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Dementia - what help for living independently

(8 Posts)
beeashby Sun 19-Apr-15 17:14:56

Hi, my 86 year old mother is in the early (I think) stages of dementia - in the process of diagnosis. Does anyone know if any help might be available (paid or not) to help her continue to live independently? What should we be looking for? She forgets a lot, including how to get places, and has incontinence but is physically capable of cooking, changing sheets etc. She is also a hoarder so any list of reminders etc gets immediately lost. I don't live close by and talking on the phone seems to confuse her more. Not many useful neighbours; she has a cleaner who doesn't speak much English. I'd really appreciate any thoughts or suggestions, thanks.

Fairy13 Sun 19-Apr-15 17:18:48

Speak to your local authority about telecast. There are various things available depending on what she struggles with. For example, medication prompts via phone calls, sensors on doors that record your voice saying 'go back inside mum' (or whatever). It's amazing what is available.

What, specifically is she having difficulty with?

Happy for you to pm me if you want, I'm an older persons social worker.

Fairy13 Sun 19-Apr-15 17:19:29

Telecare! Hate autocorrect!

beeashby Mon 20-Apr-15 11:06:06

Telecare sounds good- I had no idea. I'll get on to social services when she's ready. Thanks so much, and for the PM offer.

MarianneSolong Mon 20-Apr-15 11:14:37

My elderly father-in-law became increasingly 'forgetful'. I am glad that he realised for himself that living alone was no longer a good idea. (He was worried that he'd forget to lock doors etc.) He is now in sheltered accommodation - i.e. he has his own flat. There is a warden and carers come in to see him in the morning. He gets Attendance Allowance which more or less covers the cost of the cares. It's important that physical health is taken care of - that people eat regularly for example - or they are likely to deteriorate further.

I should apply for AA. I'd also discuss Power of Attorney, while she has capacity to grant it - or things are likely to get increasingly difficult. I'd also want to have a serious discussion re the future and housing options. I think getting an official diagnosis, and involving the dementia support team helps. The GP did a short test, and then involved a specialist team. What's important is an environment that is broadly safe, and then being able to bring in more support as needed.

There's a Talking Point board on the Alzheimers Society site which is very helpful.

bigTillyMint Sun 03-May-15 18:56:37

I am just going through this with my DM. Sympathiesflowers
I am the only relative (apart from aged brother 100 miles away) and live 200 miles away so it's not easy!

I took her to the GP who arranged for blood tests (to rule out stuff), ecg and CT scan (she had stroke 5 years ago so GP thinks vascular dementia) and memory check - asking her questions like her birthday, remembering 3 objects, etc. We are now waiting for an appointment at the Memory Clinic for a thorough assessment.
I also got the council to come round to assess and talk us through what help is available. I have set up carers to go in twice a week ATM and she has had a panic button and keybox fitted. Need to wait for the full diagnosis to activate the POA that she set up years ago, and to apply for Attendance Allowance.

There is so much to think about.

LIZS Sun 03-May-15 18:59:48

Try your local Age UK or older people services at the council. There may be a charity with volunteers to support those living at home who they can refer you to.

DoItTooJulia Sun 03-May-15 19:07:49

There is less and less available with the cuts to LA budgets.

There is a ring and rideservice in our town. A minibus will pick up at a set time and drop her wherever she needs to be and then pick her up and drop her home, so good for the local shops or hairdresser appointments. An online shop of basics or heavier thngs could be useful too.

The local pharmacy will be able to deliver medications and also dispense them in blister packs ready made up so that she doesn't have to fiddle with boxes of different tablets.

If she's incontinent she may need a hand with laundry so I would consider getting some home help for a couple of hours a week just to help with laundry or heavier jobs like vacuuming.

And as much as you don't want you I would look into the residential options nearby, because having the benefit of time while you investigate the options is much better, believe me. They may also have quite long waiting lists.

Also look into places that have day sessions, so that she has something to do rather than be bored at home and think I'll just pop to the shops, which is when, in my experience, things like getting lost happens. Even if you don't nned them just yet. Again they may have waiting lists.

Best of luck.

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