Taking the step into carer support

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Pink-geranium, Dec 11, 2019.

  1. Pink-geranium

    Pink-geranium New member

    Nov 27, 2019
    BTW why can't we be called SUPPORTERS not the vaguely patronising carers?

    My OH has Alzheimer’s, early stage but progressing towards mid stage. I’m considering getting carer support for him. He has a close Italian friend who spends days or even a few weeks here from time to time and just spends time talking to him or taking him out for walks, exhibitions etc. I don’t have the patience for this plus I have a zillion things to do running the house and keeping up with children/ grandchildren.

    Also, we weren’t always on very good terms in the past , not a very loving couple, and I don’t feel I owe him unstinting support although I do feel sad and compassionate.

    What i think would really help would be 2-3 days a week of companionship plus help with simple household tasks. This would morph into personal care as that became necessary, my red line. Oh, and he’s “ high functioning” he was an eminent history professor and still very intelligent so probably very picky about carers.

    Is my wish realistic? We can afford private provision. Do people have experience of this sort of support?
  2. Vitesse

    Vitesse Registered User

    Oct 26, 2016
    I would suggest you start to look for carers ASAP while you’re OH can be involved in choosing one or two that he feels comfortable about. You don’t see yourself as his full time carer so it would be better to get these things in place sooner rather than later. I thought I could cope with caring for my husband, but 2 years later, I am finding it overwhelming, but he is now used to having me here, and refuses to engage with private carers, day centres etc. Like your OH, he was a very intelligent man who held a senior management post, and he believes he can still make his own decisions. It is impossible to impose things on him if he takes a different idea into his head. In short, looking ahead, you may be better to get the carers organised now.
  3. Olliebeak

    Olliebeak Registered User

    Sep 13, 2014
    I know a couple locally where their cleaner, who used to go in just once a week gradually increased her hours, taking the lady with dementia shopping and becoming her companion and part time carer until she started to need too much personal care and professional carers were added in. It worked very well indeed. She even stayed over sometimes enabling the husband to take short breaks. They were able to afford this sort of care BUT finding the right person is not easy.
  4. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    Yes, of course. That is more or less what my mother had for 18 months (she has now moved to a care home). She lived alone and I lived a long distance away (and would not have done that kind of support anyway to be honest). Her care agency specialised in dementia, and they had three levels of care from companionship to nursing. My mother just had the companionship element. So a carer came in for 4 hours a day to begin with, rising to 6 hours. They were careful to provide carers who they thought would 'fit' with my mother, she had two favourites who were always on the rota, and another couple she quite liked. If she didn't like a new one, they were replaced.

    They did whatever she needed - took her to the shops, to appointments (the doctor/vet/optician/hairdresser) and to the park. Collected her medication, made her meals and ensured she ate them, did the housework and laundry, sat and chatted with her. Towards the end they also helped her dress and bathe. They basically did what I would have done, had I been prepared to do it. They were lovely, and worth their weight in gold. I found them by googling 'dementia care at home' plus the location. The manager came to assess her and ten days later she had carers coming in.
  5. AlisonI

    AlisonI Registered User

    Aug 22, 2013
  6. AlisonI

    AlisonI Registered User

    Aug 22, 2013

    Just to reassure you that in my experience it was not hard to find a carer for my OH. I decided to opt for Self Directed Care when the other services that I had broke down because my OH was being so difficult. This meant I was given a notional budget to spend on a carer.
    I advertised on a well known website and within 24hrs I had so many replies that I had to delete the advert. I asked for brief CVs and was able to sift the number down to 5. I didn't do a formal interview I just went for a walk with them and OH and it was easy to see who would get on best with him. I was overwhelmed by the quality of the people applying and even those I didn't select sent me back lovely emails. I think the key is to be very flexible about what you want them to do.
    I kept mine very simple -" to do everything to make my OH happy and content "- and that was it. I got a lot of emails saying what a lovely job description that was and I truly meant it so the carer can do anything and take OH anywhere as long as he is happy.

    Other care services had tried to get him to do things he didn't want to do like daycare or singing and he made such a fuss and kicked off so often that he got "banned" from some services. Now everything is geared to him. They go shopping, pick up children after school ( which he loves), watch TV, play games or walk ( endlessly up and down the road)all the things that frankly try my patience. Even though his dementia has progressed he is still able to say quite firmly when he doesn't want to be somewhere - usually by getting up and walking out.

    I must also say that the council was very helpful and is on hand if I needed to ask questions about employment rules etc. So I just wanted to say that although its hard to welcome someone into your home to take over from you it can work and certainly has for us.

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