Should I insist on Day Centre?

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Zsazsa, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. Zsazsa

    Zsazsa Registered User

    Jul 20, 2014
    My OH is in early stage AD and for some time he's been happy to sit on the sofa all day, reluctant to go out much, as long as he can watch the TV (without taking anything in), cuddle the cats or "read" a book.
    I have to work at home 3.5 days a week and since his diagnosis various medics and social workers have suggested he needs more interaction with people (as well as reducing my anxiety about what's happening while I'm working with clients upstairs). So after we both visited a day centre which specialises in dementia care, I set up a once weekly visit.
    But every Tuesday morning is a nightmare of nagging to get him up, dressed and fed before I have to start work and the transport is due. The last two weeks he had a cold and refused to go, but we still had to pay the retainer fee.
    Am I right to keep on insisting he goes? ( I confess part of me was hoping he'd settle with it so that it could be increased as things progress. )He's perfectly pleasant to the minivan driver and comes back having enjoyed the lunch but says people don't talk much.
    However, though lots of professionals have tried to persuade him, he won't hear of people visiting to chat or take him out....I'd be glad of your thoughts on this, fellow TPers.
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    Yes would be my answer. His dependence on you will grow and you need to put as much in place now as you can. Only you will know the methods to use to get him on board with groups, day centres, Befrienders etc. This is a difficult time at the early stage where people are needy but less compliant.

    Good luck.
  3. Cathy*

    Cathy* Registered User

    Jan 4, 2015
    Our social worker was also insistent that my mum should get involved with day care so I tried a few. I used to go with her to try to encourage her to join in conversations, because she refused point blank to go without me, but she was convinced that everyone else was already in groups and didn't want to speak to her. She enjoyed the lunch but was not interested in playing games. She was clearly very unhappy and to be honest I don't blame her. It can be daunting for someone without dementia to go into unfamiliar places, not knowing what's going to happen or what might be expected of them. The only place that she was happy to go to was when she went to some physio classes so there was a purpose to it and she could understand why she was going. Even then she took some persuading and we promised that if she didn't like it she wouldn't have to go again. In the end she was unhappy when that finished.
  4. Cathy*

    Cathy* Registered User

    Jan 4, 2015
    p.s. My dad also had dementia nearly 20 years ago. Mum tried to arrange for him to go once a week to daycare and he used to cry every time he went so she gave in. It meant that he was more reliant on her for company but she was less stressed. She then managed to arrange visits from Crossroads and he was happy with that. Do what feels right for you.
  5. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    I am lucky that OH practically skips off every day to the day centre but I had to fight to get him a place so if you are offered help like this on a plate, grab it with both hands or they'll take it away again! No one is forced to interact there but the company might still do him good, he can take part in activities and get a hot lunch. So try to either sell it to him in a different way (less focus on other people and more on the food maybe) or don't mention the centre at all, just get him ready in the morning then shove him out the door when the bus comes, giving him no time to protest. Good luck!
  6. Cathy*

    Cathy* Registered User

    Jan 4, 2015
    I think Beate's right. Sell it to him as going for a specific reason that he'll find attractive .

    Good luck
  7. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    I tried an alz soc day centre for dad lovely kind people but after 3 weeks of cajoling saying I had to go to work...I didn't....anything to persuade him to add interest for him...he refused as he still at that stage had a little awareness to get into the car. Mind you I also got this if he didn't want to go for tea etc. Dad was never a social club type person except playing sports before dementia so maybe something was still telling him it isn't his sort of thing. He is now in a nursing home and doesn't want to join in activities there understanding but chooses mostly to sit on own and will sometimes do 1-1 activities or when encouraged chat 1-1 although will watch sometimes from the edge residents doing activities. I stopped trying the day centre no point in making him more upset and agitated some take to it but some like my dad don't.

    MERENAME Registered User

    Jun 4, 2013
    #8 MERENAME, Jan 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
    Mum goes to 2 day centres and they've been a great help the past few years,they do vary in atmosphere a lot though. The alzheimer's one is lucky enough to have 1 to 1 attention but it is quiet compared to the community centre one. That has music, day trips etc. If he's still in the early stages maybe you could try a different one. The community centre one doesn't charge when she's not there it's just £5 for 4 hours including a 2 course lunch.
  9. MReader

    MReader Registered User

    Apr 30, 2011
    My husband was very reluctant to go to a day centre, but I knew it was right for both of us.
    I 'sold' it to him on the basis that the Doctor said he had to go as it would help him with his bad memory (Obviously we all know better but he accepted it)
    Don't know of this would work for your OH as my husband is of the generation who does what people in 'authority' tell him
    He used to go grudgingly but enjoyed it when he was there although he moaned about it when he got home. He is too ill to go now as he has cancer as well as dementia, but attends a day centre at our local hospice
    If your OH doesn't like this particular group, ask around, or on line, to see if there is an alternative group on your area. I tried several groups before I found one Malcolm actually liked.
  10. halojones

    halojones Registered User

    May 7, 2014
    My mum has never been a sociable person and doesn't want to interact with anyone she does not know....I tried the day centre, but it is just is not for her...Whenever we have anyone one visit us, like the support worker, s.w I always tell mum 10mins before they arrive, that my friend is coming to see us for a cuppa tea and a chat,, and I find that she is much more accepting of people this way, otherwise she will ask them who are they, what do they want, and refuse to interact with them(it can be funny sometimes, as she is really well mannered and polite normally).....I did say who the doctor was as she understands this and is polite and compliant....If you get someone in to sit with your OH, you could introduce them as a friend, then make your excuse that you had an appointment to go to or the shops?I hope you can find a solution...All the best xxx
  11. Zsazsa

