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Mum showing signs of dementia. What to do with horses?

(11 Posts)
geeup Tue 02-Aug-16 15:54:55

Hi. Long story really but I'd love to talk with anyone who has had a parent who keeps horses at home and then got dementia/Alzheimers. My mum hasn't been diagnosed but she's becoming increasingly forgetful and her dad had alzheimers so I guess I'm scared of the worst. She currently has two horses (one is mine) which she cares for at home - no other horses on the yard and no help. My dad is looking into putting them into livery (Ive offered to look near me but he doesn't want them too far away from them so she can visit). Guess I'm just looking for a handhold and advice as to what you did?

powershowerforanhour Sat 17-Sep-16 16:49:47

No experience of this situation as we sold the last of our horses when we were in college but just some thoughts-
- can you put a gate or even a rope with tape strips across the driveway in case she leaves the stable doors open?
- is your dad able to check the water buckets/drinkers
- if they're on hard feed, get your dad to keep an eye on rough amount used to check they're not getting fed far more often than they should
If you do get them into livery perhaps you could frame it that your horse is going to get some extra schooling at the yard/ be ridden out by a friend when you don't have time, and needs her horse to come too to keep him company and it would be so kind of her and helpful to you let her horse go too

Diamondsandpears Sat 17-Sep-16 17:12:04

Perhaps initially an experienced horsey helper could be employed as necessary to help out/supervise rather than livery elsewhere? Moving them may well cause your DM considerable distress. A visit to the GP to discuss your suspicion may open doors to more advice/support. There is a charity called Horses4homes which could help find a sharer/person to loan the horses too.

MrsJayy Sat 17-Sep-16 17:15:55

I think your mum would be upset if the horses went could they employ somebody to sort them out so they can stay where they are for now. Im sorry about your mum my mum is starting to get forgetful and repeat herself its really upsetting .

powershowerforanhour Sat 17-Sep-16 19:42:50

I like Diamonds and MrsJayy's idea too, didn't even think of that.

Booboostwo Sat 17-Sep-16 20:29:59

I am sorry to hear about your mum flowers.

What is the exact difficulty your mum is having at the moment? If she is finding it difficult to care for the horses but wants to keep them at home you have a number of options. You can find a freelance groom who can pop in once or twice a day to do the horses. The cost will depend on what you need doing, e.g. do they need to be ridden, do they need to be mucked out, etc? Ask at your local riding stables, put an advert in the local tack shops and ask around other people with horses at home. Alternatively if you have space you could advertise a free livery in exchange for doing your two horses.

Or is your mum putting herself in danger having the horses around even if someone else is looking after them? In that case livery would be best but do they need to stay together? Maybe your mum's horse could be liveried close to her so she could visit and you could take yours back near you.

Sosidges Sat 17-Sep-16 21:17:16

I think your dad is right to keep the horses stabled close by. My mums face used to light up when my daughter brought her dog on visits. She never recognised any of us and could not speak a coherent sentence. However she spoke to the dog as if nothing was wrong. Even remembered his name.

So sorry that you are going through this, but there are so few pleasures in life for those with dementia. Stroking animals is one of them

Wolfiefan Sat 17-Sep-16 21:19:51

I'm not sure but could the Cinnamon Trust help. They aim to keep elderly or unwell people with their animals. Generally that means things like dog walking but I saw a recent request to help with goats. Worth a try?

reallyanotherone Sat 17-Sep-16 21:25:46

How much space is there? Could you offer someone free/cheap livery in return for keeping an eye on things?

geeup Sat 17-Sep-16 22:56:08

Hi all. Thanks so much for all your thoughts and comments. It has been tough but after some discussions we've decided to put both horses into livery near my parents. It's crippling expensive but think it's the best way of keeping consistency for my mum and keeping the horses together.
My mum is just getting noticeably forgetful and repeats herself a lot but luckily so far seems safe with the horses-sticks to her routine.
I don't know what will happen but I guess none of us do. Thanks again for the support. This is a great community.

MrsJayy Sun 18-Sep-16 00:18:13

Least your mum can see the horses . With Dementia illnesses nobody will know how it will go how fast the deterioation will be sadly my Nan had Alzheimers and i can see mum going the same way

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