Advice for father-in-law diagnosed with dementia(7 Posts)
My lovely father-in-law has just been diagnosed with dementia and we are in shock. Looking back on it, there have been a few signs but we did not expect this and we just want to do the best for him.
Any advice on what we need to do in a practical sense would be so helpful - banks, house deeds, whatever we need to think about?
A lot depends on how serious he is
If he is willing, PoA for health and Welfare. And Finances.
Make you joint account holders for banking and savings
Get mail redirected to you so that you can check he does not miss appointments or get scammed for things he does not need.
A white board to remind him of things he needs to do,
Elderly care unit at LA for any assessments or help available for him
Look at possibility of care line and talking clock
Get a copy of his repeat prescription and arrange with chemist for a dossier box and possible delivery
Look to see if he is eligible for attendance allowance.
Do a complete safety check on trip hazards, fire hazards, medicine hazards.
Make a file of personal details as you will be asked the same thing repeatedly every timemyoumdomanything
DoB. D of marriage .where born. Doctors, hospital, NI number, prescription details
Note everyone's name every time you call with the date. Everything takes a lot of phone calls and quoting back names and dates helps
A big desk diary with birthdays and important dates and appointments in it . Ask any people who visit your fil to write a note or messages in the diary too - it's useful for fil, yourselves and anyone else who visits to see what's happening etc
Try to involve him in regular weekly activities - my mum went to a day centre and activities like lunches organised by age concern, a local community centre and the local Alzheimer's group.
You could even draw up a pictorial weekly timetable broken down by the day.
I am so sorry
Dementia the one stop guide is a great book. It gives practical honest advice.
I second the get financials in place, power of attorney (it doesn't have to be activated yet)
It's a scary bastard of a disease.
My grandmother ended up in a home, it was a hard decision, after a rest bite stay it became apparent she wasn't safe at home even with us and carers. but we visited daily (after caring at home you need to fill the void). The home was wonderful (council run). It enabled my mum to go back to being her daughter and me her grand daughter. So the arguing and battles stopped.
Be kind to each other, I found my place was to back up the main carer. Fight with social services, do the weekend shifts, that sort of thing.
PoA has to be the first thing to get moving asap - health/welfare and financial
Get him to help you do a list of all the bank accounts, insurance, isas, suppliers etc. If a family member can get added to things it makes it much easier to help deal with them
If he's been doing online banking, get it transferred to a non internet account (caused no end of trouble for my parents)
If he's willing, set up a new bank account for him and set up a direct debit from the main account to put an amount of money into that a month for spends and take the bank card, cheque book away and store safely for the main one (and any other accounts). Then he can get money out, be independent, but the damage that can be done by scammers etc is really limited.
Support him to go to any groups that he might possible enjoy - dementia can be incredibly lonely, and now is the time he might cope with the new environment.
Talk to anyone who might have personal experience in local care, facilities, or services - word of mouth is an amazing thing. My parents have an independent carer who is so flexible and properly caring, but never needs to advertise as she is always full just by word of mouth
Things might go quickly, or slowly - no one can predict this, so you do need to keep an eye on things. And it can be very hard in the family for people to accept things sometimes, so you do need to talk about the future. Anyone who says 'he's never going into a home' is unrealistic, but theres lots of stages between now and then.
Thank you so much for the great advice and kindness!
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