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“Now, you know where I am”. “ Just shout if you need anything”.

(24 Posts)
Daddima Sat 27-Apr-19 15:32:57

We’re having a difficult time just now, and have heard both of the above sayings often ( and indeed, I’ve said both of them many times!)
However, yesterday, friends turned up unannounced to allow me to have a wander out with my friend while her husband spent time with the Bodach, who is becoming increasingly confused. It just made me think, the gift of free time, rather than time needed for appointments etc, is worth its weight in gold.

lemongrove Sat 27-Apr-19 15:35:58

Absolutely Daddima and makes you realise who your friends are.
Although I must ask who the Bodach is? Is that a celtic word?

Maggiemaybe Sat 27-Apr-19 15:42:15

That's so true, Daddima, and how thoughtful of your friends. It's also true, though, that many other friends will genuinely want to help, but don't know how to do it, or what to say. They probably hesitate to turn up unannounced, in case it's a bad time, or in case you'd think they were imposing - I'd be like that. Do shout them if you need anything, I'm sure they too would be only too pleased to come over. Look after yourself. flowers

Sara65 Sat 27-Apr-19 15:42:22

When one of my friends husband was terminally ill, I’d pop around once a week so that she could pop out for a much needed massage

Septimia Sat 27-Apr-19 15:53:15

When my neighbour's husband was terminally ill at home she had family and plenty of help, so there wasn't a lot I could do at the time. So, as there wasn't any practical help needed, I emailed her regularly with news and other chatty stuff. She could then read the messages and reply when it was convenient, and it gave her another interest. She's since said that she found it helpful.
It really cemented our friendship and when her husband died we soon established a regular G&T and natter get-together which is good for both of us.
There are lots of different ways to help. The important thing is to do something.

Nanabilly Sat 27-Apr-19 16:05:39

Most people who say those words really do genuinely mean it too and are probably sat at home wondering what they can do to help , anything , bake you a cake , go out for a walk with you , do some shopping , sit with partner while you take time out to bathe or shower in peace without worrying you may be needed, wash up dinner lots of make you a make sure you do "give them a shout " and make use of these generous offers.
My friends and neighbours "lost" their son in a tragic road traffic collision last year and as expected they all took it really badly but especially mum who had to be sedated for quite a few weeks afterwards and took months and months to be able to get through with day to day living without being medicated . I kept on asking in what way I could help but it was always rejected , well that's what it felt like to me . In the end I stopped offering . I understand they were not being personal but dealing with things in their way but I really do wish they had let me do something . Anything as I felt so useless .

wildswan16 Sat 27-Apr-19 16:18:10

lemongrove - bodach is the Gaelic word for "old man". Whereas I would be a "cailleach"

OurKid1 Sat 27-Apr-19 16:56:22

When I was at home with a newborn (my first, nearly 40 years ago), the best gift I received was my neighbour turning up with a saucepan full of peeled potatoes, ready-prepared veg and a casserole - all without being asked.

OurKid1 Sat 27-Apr-19 16:58:37

Sorry, I should have made it clearer ... my point was that sometimes it's better to just 'do something' without being asked. The actual effort of thinking of something and doing the asking can be too much at times. I was suffering with baby blues and it was as much as I could do to get me and baby up and dressed, let alone think about meals.

Charleygirl5 Sat 27-Apr-19 17:00:32

I would never ask for help but I would prefer it if I got eg 10 minutes notice of somebody's arrival.

Starlady Sat 27-Apr-19 17:38:09

Sorry about what you're going through, Daddina. But glad your friends gave you a break and that you, apparently, enjoyed it. However, like Charleygirl, I would prefer a headsup if someone were coming over. Just the way I am.

Floradora9 Sat 27-Apr-19 17:47:32

I just hated when people offered to run me into town to see DH when he was ill but just said " ring me anytime " It is far better to state when you are free to do so and offer alternatives. I never took anyone up on these flimsy offers.

kittylester Sat 27-Apr-19 17:47:52

On the AS Carer's courses we always suggest people ask for help from people who have offered. They could be hurt that you didn't take up the offer. Was it because you dont trust them, dont like them?

