be enough. As it was, my husband lasted 20 mins and then asked him, politely to leave. ( I'm not well enough to go out so went upstairs for a little break)
    Afterwards he was very anxious and couldn't understand what the man was doing here, in spite of me preparing him for the visit. I said he will come regularly to see how he is and have a little chat, and 'wasn't he a nice bloke.'
    He's adamant he doesn't need anybody to talk to and he doesn't want anybody like that coming again. Next week it will be a different man (the only way they could arrange it.) so i won't tell him till just before he arrives or he'll dig his heels in.
    Meanwhile, it's making me on edge worrying about it and if I am doing the right thing. Is it really fair to force him into something he obviously doesn't want? My family says be firm with him, he will get used to it and it will be a big help to me as his condition worsens.
    Right now, he is happy and contented and not aggressive so is easy from that point of view. Why should I spoil this by causing him anxiety? Any suggestions would be welcome
     
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,748
    Female
    Scotland
    It may be that someone to chat is not what is needed. If your family want you to get help could that be a house cleaner, a grass cutter, someone to help with him washing and dressing. You are the best person to know what kind of help would’ve most useful but be mindful of what your family think. They probably know you are doing too much.
     
  3. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,748
    Female
    Scotland
     
  4. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    7,738
    Yorkshire
    #4 Shedrech, Jun 19, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
    hi @mickeyplum
    might you treat the man who comes as a new friend of yours and sit with them for a while over coffee and cake, maybe introducing some topics of conversation your husband could engage with, hunting out a magazine to look through because you just happen to remember an article the viditor would enjoy (one your husband would be interested in), find a jigsaw or game you could all play or even just a TV programme to watch and comment on ... then realise you need to just do something and leave them to it
    maybe, as a way in, the visitor could even have come for some advice on a topic your husband would have an interest in so your husband feels helpful, though I appreciate that may have to be handled carefully if he no longer retains much knowledge ... but 'I thought of trying this ....' would let your husband just agree or offer more info
    I appreciate this won't give you much of a break the first time ... but hopefully you could build up the time ypu leave your husband with your visitor

    and I agree with marionq ... find as many ways as you can to take some of the weight off your shoulders ... if your husband baulks at a cleaner or gardener or whoever, fib and say your family are paying as a present for you so you can't not accept the gift
     
  5. Grahamstown

    Grahamstown Registered User

    Jan 12, 2018
    1,249
    East of England
    I sympathise with you but all I can say is that if you break down, your husband won’t have any choice in the matter. That to me is the deal breaker, that I need the respite and the relief in order to be able to help him. I suspect that the same is true for you and please take care of yourself and try the visitor again. He probably won’t remember too much and I have found that it takes a while but I am firm. He doesn’t like it much but he doesn’t come to any harm and understanding your needs is beyond him now so you have to watch out for yourself. Even a bit of a break doesn’t solve the problems of looking after someone as I know only too well but it’s a small respite.
     
  6. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,880
    Female
    South coast
    I think it is important that you get a break and that he learns to accept people other than you.
    If he cant accept the truth, then you will have to think of a reason for him being here that your husband will accept.
    Perhaps he has come to look at the garden and would your husband show him around.
    Maybe he wants to learn how to play chess/card games/ do jig-saw puzzles and your could husband show him
    He might be someone who wants to find out about what life used to like and is interviewing people to write down their stories.
    He might even be an old acquaintance looking you up.

    To start with you will probably have to stay around, but as time goes on you could probably "pop out for a minute"
     
  7. mickeyplum

    mickeyplum Registered User

    Feb 22, 2018
    77
    Thanks a million to all who replied so promptly. I'm sure you understand how I will need to sift through your different suggestions and come up with something tailored to his abilities. But I will keep trying to get him used to a visitor. If it fails then I will know I did my best.
    So lovely that complete strangers on Tipping Point are so willing to help.
     
  8. PalSal

    PalSal Registered User

    I agree with wise @marionq.
    You must get help for other things as much as you can. Expecting a 90 year to accept visits & chats from a stranger might be a very tall order. Chances of him accepting and outsider at this point in time is pretty slim. So get what help you can in other ways, if you can.
     
  9. mickeyplum

    mickeyplum Registered User

    Feb 22, 2018
    77
    Unfortunately I have failed to keep the 'visitor' idea going and have reluctantly cancelled.
    In hindsight I think I should have asked for a woman-visitor rather than a man. I now realise my husband must have felt threatened having a strange man in the house and been worried how he would 'protect' me should things turn nasty (as you can see I've become an bit of a mind-reader through necessity!). He already has a lot of anxieties about locking doors and windows and checks countless times before going to bed to make sure we are going to be safe all night.

    A male doctor calling for 10 mins must seem much less frightening to him than having a strange man sitting close to him for an hour for no apparent reason, in his mind. However I thanked the service for trying to help.
     
  10. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,414
    Female
    I was thinking the same about having another man in the house, it would feel a bit threatening and alarming.

    I don't know what other help you have, but something practical like a cleaner would get your husband used to having someone in the house who is actually doing something - and it would be a help to you.
     
  11. mickeyplum

    mickeyplum Registered User

    Feb 22, 2018
    77
    Yes I have a cleaner and also a gardener to cut the grass. He accepts them cos he obviously sees the reason for them and they go about their business and don't sit close to him. Thanks again
     
  12. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,880
    Female
    South coast
    Could you maybe get someone who is actually a befriender/carer in to eg do your ironing........and while they are there maybe they will chat to him..........and once he is used to them, maybe you will "just pop out to the shop to get some milk" while they are there
     
  13. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,414
    Female
    I was thinking something similar to what Canary suggests. Although I know it can seem like more trouble than it's worth - all the effort to set up something which may or may not be useful.
     
  14. Guzelle

    Guzelle Registered User

    Aug 27, 2016
    347
    Sheffield
    I have a lady coming to see my OH on Friday afternoon for 12 weeks from the dementia service in the hope of him agreeing to go to a day centre. Not sure how this will go I’m hoping it will work as I really need a break. He has been worse lately following me everywhere not wanting me out of his site. He was threatening to kick me last week when I came back from my exercise class. He was accusing me of an affair!
     

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