What really helps carers

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Trisha4, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. Trisha4

    Trisha4 Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    2,442
    Yorkshire
    Reading posts on here and my increasing experience as a carer has made me think it would be helpful for family and friends to have suggestions of what does and doesn't actually provide support.
    It's my birthday tomorrow and our son has been over tonight bringing a card for his Dad to give me, helped him write it and brought him flowers to give me. He has also put a bag at his side of the bed for him to give me in the morning.
    This is real support as husband will settle much better tonight as he has been fretting that he can't do things for my birthday.
     
  2. esmeralda

    esmeralda Registered User

    Nov 27, 2014
    3,072
    Devon
    That's really lovely Trisha. What a kind and thoughtful son. You must be very proud of him. Thanks for passing on this excellent idea.
    Happy birthday for toorrow. Hope you have a great day:):):)
    Es
    x
     
  3. truth24

    truth24 Registered User

    Oct 13, 2013
    5,726
    North Somerset
    #3 truth24, Feb 3, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2015
    Agree with Es. You have a very kind son. You must be very proud of him.

    Sent from my GT-N5110
     
  4. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,711
    Female
    London
    What do carers need? They need emotional support (ie shoulder to cry on) but also practical help like helping fill in a form or clear out the loft. I could do with someone to help with all the small tasks that OH used to do, like hang up a calendar or fix a curtain. Yes, there are handyman services but these jobs are often so small that it's not worth calling them. Some I have learned to do myself but others elude me!
     
  5. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    3,802
    Essex
    It's a matter of trusting them too, isn't it. I phoned Age Concern, and they have lists of Trusted Tradesmen. I've used an electrician, a plumber and a painter, and have felt comfortable with all of these, and the prices are very reasonable.

    A friend's husband, who power washed the front, was thrilled when I said I would recommend him to Age Concern, which I did, as this all generates extra work. And I make sure that I recommend the people I use to friends.

    I certainly didn't want to answer a small ad for an "electrician" who was tossing burgers last week, and had no idea about wiring! Some areas have Men For Hire (!), who will do a day's work for £100, or half a day for £50. I haven't found one in my area, yet, but a friend uses one, and he'll do all Manly Things, like sort out garages, put hooks up where needed, bring things down from lofts, clear gutters etc.
     
  6. Lilac Blossom

    Lilac Blossom Registered User

    Oct 6, 2014
    520
    Scotland
    Trisha, having such a kind considerate son must be a real blessing.

    As carer, I would love to have a friend pop in for coffee and chat - sometimes a shoulder to cry on but mostly just conversation, maybe even a laugh.

    I have difficulty with those small jobs which would be manageable with someone (me!) up steps with someone else (hubby) holding the steps and handing me eg electric bulb. The idea of hiring man for a day or half day would be great for catching up on odd jobs - haven't heard of that being available here.

    Happy Birthday Trisha
     
  7. JigJog

    JigJog Registered User

    Nov 6, 2013
    237
    I have just discovered the handyman service offered through Age UK in this area. It has really put my mind at rest on the small jobs. They are happy to do a whole range of jobs; small plumbing, cleaning gutters, changing bulbs, fixing curtain rails etc.You pay only for any materials used.

    For larger jobs, they come and assess and then recommend a trustworthy tradesman.

    I've just had a key safe fitted and toilet fixed. Absolutely brilliant. Peace of mind in that area now.
     
  8. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,711
    Female
    London
    I don't know where you live but in some regions Age UK have a free handyman service. I am eligible for 2 x 3 hours a year. Worth checking out I guess if you have 3 hours worth of odd jobs that need doing.

    I agree on the coffee and chat meetings! I wish friends would just suggest it but they all seem to wait for me to make the first move.
     
  9. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,971
    Suffolk
    I have a 'gardener' ( relation of neighbour) who will also do things like gutters, bringing wood in, sorting garage. His brother will help out if he's not around. My cleaner will also do things like helping out Christmas decorations away, rehanging clock at time changes. OHs children are always good for an odd job, but visit infrequently ( distance). Age UK does forms I can't cope with. Chap over the road does bins every week, we have a long shingle drive. Godsend. I supposing he will eventually learn exactly where they go! But I'm not complaining.
    A network of friends keep me going mentally. I consider I'm very lucky. The big thing is, you have to swallow your pride and ask! Not everybody will, as you can see from various other posts.
     
