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Suggestions please. - Carers UK Forum

Suggestions please.

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Hi all,

I think this is in the right area!

I am in the fortunate position where my caree is able to go out and about with my help.

I am absolutely fed up with it just being the 2 of us when we go out for tea and cake or lunch. We have little to speak about and dad is not one for creating conversation, (with me anyway). Being a relatively quiet person myself, I tend not to be able to really get a conversation going with him either. Occasionally I am able to take one of his friends with us but, they are all able to go out and about on there own and do so frequently!! After all's said and done, I may moan and groan and rant and rave about dad, but, he has always been a very social person and I think now that he is coming to terms with the loss of his wife, and occasionally smiles :unsure: i would like him to meet others of a similar age and capability.

I thought I'd cracked it when I came up with 'volunteering' with Age Uk. Oooh that's a big no. All they can do is give me a list of lunch clubs and I felt like I was talking to a brick wall, a deaf one at that!!! (no offence meant). Whilst this may be helpful and give an alternative to Garden Centres and airports to take dad, it wasn't what I was after.

Everywhere, including Age UK, is advertised the fact that there are millions of elderly people who don't see or speak to anyone for varying unthinkable lengths of time. I would really love to be able to get to meet some of these people and whilst giving dad some company, also provide somebodyelse with a little brightness in their life. People who go to lunch clubs already go out, which is fine and may well prove to be a useful source for contact. However, I would much rather add a little light to somebody who has nobody, or lives in a dark lonely world a lot of the time.

Does anybody out there have any ideas how to go about this? Or even how to get in touch with other carers who may also want some company when out with their carees. I am quite happy to have an enhanced CRB check and am even prepared to pay for it myself.

Hoping someone can come up with some suggestions.

Shaz xx
Hi Shaz,

I think what you want to do is a lovely idea and very practical. Have you had a look at this website?

http://www.do-it.org.uk/

We have found some really nice volunteering opportunities on there in our local area that are just run by small, local groups who are often a lot more flexible in their approach. We had similar problems in the sense that we wanted to go out and do something but all the groups aimed at autistic children (which is what my son is) did things that were too busy and noisy for him to cope with. Similarly large organisations had all sorts of health and safety rules about under 16s volunteering, but then we found local opportunities that were a lot more flexible. I know in our area there's a group called TLC who specifically provide support to people who are lonely and/or housebound, for whatever reason, so there might be something similar in your area.

You could also try your local library; ours do a voluntary service where people pick up and drop off books for people who can't get out much and you might find someone you can help that way.

Alternatively, perhaps even put some cards up in local shops or a notice in your local paper? You might find you can get a small group together?

Hope you find something, though. I do tend to find once I start thinking about something and asking around a bit things seem to happen so perhaps just mention it to anyone who stands next to you as well!
I did some hunting around the other year for my dad and found this:

http://www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk

Any good?
Jx
juggler wrote:I did some hunting around the other year for my dad and found this:

http://www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk

Any good?
Jx
Anne gave me the same link the other day - apparently you can 'host' afternoon tea for a group of seniors in your area (I understand that the tea parties are quite popular :) )
Are there any lunch clubs where you live? The Salvation Army is one example - here they have a lunch club and, whilst people go along and are served a nice lunch they are also meeting and chatting with others, I am sure they would always appreciate an extra pair of helping hands - so you could volunteer whilst your dad would be introduced to others of similar age to sit and eat with. That way you both would have something to chat about later.
I found it made a world of difference to our conversations when Dad had something to report to me (and complain about!). He liked his lady befriender who took him out and was genuinely interested in things he'd done, but he was less than happy with a chap who talked about football...but it got him nice and animated! ;)
Violet wrote:Are there any lunch clubs where you live? The Salvation Army is one example - here they have a lunch club and, whilst people go along and are served a nice lunch they are also meeting and chatting with others, I am sure they would always appreciate an extra pair of helping hands - so you could volunteer whilst your dad would be introduced to others of similar age to sit and eat with. That way you both would have something to chat about later.
I'd forgotten I used to do something similar when Mum attended a day centre once a week - she didn't like going on her own so, in the beginning, I used to go along to keep her company but then I started helping out serving the teas and coffees, so we both got an outing and some different company :)
Another suggestion is to check out your local churches. Mine runs a tea-club once a fortnight which is just a loose, informal gathering of elderly people, with volunteers making the tea and providing cakes and a little 'structure'.

You don't have to be a churchgoer to go along.

Your local churches might do something similar?

I know where you're coming from in terms of the 'effort' it can take to have non-stop and often rather one-sided conversations - I do similar when I take my MIL out. I do, quite deliberately, spend quite a lot of the conversations saying to her 'do you remember' and also recounting 'associated' memories about her (late) son, my husband. But it can be a bit of a strain sometimes.

To be honst, one of things she enjoys most is simply being 'driven about'. It helps that we have lovely home counties countryside around us, so sometimes i just go for a fairly aimless 'drive' just to let her see the sights passing by (it's sort of like 'real life TV' if you see what I mean!). We don't talk all the time, but it's quite a pleasant way to pass the time.
Thankyou. Mumwhocares, I managed to get the number for a volunteer centre. Lady there was really nice. She has given me a couple of ideas. I have spoken with a couple of churches in the locality - one is putting an add in his news letter (i refused to give him dads name) can't believe he would want to print it!!! I have been referred back to the local 'neighbourhood scheme'. I have to say that I originally contacted them for sombody to go and see dad. It didn't work out at all. It just stressed dad out as the volunteer never turned up and would ring with excuses etc. Not best impressed at going back to them, but, if i'm the volunteer maybe things will work better, if they have people on the list in his area.
The contact the elderly isn't really an option as I go home weekends and dad isn't keen on going to other peoples houses!!! There is always an excuse!!!

I also have the problem that that when I ring people up, I must start speaking a foreign language!!! Very few people seem to understand the concept of what I am trying to do. ie take people out who may otherwise not go anywhere. It is like people don't understand that I am trying to help others!! I know now why there are so many lonely people out there!!!

Thank you all for your suggestions. If you think of any more please let me know.

Shaz x