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Safer house - Carers UK Forum

Safer house

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Hi. I'm a family member of a carer. My uncle is the carer of my aunt who has stage 6/7 dementia. He cares for her 24/7 but we noticed that his own health is declining. We understand that he still wants her close and care for her but we also want him to think a bit more about himself. We would like to help him make the house a safer place so he doesn't have to worry as much of her wondering off or trying to get out of a window when he needs to do something on his own like cooking or even taking a shower. Any suggestions?
Hi Ellen, welcome to the forum. First step should be a Needs Assessment from Social Services, and a Carers Assessment for him. They can then explain what services are available in their area. Are they in touch with the CPN (Community Psychiatric Nurse)?
Make sure they are also claiming exemption from Council Tax due to "severe mental impairment" which can be backdated to the date of diagnosis! No means test involved, easy to claim from the LA concerned.
Hi Ellen welcome to the forum

This seems to be natural with the growing age, dementia and declining health the peevish behavior comes. The only thing she needs is love from relations
Ellen, if you have a Needs Assessment from Social Services, whoever visits will be able to meet your aunt and uncle, talk to them, and look at what support your uncle needs to help protect his wife from harm. It does NOT mean that they will be forced to accept anything, or do anything, or go anywhere.
However, as a result of the assessment, they may be able to make some very helpful advice about making the house safer for them both.
Would I be right in thinking they are both elderly? It's really important that they don't see any offer as help as failing, or "charity". Remind uncle that he's paid into the NHS and National Insurance all his working life, like any insurance policy, it then means help is there for them if they need it. Gently drop this into the conversation in advance of any visit.
Also think if they need any grab rails, bath adaptions etc. etc. as the social worker will possibly be able to arrange these too.
Hi Ellen
It might be worth contacting your council to see if they have a 'handyman service' who could fit simple things like window locks etc. Ours has one for the elderly and vulnerable

Hope it helps
If she wanders off whilst cooking or showering maybe a simple lock
on the door to the room she is in ?
Albert_1604 wrote:If she wanders off whilst cooking or showering maybe a simple lock
on the door to the room she is in ?
It would be safer to have someone come and and sit with her while Dad showers etc.
If she's as confused as escaping then he needs more help and more breaks and time to wash!
Hopefully the ASS needs assessment will also produce an appointment with the Occupational Therapist who will be able to provide any helpful equipment 'on loan'. You might even be able to get widow locks although I imagine you need the ones which allow the window to open to let air in, but not enough to actually climb through, like child proof locks. Do make sure an OT is involved, my Mum had loads of helpful stuff.
PS Continence Nurse is also a very helpful person. Supplies on prescription.
Thank you all so much for your comments. They have been very helpful and the first steps have been made. We have an appointment for an assessment and we've looked at those window locks or restrictors so he can still open the windows for fresh air. I don't want my uncle to lock the door of the room she is in and sure he doesn't want to do that either. We'll see what comes out of the assessment and go further from there. Thanks so much. It's very good to know that there is so much help out there.
HEllo Ellen. Pleased to see your concern for your Uncle the primary carer and pleased too that you have been steered in the right direction.
Just wanted to add that maybe your family could benefit from some more information specific to dementia. THe Alzheimer's website is good for information on all the very many different forms of dementia. Ahem, don't want you to think I am "nagging" but from what you say about her still,being "on her feet" and mobile and curious......that doesn't signify the so called stage 6 or 7. Much earlier perhaps though of course nuffink is guaranteed.
(Former primary dementia carer speaking!)
Goodnight :)