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respite care for very active and fit man with Alzheimer's

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by MichaelBrighid, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. MichaelBrighid

    MichaelBrighid Registered User

    Feb 8, 2016
    My sister's husband has advancing Alzheimer's. He is 73 but very fit and active and one of the very few things left that he can do and enjoy is walking in the countryside for miles (anything up to 5). However he is no longer safe or able to go by himself.
    He has a PA (who likes walking!)and lives at home at the moment.... without walks he is like a caged animal.
    However his PA is going on holiday and we are looking for respite residential care. We haven't found anywhere that offers outdoor support like this....Does anyone have any recommendations or suggestions..?
    We are in South Yorkshire
  2. CJinUSA

    CJinUSA Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    eastern USA
    Are there any walking or birding clubs/organizations in your area that you might approach to see if there is a retired man interested in joining your BIL on his walks? I gather your sister doesn't like to walk? You could offer to pay, but someone might just be interested in helping, too. You might also approach a church to see if anyone could join him, but I think a walking or birding person would enjoy the company as well and feel gratified by the idea of helping out someone. Just a thought.
  3. MichaelBrighid

    MichaelBrighid Registered User

    Feb 8, 2016
    Thank you
    my sister loves walking..but she is younger than him and still runs her own business.so isn't at home all day... she does pay a variety of people to go out with him but he doesn't accept many new people, so she really needs him to go and be looked after residentially (in UK!)
  4. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    Hi MichaelBrighid
    sorry, you've probably already thought of this - has the PA any ideas or contacts - just wondering how you came across the current PA, could you go back there to ask if anyone else is available?
    best wishes
  5. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    I'd be really surprised if you were able to find residential respite care that could offer long country walks - very few residents would be able to take part in activities like that, so you would essentially be asking the care home to supply one to one support during the walks.
  6. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    Hi MichaelBrighid
    I too doubt if there's anywhere catering for such a specific need
    so I guess there are 2 separate issues:-
    1 is a suitable respite care home
    2 is finding someone who is able and willing to go with your BIL on long walks - someone to whom your sister will give permission for them to take your BIL out of the home and who she is confident will be able to get him back into the home - which is quite a big ask, especially if this is to be every day
    can they pay for a qualified carer, additional to the care home staff, to be with him
    You say he's like a caged animal - I know this sounds awful but even caged animals can survive in the cage for a short time; is it possible that he will cope just for the length of the holiday?
    I hesitate to suggest this - is your sister able to take holiday time at this time, to go walking with him - or is the respite as much for her benefit as because the PA will be away
  7. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    I think your best bet would be to find a good walker who is willing to take him out, and it may very likely have to be on a paid basis.

    My FIL was just the same - very physically fit and active - a caged animal would sum him up exactly if he could not get out. I could not stop him when he was living with us - he was apt to fly into violent rages if he couldn't do what he wanted. We did manage eventually to find a CH where he was allowed out on his own. He would get lost now and then but the CH always had a piece of paper in his pocket with his address on. Luckily it was in a south coast town with masses of care homes and people were used to it.

    However this was quite a while ago now and I'm not sure we'd be able to find the same today - they'd be too worried about being sued if anything happened to him, or if he caused an accident. That was always a worry for me, because of his reckless manner of crossing roads. By some miracle, though, he never came to any harm, or caused any to anyone else.
  8. JigJog

    JigJog Registered User

    Nov 6, 2013
    Hi Michael,
    My husband has a similar passion for walking and walks about 6 miles each day. At the moment he seems safe to walk alone and often I accompany him, but things are changing and I will be looking to find a PA soon. Does your sister employ the PA directly herself or has she used an agency?

    I use an agency to provide a walking buddy for OH once a fortnight to take him on longer walks in the Lakes etc.

    We will be moving house in the near future and will also need to find respite for a few days. I'm afraid I have no suggestions but would be really interested to hear how you get on and resolve this.

    It's great when they can get out and walk but it does come with its own challenges.

    Best wishes to you and keep us posted please.

    JigJog x

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