    Zsazsa Registered User

    Jul 20, 2014
    Thank you everyone for your kind and helpful replies. I'll carry on with the current day centre but have a look at what else is available. You've also given me the encouragement to try out something like a Crossroads "visitor" and start practising my little white lies....I'll let you know how we get on. Hugs all round.
  12. Optomistic

    Optomistic Registered User

    Jul 24, 2014
    I think some type of stimulation is good for alzheimers it helps to keep the memory and brain active. I take my husband out every single day we play bingo, enjoy shopping and a meal he has early onset alzheimers. With the help of Aricept he was diagnosed in July and and is showing a good improvement in his confidence and mood. He loves reading his Kindle and watching T.V when we are at home and also plays on his X360. He has taken a step back two years and enjoying life.
  13. Jinx

    Jinx Registered User

    Mar 13, 2014
    My OH was going to day care twice a week before we moved. He used to moan but I think he actually quite enjoyed the alternative company. Now he is asking if he can go to 'school' as he calls it but I have to start from scratch again here and set up my care network. I would definitely encourage your OH to go,you need that time especially if you're working from home. I do that too and it's getting harder especially in the afternoons when he starts sundowning.

    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
  14. hokeycokey

    hokeycokey Registered User

    Feb 24, 2014
    I think it's important for both of you if he can attend as often in a week as possible. I used to say or was "Lunch Club", never ever a Day Centre as I knew that would be anything but acceptable. Good luck
  15. Ann Mac

    Ann Mac Registered User

    Oct 17, 2013
    My Mil is quite demanding and difficult, needing a lot of interaction and supervison, and I simply couldn't cope without day care. For the first few months, it was extremely hard work to get her to go even just for the two days a week she started with. Every day care morning meant a couple of hours of her being determined not to go - and me being determined that she would. She would complain, claim to be ill, cry, beg, plead - any and every excuse in the book, and be as difficult as she possibly could to avoid going. The one thing that always got her through the door was reminding her that her 'Doctor at the hospital' had said she must go, as mixing with others would keep her brain working and help with her 'memory problems', and that he and other staff had gone to a lot of trouble to organise it for her. And - we would tell her - if she wanted to cancel - she had to speak to the 'Doctor' herself and explain why! As others have mentioned, respect for authority figures, like Doctors, meant that Mil would more or less accept that reasoning - and she certainly wouldn't dream of telling a doctor that she didn't want what he or she had reccommended! I could stick to it because I knew - having picked Mil up many times from the centre and from speaking to the staff, that once she got there, she settled right in, joined in the activities, and seemed to really enjoy it.

    Unfortunately, this day care wasn't a secure centre, and as Mil deteriorated, it was no longer appropriate for her needs, she became quite difficult for them to handle, often needing one to one support, which they weren't geared for, so we were recommended a secure day care unit, in a Nursing home that specialises in supporting those with dementia. I had huge concerns that Mil - who sometimes has quite sharp insight and can appear very lucid and clear - would not be happy in a place where there were people who were cognitively further along in the illness. But, after a visit for a look around, Mil somehow became convinced that she had been for an interview to do voluntary work there - and that's how she still thinks of it, as work, rather than day care, and we encourage that belief. Her short term memory is extremely bad now, its rare she can remember even the smallest details of what happened even a few minutes ago, but fixed in her head is that she has this job, and I only very occasionally get any fuss from her about going. The staff tell me that she is very settled there, and enjoys herself. The staff are aware that she thinks its a job, and also - thank goodness - go along with that belief. She now goes 5 days a week, and sadly, once she got there, it was pretty clear that cognitively, she wasn't so far apart from the others who attend.

    I would say stick with it. 16 months ago, I could possibly have coped with her not going at all, but as she has deteriorated, I am so glad we persisted. The break we get now is essential, and it would have been so much harder to get her into the habit of going as she got worse.

    Good luck x
  16. jeany123

    jeany123 Registered User

    Mar 24, 2012
    #16 jeany123, Jan 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
    Day care has been a life saver to me, my husband was awful to start with, he tried everything to get away with not going because there was nothing wrong with him and why didn't I go instead, I worried the first few weeks and cried a lot but he seemed to settle ,

    I told him if he didn't like it I would find somewhere else for him to go there was never any question of him not going at all.
    That was 5 years ago and after me having health scares he goes 3 times a week now I wouldn't say he enjoys it but he gets ready and rarely complains and he moans if the minibus is late,

    I do not think I would still have him at home if he didn't go, so I advise you to keep trying because if like us it gets worse you will need the break,
  17. Rageddy Anne

    Rageddy Anne Registered User

    Feb 21, 2013
    #17 Rageddy Anne, Jan 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
    Not so lucky here, husband very aware and would loathe any sort of day centre. What I need is time at home without him being constantly at my side, and after a lot of thought eventually we came up with a 'friend of a friend' doing research into various disabilities, including Alzheimers. We've persuaded husband he's helping the research by simply doing everyday things in company of the 'friend of a friend'. Fingers crossed, so far it's working.

    If you can manage to get a Day Centre, or a companion in place, I'd say Go for it!
  18. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    Like jeany, I am very glad OH goes to day care. He started one day a week, cos 'he realised that I needed a break'! He enjoys it and his days have now increased to three. I couldn't manage without it, TBH.
  19. Zsazsa

    Zsazsa Registered User

    Jul 20, 2014
    Thanks again for all of your helpful remarks. I asked OH tonight if he'd like me to find him somewhere different that he might prefer but he immediately said no to that...he'd stick with the one he knew.
    Of course it might be a another story come Tuesday morning, but thanks to you all, I now feel much better about insisting he goes to the "lunch club".
  20. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    I totally agree. For the time will come when help is very much required. If it's refused once, you'll have a hard time making anyone believe you need it.

    Good message, Beate.

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