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Care & carers

What do you think?

(19 Posts)
sparklingsilver28 Fri 21-Aug-20 14:47:17

Yesterday evening, on TV, an episode of “Gone Missing”. One case that of a man, suffering from Dementia, missing for many hours in rural Gloucestershire. What shocked me about the case, was that his wife had gone out to lunch with a cousin leaving him at home alone. When she returned some two/three hours later, he was no where to be found. The man hours the police invested in the search outstanding, including a police helicopter which in its final minutes of fuel found the poor man as a result of information from the public via social media. Caring for a Dementia sufferer is not easy but would I have left him alone – most certainly not. It occurred to me that the reaction when the police finally got him home somewhat unusual, his grown-up stepdaughter very obviously distressed but his wife rather detached. I did speculate about how much she understood the nature of Dementia.

Oopsadaisy4 Fri 21-Aug-20 15:02:33

I can understand that caring 24/7 for a dementia sufferer can be so, so hard that to escape for a lunch might be the first break she has had for weeks.
Hard to speculate on her thoughts when we don’t know the circumstances,
And worse to condemn somebody without knowing the facts.

Callistemon Fri 21-Aug-20 15:11:50

There are many people with dementia who are living alone, hopefully with a support network.

Susan56 Fri 21-Aug-20 15:13:29

She could have been at the end of her tether,exhausted and not thinking straight.

I agree with Oops,hard to condemn her without knowing the facts.

Juliet27 Fri 21-Aug-20 15:16:11

I must admit that she seemed a contrast to the dear caring man whose wife had wandered off.

Callistemon Fri 21-Aug-20 15:22:06

I have a relative with dementia who lives on her own; she knows her own home, can care for herself and her home, still eats well and knows her area and neighbours. Someone goes in most days, a relative or carer.
Going into a home is not possible for the time being at least for many.
There must be thousands like her.
In fact, according to The Alzheimer's Society, 120,000 people with dementia live alone and that nuber is set to increase.

Caring for someone with dementia must be exhausting and demoralising.

I see that SARA was involved in the search for the missing Gloucestershire man; many of our local groups fundraise for SARA, a very worthwhile cause.

Baggs Fri 21-Aug-20 15:27:37

I think caring for someone with dementia can be extremely draining if one does not have help. Also, we do not know if the wife had been able to safely leave her husband alone for a while until this incident.

Baggs Fri 21-Aug-20 15:28:33

Just read your post, callis, saying something similar.

Baggs Fri 21-Aug-20 15:29:58

And now other posts too. It's good that people seem to understand the difficulties.

sparklingsilver28 Fri 21-Aug-20 15:30:09

Yes, it did make the difference between the two cases move obvious.

I asked this question because a friend, in the same position, had an arrangement with two ladies in her village, who took turns once a week, to be with her husband while she had a break with friends for coffee. They were indeed a life saver for her and much appreciated.

sparklingsilver28 Fri 21-Aug-20 15:31:37

(sorry) more obvious.

Callistemon Fri 21-Aug-20 15:33:02

Unless someone has cared for someone with dementia it is unfair to judge, and even then not all cases are the same.

Tweedle24 Fri 21-Aug-20 15:34:22

I saw that too and was surprised that he had been left alone, particularly for so long. Dementia does develop though so, maybe, until this time, he had been safe to leave. I cannot criticise his wife: she must have thought he was safe to leave.

As for her reaction when he was found, I suspect that she is one of these people who is able to hold it all inside. She did have cameras trained on her too. Who knows whether or not she gave way once the cameras had gone?

I think that particular incident showed how difficult it is to be a full-time carer. There is not all that much help available unless able to pay for it.

annsixty Fri 21-Aug-20 16:20:10

I know from experience that it is very difficult, however it may be hard to judge when one has been able to leave them for an hour, at what point isn’t it safe.
I must have got it right more by luck than judgement as I never had any issue.
I did fail when I thought my H was safe enough in bed when I was in the house but got up one morning to find him missing.
I rang the police and he had walked to get the morning paper in his pyjamas and slippers, something he hadn’t seemed capable of doing for a couple of years.
He couldn’t tell them his name or where he lived.
This led to me having to remove and hide all door keys and he was very angry with me for weeks until he forgot about it.
It is a hard and thankless way of life that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

EllanVannin Fri 21-Aug-20 16:35:31

Always write their names and addresses on pieces of paper and put one inside the pocket of every garment they wear. I did this with a neighbours husband who used to go " walkies " if he went to put rubbish in the bin, or now and again he'd go to the betting shop, on a good day.

There were some very trying times indeed and his wife couldn't cope either and began self-harming, so I was keeping an eye on the two of them until he went into a nursing home. The wife was a broken woman, it was awful until she too went into residential care not far from his home.

It's damn scary ! Sad and very trying as the carers more often than not are in denial but also need looking after too.

SueDonim Fri 21-Aug-20 17:32:45

I didn’t see the programme but it’s unfair to judge someone in that kind of situation without knowing all the facts. A close friend cared for her husband with dementia for about five years before he went into care. In the first few years he didn’t need 24/7 monitoring because he had insight into his condition and his dementia didn’t take a form where he was likely to wander, so he could safely be left.

His dementia later went off a cliff edge, and he went from being able to be cared for at home to needing far more care than anyone could provide at home, all within 48 hours. It was very distressing for all concerned and judgement isn’t needed.

Callistemon Mon 24-Aug-20 20:21:36

What Do you Think

We're just watching this I iPlayer and have to disagree with you sparklingsilver.

People react in different ways to stressful situations. It is quite apparent from the wife's body language during the time that her husband is missing that she was very distressed and very anxious but holding in her emotions. She looks desperate, just because she's not crying doesn't mean she is not extremely worried about her husband.

I'm sure she understands dementia very well, having lived with a husband with dementia for two years.

Chewbacca Mon 24-Aug-20 20:39:06

My mild mannered, easy going, lovely MIL had dementia and she managed to live an independent, if eccentric life, for a long time. But without warning, she suddenly started going walk about in the middle of the night, dressed only in her petticoat and handbag. Several times she was brought home in the back of a police car or with a kind stranger. Each time she was brought home, we had to be very calm, as though she'd just popped out to do her shopping, because if we showed anxiety or anger, she became distraught and tried to run away. Things are not always as they seem.

lemongrove Mon 24-Aug-20 22:04:14

My poor MIL did the same Chewbacca ( wandering in the street dressed only in nightdress.) Very sad situation.