thinking 'outside the box' for caring at home

sarah crombie

Registered User
Aug 1, 2005
Hello - we're interested to hear from other carers and familities what combination of care at home works best for you and your loved one.

Our circumstances are dad (75) lives at home alone with 3 carers popping in daily plus visits from sister each week and other sister who lives nearby. We are very well read on dementia, read and appreciated all the Alz Soc documents - & really appreciate the local branch information. We're fed up with patronising professionals who see a family willing to take it all on and who only really help you after an unnecessary amount of badgering. And we're paying for it! Sorry, I've gone off on a tangent, anyway..

dad is currently in a dementia unit in hospital in the south of england for assessment and a bit of respite, he's mild to moderate accordingly to the doctor there (we'd say moderate ourselves, having lived with this for the last 6 years or longer, it probably started a good 10 years ago) so we have a rare opportunity to reassess the care package which he's possibly outgrown.

the doctor feels that at this point he could still live at home with care in place.

I no longer feel confident with our current care package which is provided via social services, which is 3 'prompting medication' carers visits 0900, lunchtime and tea-time, plus 2/3 overnight visits per week from my sister plus brother living nearby. Dad has challenging behaviour - he can become verbally & mildly physically aggressive, shouts & hits but the moods swings also to tears and insecurity (we recognise the trigger points), he's beginning to lose sense of time so wanders to the shops at 0500 am; he doesn't take his medication; he needs (but refuses completely) personal care etc etc; he's confused but still has good days and can still enjoy some things in life etc - you all know the score.

What I would like to find is a consistant presence in the house who can help relieve us all of the worry of how he is when we're not there - despite the fact we rely and pay for care via social services, we don't get the choice of people & as everyone knows, the wrong person with the wrong approach can result in a very bad day all around! I would love to find someone with an enlightened one-to-one approach, possibly in the SPECAL mode, rather than think that doing a jigsaw puzzle is the solution to activity (i.e. the hospital's idea of daily activity structure)

Has anyone tried a Homeshare scheme? Whereby you have a student for example- with appropriate training & vetting - living in as a swap for free accommodation, plus a combination of other trained care? Or Crossroads nurse? Or any other recommendations for the Bournemouth area?

We don't need a full-time nurse as such - more like an Alzheimer's Minder-come-buddy/companion? ANY IDEAS REALLY WELCOME - THANK YOU!!


Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
West Sussex
Hi Sarah, I thought I would wait a while and see what everyone else said, but thought you did now need a reply. Well, firstly, I can only speak from my own experiences, that is all any of us here on TP can do. We are not qualified to prescribe or to judge in our capacity on TP. But, I have been in similar shoes. If you feel that care 24/7 or such is needed, if you/your parent can pay for it, you can ask for this. Check out the local agencies, ask the local Carers association, and ask Social Services who they can recommend. I was lucky. Having been in nursing, I just had to ask my friends. Do any of your friends have aquaintances in the caring at home profession? I got a friend in to bath Mum every Saturday as she kicked up when I tried and I also was not able to assist her due to arthritis when she got less mobile. Crossroads provided a one night a week overnight sit and I got her into a day care centre. It is really down to your needs and finances how you can play it. I would contact your local Alz. group and Crossroads and Carers groups ASAP to see what they can tell you about locally. When employing a private carer, always ask for references and ask around these groups, they have a good bush telegraph for the local area. Listen to their advice, they have tested the waters so to speak! Be warned, it won't come cheap, but if that is the way you want to play it, then give it a go. It's your choice. Good luck, thinking of you, love She. XX

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