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(51 Posts)
Jani Wed 19-Jun-19 12:56:20

Hi -my mother-in-law has come to live with us as her husband died in February. They used to live in France so not only has she lost her husband she has had to come back to England as can’t look after herself at 92. She can walk but slowly - is all there - does her make -up etc every day - I take her to the hairdresser once a week - she likes to look nice.

We have taken her abroad twice with us and although wasn’t easy all the time we managed it. However our problem is I need to get her out as there aren’t any friends close by - we have a couple of friends in England but she can stay with them for a week. I would like to find her somewhere she can go to talk to people - she loves talking - especially about the old days - she was a code breaker at Bletchley Park - that’s on the list for a visit - she has some very interesting stories.

So any suggestions would be great please as I don’t know where to start. Also is there anywhere she could stay when we want to go away by ourselves - other than the two friends.

I am finding it very difficult to actually get out of the house without her - which I know doesn’t sound very nice - .

Look forward to some help please.

lilihu Wed 19-Jun-19 13:00:26

What a kind loving person you sound. Fabulous DIL.
Maybe worth starting here:
There are private companies who do this too.

Alima Wed 19-Jun-19 13:02:46

Was she in the Wrens at Bletchley? If so any branch of the Association of Wrens would welcome her with open arms. I could find a contact to start with. (Please pass on to her my respect and admiration for what those at Bletchley achieved).

crazyH Wed 19-Jun-19 13:15:18

What a sweet d.i.l. flowers

Jani Wed 19-Jun-19 13:16:03

Hi Alima - yes she was in the Wrens - any contacts would be fantastic. 😀😀Thank you so much.

Alima Wed 19-Jun-19 13:18:30

Will pm you

Jani Wed 19-Jun-19 13:20:05

Thank you Lilihu too - xx

kittylester Wed 19-Jun-19 13:26:46

Age uk run groups for older people as do, I think, silverline. Round here rvs do too.

silverlining48 Wed 19-Jun-19 13:41:41

Your mil is very lucky to have you both. Regarding somewhere to stay if you are away you might look into the possibility of your mil spending a week or two in respite care in a local care home. Contact your local social services elderly care duty officer to discuss. You might ask about lunch clubs etc in the area too. Is there a volunteer bureau locally? They may help with a volunteer to visit or perhaps take your mil out for a walk / tea if she is able, and she sounds as if she is.
You and your husband both need time and space to yourselves. Social services should be able to advise and signpost you to other options.

Jani Wed 19-Jun-19 15:33:54

Everyone has been so helpful - I can’t thank you all enough .
Love Jan

lilihu Wed 19-Jun-19 16:18:19

This may be useful:

NotSpaghetti Wed 19-Jun-19 16:56:02

Definitely call the local volunteer bureau - ours has a travelling lunch club - it picks up members directly from their homes in a mini bus and drives them out for lunch. It is not expensive and it brings them home again afterwards.
I know my local one calls round the day before as a reminder too!

BradfordLass72 Thu 20-Jun-19 05:56:21

she was a code breaker at Bletchley Park

I don't often wish I were back in England but reading that, I swear I'd have been on your doorstep with a recorder to write her story.

Does your local Council or Library, college, university (or anyone) have an Oral History department? They would be as fascinated as I.

Please capture as much of her reminiscences as you can (if the Official Secrets Act doesn't apply any longer) once she goes, all that precious information goes too.

I used to collect oral history for Waitakere City Council and it was one of the best jobs I ever had.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Thu 20-Jun-19 09:25:02

Are there any charities which offer day care for one day a week? I'm not sure how suitable that would be but she'd be able to mix with others for a good chin wag about the old days and you might both enjoy the freedom.

Newatthis Thu 20-Jun-19 09:27:29

Do you live near Shropshire - I would love to chat to her about Bletchley Park - how interesting that would be!

marpau Thu 20-Jun-19 09:37:41

Do you have a local history group WI church guild etc I'm sure MIL would be in demand of she could give a short talk on her experiences. I know our literary society are always looking for new speakers and she may then develop local friendships.

VIOLETTE Thu 20-Jun-19 09:47:39

What a fantastic history she has had ...and part of the heritage of Britain …….contact your local RBL who would be able to put her in touch with others who have a similar background … are marvellous for doing what you are doing ….you may also be able to find a good care home for respite ..Age UK might know of somewhere good. Good luck ...please get her to record her stories they would make a good book …….I read somewhere recently where the Queen met a veteran lady and was delighted ….wonder how that could be arranged ...again any of her wartime associations - WRAF, WRENS, there must be a Bletchley Park association ? would love to speak to her...good luck

polnan Thu 20-Jun-19 09:49:49

oh, gosh you are brave..

well for me it was joining our local church, not heavy religion at all. I go to a Craft Club there, I am not a craft person, I call it our Natter club, I sit with two ladies who were in the Wrens... and we are mostly all of an age where most like to reminisce , I am not good at sharing , but love to listen... just saying..

vickya Thu 20-Jun-19 09:58:33

Jani you sound lovely and so does MiL. One person suggested a respite in a care home and while that is sensible I as a gran would be a bit upset in case my Dil was trying to see if I like it so as to make it permanent. My own mother ended in one as she had dementia. Some are very good, maybe have flats and just bedrooms, facility to cook for yourself or eat in the main dining room. They vary very much. But if she and you are happy she is with you she might worry about that. I would. Or I might feel I should go in and not be a burden.

lmm6 Thu 20-Jun-19 09:59:08

When my mother, 94, came to live with us we felt trapped. However she has becoming confident about living here and now she wears an alarm button around her wrist for which we pay about £16 per month. Means we can go out and leave her sometimes. Look at the AgeUK website for suggestions too. I believe the Red Cross provides a free service where people will come and chat.

chezza1 Thu 20-Jun-19 10:02:24

What a fabulous lady living with a wonderful DIL. Her stories must must must be recorded for future generations. Maybe there is a local history society nearby who has someone who could come to your home and record them. Or maybe the nearest school/college/university could help as modern history is being taught in all those places. I would also try to make contact with both local radio and television. I have so much respect for those that worked in Bletchley. My hat off to both of you and what a proud man your DH must be.

moonlight Thu 20-Jun-19 10:02:56

try Age uk they may be able to tell you of any local clubs for older people also your local council my run groups and definately take her to Bletchly went there a couple of years ago and its very interesting and will bring back lots of memories for her

GrannyJane Thu 20-Jun-19 10:04:26

No one has mentioned U3A yet. Might be fun for both of you.

Buntybunny21 Thu 20-Jun-19 10:16:52

I'm sure she would find something in U3A to interest her and we had a Speaker all about Bletchley Park and the work those young ladies did in secret. They could not even tell their families what they did there. Good luck to you both.

notanan2 Thu 20-Jun-19 10:23:17

I think it would be too disruptive to ship her off to a strange place/house while you are away, being a visitor is exhausting. instead I would look into private overnight care at your home. Go private rather than paying triple. Nursing schools are good places to advertise.

Failing that, respite at a care home that she could go back to each time its needed so its familiar.

If she likes to talk and has a lot of life experience to give, why not sign her up to take part in focus groups at your local hospital? They do a lot of public consultations, and it sounds like she has a lot of wisdom to give.