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How to aproach Dementia Day Care - Carers UK Forum

How to aproach Dementia Day Care

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Hi All.
I am new so forgive me if I posted in the wrong section.

My Dad suffers from Parkinson and Dementia. His Parkinson symptoms have been very slow in progression but his Dementia as become worse much quicker.

My Mum is the full time carer and is totally exhausted, as been for a long time. She has no other help and to be honest it as been hard to know how to help her. My Sister and I have set up various appointments of which they have attended but for one reason or another things have not worked out.

Mum is at a point now that she really is open to get some time to herself. Having heard of a Dementia day care center near us. Which as a very good reputation we have been trying to get a day there for Dad. It has taken a long time to get a slot.
We have been allocated this coming Monday.

The really big concern for me is how to broach it with Dad ? We as a family are of the opinion Dad is not going to want to go if asked outright.
He does not like Mum to be out of his sight for long. I take him out on a regular basis but he generally asks about Mum at some point. A bit less of late. That said I can't remember a time that Mum and Dad have been apart !

I will be taking Dad on Monday for the first time, apparently I can only stay a short time as they need to see how he copes.
We arrive at 10.30 and hopefully pick Dad up at 3.
I'm so worried this is not going to go well as it really needs to for Mum's sake.

Sorry for the waffle and most probably bad grammar (Plastering is my game) not the best with the written word.

In short I was hoping for some suggestions on how I can approach attending and leaving Dad at the center for a few hours.

ps; Although Dad is confused a lot of the time. He does understand things "as it seems" when he wants to.
As Mum says he perks up when I visit. He trusts me and I don't want to ruin that. Dad was a Plasterer we spent many years working together.

I don't have direct experience of caring for someone with dementia, but others on here do. I'm sure they will be along later. However the forum is always quieter at weekends.

Some carers have used the tack that their caree is going to help "train up/teach" potential care workers "the ropes." Often carees are in denial about how much care they need and don't think they need outside support and will refuse it. However, if they are led to believe that their experience could help new care workers learn to help the "poor folk" who do need care - they are willing to go along with the arrangements.

It might be nice to take along some memorabilia to help your Dad talk to the staff about his life - you never know their might be some ex trades men there, even plasters who he can reminisce with.

When you leave, it might be worth you making an excuse, e.g. I just have to pop out Dad to .... I'll call in to pick you up after I've finished. Also, wait to slip away whilst he is busy i.e having a cuppa and a biscuit.

Hi M

Thanks for your reply "caree is going to help "train up/teach" potential care workers" I would not have thought about that angle before.

Your description of leaving Dad there is how I had envisaged it going "Hopefully".
You have given me some confidence that I am thinking along the write lines.

Thanks again.

Hi Gary,
Let us know how it goes.

I so hope it goes well for you. Mum was in the same position with my Dad. Both refused care for a long time and things were pretty awful. I think to a degree you have to just say "this is how it is going to be".
We did also find being brutal worked for my Dad. WE want you to stay at home but unless Mum gets a break you, she wont' be able to care for you any longer. He still wasn't happy, but she did get a break. Eventually we got a sitting service at home which worked better. Sitter came in and Mum went out for the afternoon once a week.

Good luck. Let us know how you get on.
Hi Sally thatnks for your reply. "WE want you to stay at home but unless Mum gets a break you, she wont' be able to care for you any longer " That seems to make perfect sense to me and he may take that at some point. Like your situation he would still not be happy :-(



The family and I all thought it would be a bad move to ask Dad along to the centre as he would have point blank refused. Mum has taken Dad somewhere once before not like this place but it just didnt end well.
So I called over to Mum & Dads on Monday morning, did some chores and had a cuppa. I then told Dad I were taking him out for a few hours. He asked where? I told him I had to pick up some materials for a job "Which we did" and then we were going to do some helping out at a community centre sort of volunteering. He seemed to take it on board but I don't think he took it in really. I did feel sneaky but it felt the best way to get him there initially.

We got there ok. The Centre and staff were fabulous. Dad was ok but was not wanting to get involved in anything really but happy enough. It was really difficult to leave him I ended up staying to long really but I just couldn't have sneaked off although the staff were brill and very surportive.

We arrived at 11 am I left when he was having Dinner, Dad was not for having His as he said it was time for him to go. I left at 12.30pm and was to pick Dad up at 3pm.

I returned at 3pm. As I approached there was a knocking on the window, it was Dad gesturing me to the door all serious, I thought he were gonna tear a strip off me !

As it turns out he didn't but his face said it all. The manager said he had not engaged and wandered about and kept trying the front doors. All pretty normal for some people. He does this at home too.
Dad was complimentary to the a manager saying the people and place was lovely but he wouldn't be back.

Dads face lite up when we got home and he seen my Mum.
"He said that was hard work " He does say some funny things :-)

Dad finds it very hard to verbilise things but when Mum asked him about the centre he tried his best to tell her about the place and people. Every chance he got he was indicating that he wouldnt be returning !

The centre as a bus and takes a few of the people out during the day for a few hours they call this the Hub. The Manager thought it maybe worth trying that next time as Dad likes walking about.
Course Dad says that's never going to happen.

So the positives are we got Dad there. He stayed and was not distressed he ate all his Dinner and was pleasant and smiley.

The downside is he won't go back. Which is a real shame as this place is so very good.
They are keeping the place open for him this coming Monday and between now and then we will be trying to get him to attend.

Many thanks for all the support .

Hi Gary,
it sounds very positive for a first visit and you handled it brilliantly.

Will he remember going and his response, come Monday? If not, great - just repeat the process. If he will remember, you might have to pull the, "Mum needs a break if she is going to keep caring for you, tack," after all, you aren't being cruel - it's true.

It's worth pursuing! Even if you say they are expecting you and will be so disappointed if you don't go.sometimes it worked with my hubby at the nursing home if he refused to go for his hair cut, or to the entertainment that I felt he would enjoy. He would let the staff take him, saying ' oh if I must" Was a battle at times. I realise this is different as he was in a nursing home, so it wasn't that I needed respite in that sense. Wanted him to have a change of scenery etc.
Another tack might be for Mum to go out before you take him so he knows shes not at home, and for her not to be there when he first gets back. Make up some excuse for where she has to be on a Monday as it sounds like he thinks home is a good place where Mum is, so he has to realise that she isnt there.

Of course Mum can go back home once he's out, it's just the pretence to get him to realise home is no longer an option on Mondays. He may be grumpy and not like the idea, but this respite is vital for Mum.

Parents sometimes have to adopt such subterfuge to get their children to accept that staying at home is not an option when school starts. You are now in the role of parent to Dad, and he is the child who will be left somewhere safe and good and necessary. He doesn't have a say in it. Sad, but true.