1. Ethelec

    Ethelec New member

    Sep 12, 2018
    Hi, my name is Alan and along with the rest of my family I am helping to care for my mum, Ethel. We are trying to maintain a reasonably quality of life for mum, and things are not too bad because she has plenty of family support as well as carers during the day.

    The problem is, although there are social events we can take her to, she has been to a couple but now refuses to go. She inevitably enjoys it when she gets to these events - but though she is essentially social she is not comfortable making new friends.

    We are looking for tips on persuading her to go out a couple of times a week (mobility is limited so going for a walk is not really an option - and taking her for a drive out limits contact to us). We would be grateful for any advice on this particular issue - at the moment mum spends most of her time at home. That is her choice, but she would benefit from a social circle.

    Thank you for your assistance.

    Kind Regards,

  2. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    N Ireland
    Hello @Ethelec, you are welcome here.

    Someone may come along with specific ideas later but in the meantime I wondered if there may be some useful support activities like a memory cafe in your area. You can do a post code check to see what’s available if you click on this link https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/find-support-near-you
  3. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    Welcome to TP, Alan.
    My OH has a similar position to your mum, we go to memory cafes and to music memories concerts and she enjoys it when she gets there but getting her there is hard. I think she just does not like to be reminded she is getting old and is not the person she was, but usually goes just for the music.
    Would your mum go if there was music, or art and crafts or something she would enjoy as a focal point ?
  4. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    Hi @Ethelec and welcome to Talking Point.

    It's really not an easy one and its something lots of members have encountered.

    I just wondered if you tell her in advance about the social events you'd like to take her to. If you do it might be worth considering not telling her until it's actually time to go - something like 'right mum, it's time to get your coat on' and then just end up at the event. Does that make sense?
  5. Ethelec

    Ethelec New member

    Sep 12, 2018
    Hi All, and many thanks for your kind responses. I will respond here rather than to individuals - I hope that is not discourteous - it is not meant to be.

    There are two dementia cafes within 15 miles - thank you for the suggestion (and for the link), I think we will try that as it is likely to be less intimidating to mum. I don't see any music memories concerts, which (if it were here kind of era - think Nat King Cole) would be good. There are some 'singing for the brain' groups, but I think she would be too self-conscious for that at the moment.

    As to arts and crafts, we would like nothing better but while mum was an avid reader, puzzler and knitter (plus doing crochet, embroidery and lace-making), she now loses concentration and gives up. This is hard, because I think that reading is pure escapism, but she simply can't cope. We've tried audio books but she dozes off frequently so misses chunks of the story. She is really only able to get any stimulus from conversation (hence the wish to socialise), from music or from the TV.

    We might try taking her out without telling her - possibly initially to a dementia cafe. I think that's the best bet, initially at any rate. If we take her back to the Age Concern group (which she remains adamant she will not go to) then we risk losing trust.

    Actually one of the difficulties from our point of view (which will come as no surprise to you) is that sometimes you can reason with her but you never know how lucid she actually is.

    Thank you again, and I wish you luck with your own personal/family issues also.

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