  10. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    3,802
    Essex
    When I was caring for John, I felt so lonely. Especially during the long Easter Holiday 4 day weekends, when the Day Centres were shut. My best friends were on TP! At times, I would have donated a kidney when a kind friend phoned, asked when John would be asleep, and called round for a coffee.
     
  11. truth24

    truth24 Registered User

    Oct 13, 2013
    5,726
    North Somerset
    We have a similar system as well as Age Concern here. The N Somerset Care and Repair Scheme has lists of tradesmen registered with them.

    Sent from my GT-N5110
     
  12. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,971
    Suffolk
    I've just this pm found out something no friend can help with. I am waiting for an echocardiogram, or an ultrasound of the heart. The waiting list is....6-8 weeks! This is my heart we are talking about! I am breathless with indignation! Let alone breathless anyway. I feel some phoning over the next two days.
    Sorry for the hijack, Trisha

    Disgusted.
     
  13. chick1962

    chick1962 Registered User

    Apr 3, 2014
    11,278
    Female
    near Folkestone
    So sorry to hear that Spamar! I had the same problem in July 2013 followed by an echo and angioplasty in October to put a stent in . It's frustrating and worrying having to wait that long! I hope they put you on spray and preventive medication like aspirin , clopedogrel and statins while you are waiting?! Hugs to you xx


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  14. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,971
    Suffolk
    Thanks chick. I must admit I do feel very frustrated. One friend said I can't be too bad cos I wasn't blue lighted to Papworth, our nearest heart specialist hospital - it's nearly 2 hours away! However, echo is meant to be done at a nearby surgery!
    Whilst her opinion calmed me down, I am now livid! So tomorrow and Friday, I shall start to try and make waves and stir things up. It's already been about 6 weeks when I first said to gp, with masterly understatement, I 'm getting a bit breathless. Then got told it's heart failure. Had to read around to find out there are several types. I know the ECG and X-ray were abnormal. Didn't bother with blood test results. If there is anything urgent, I assume the gp would get in touch.
    Sorry to go on so much
    S
     
  15. chick1962

    chick1962 Registered User

    Apr 3, 2014
    11,278
    Female
    near Folkestone
    It must be such a worry for you bless, I felt the same. If it was really urgent your GP would indeed get in touch. Echos are not always that good as mine was fine yet when I went into angiography for my angiogram I had a blocked artery . Try not to worry too much Spamar as I waited from April, when I had a mild heart attack , till October when they put the stent in. Thinking of you xx


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  16. truth24

    truth24 Registered User

    Oct 13, 2013
    5,726
    North Somerset
    Hope you get an appt soon.

    Sent from my GT-N5110
     
  17. Trisha4

    Trisha4 Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    2,442
    Yorkshire
    It's good to see all the responses and shows how TP benefits us all. I flippantly put on facebook that I considered writing a booklet about 'caring for' carers.
    I have been asked by quite a few people for a copy if I do it. Perhaps I need to pool th ideas on here of things that have helped and also the things which have been very unhelpful. Some of those have been written about on TP too.
     
  18. Rageddy Anne

    Rageddy Anne Registered User

    Feb 21, 2013
    5,990
    Cotswolds
    Friends, supportive friends, are so important. Sometimes they don't even realise that their kind words make such an enormous difference..
     
  19. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,580
    Female
    Dundee
    Just catching up on this thread so I'm sorry to be late.

    This is the link to the Age UK (I think that used to be Age Concern) Handyman information -

    http://www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-care/home-safety-and-security/handyperson-services1/

    The British Legion also offer a service called 'Poppy Calls'. Anyone who served in the armed forces (I would think National Service would count for that) can call on this service if it exists near them. There's no service like that in Scotland unfortunately as Bill served 2 years National Service in Korea. I think the person also has to be over 75 or in receipt of benifits.

    http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/can-we-help/care-and-support/in-home-services/handy-van
     
  20. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,580
    Female
    Dundee
    Me again!

    I just saw this Life Book on the Age UK website. It seems like a sensible idea

    http://www.ageuk.org.uk/scotland/home--care/home-safety-and-security/lifebook/

    I know this was mentioned on another thread but as a matter of interest I thought I would mention it here as well. I haven't seen the book so I have no idea if it is any good. It's just that given the title the book (Dementia, The One Stop Guide) and the title of this thread I thought this was relevant here -

    http://juneandrews.net/
     

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