Worth thinking about.

Cherrytree59 Sat 27-Apr-19 19:57:32

Daddima I totally agree about the gift of free time.
A few years ago I started a similar thread.
Although my free time was really paid free time, it was however a game changer.

I was a carer for my father, I had a daughter living back home with a new baby (whilst saving for mortgage), her partner worked away but stayed with me on days off.

Whilst my husband was away on business trip, the straw that broke the camels back was a full ironing basket at my father's house and a full to over flowing one in my house.
I had no free time to even grab a cup of coffee.

A new Thompson local directory had just been pushed through the letter box, I picked it up and looked for an ironing service.

It was a God send.
Instead of ironing, I was able to sit and talk to my Dad. We sat and sorted out his old photos and wrote who was who for future generations before the dementia took over completely.

I spent time with my new grandson and went on walks with my daughter and pushed my DGS in his pram.

My husband was extremely happy to find his shirts ironed and wife who was no longer frazzled.

Time with my father and new grandson was something I would never have had a second chance at.

Sorry to read that life has become a challenge Daddima thanks

Gonegirl Sat 27-Apr-19 20:12:44

Yes, I agree daddima. And thank you for that lovely word. smile

notanan2 Sat 27-Apr-19 20:51:30

People will try to follow your lead though and they are not mind readers.

This time the one who didnt ask first got it right, but if they do the same to someone else in the same situation they could just add distress.

People usually want to help but also want to be careful to not barge in putting their own desire to do something ahead of the fact that their assumptions about what will be helpful could be very wrong.

grannyqueenie Sat 27-Apr-19 22:01:20

Sometimes the support we need comes from unexpected sources too. I’ve often hesitated to jump in, in case friends don’t want support. But I must admit that with age I’ve become a bit braver and actually it’s mostly been welcomed.
We’re all so “British” about it all, we hesitate to accept offers of help because they’re too vague and “what if they didn’t mean it anyway” and also hesitate to just get on and do something that really does help.
Well done to your friends who got it right and good for you for accepting and enjoying it daddima
I love that word, it would suit my Scottish old boy perfectly!

kittylester Sun 28-Apr-19 07:20:18

Have you had a benefits check, daddima? There could be money available to help you acquire spare time by buying in assistance.

Nannarose Sun 28-Apr-19 07:57:53

Agree with notanan. I have said those things too - and genuinely meant them. I have probably 2 old friends / relatives who I would take it upon myself to turn up and provide what I thought they needed.
With others I am very wary of being 'bossy nursey' who decides that they want / need something. Sometimes I say 'how can I help?' and that is rarely taken up.
I have one neighbour who asked if I could just 'knock on the door' and spend time with her ill husband. Several knocks with no replies later when I bumped into her I said that they must have been out a lot - maybe doctors' appointments? and she said she rarely answered the door these days! Of course I could phone to say that I'm coming round, but she didn't suggest that - and I didn't for fear of 'bossing her about'.

Lorelei Sun 28-Apr-19 11:14:22

Years ago I used to visit friends and do some ironing and read to one of my friends (who had cancer and had also lost his sight) so that his wife could nip to the shop/chemist or have a bath, have an hour or two to herself to do something she wanted to do knowing her husband was not alone. I think it was therapeutic in some way for all 3 of us. (They had both supported me through some difficult times and serious health issues before this time). After he died I still visited as my friend needed to talk about him and how much she missed him.

I agree Daddima that a little bit of free time can be very valuable; wishing you & yours all the best

Witzend Sun 28-Apr-19 13:21:44

When my FiL was living with us (he had dementia) my best treat in the world would have been some time to myself. There was never any to be had at home - he was endlessly pacing and asking the same question over and over - and I couldn't leave him even for short periods - you just didn't know what he might do - it was like leaving a toddler on the loose.

Dh was away for work a lot of the time and I had no help - except for one complete break of a few days when dh insisted on BiL and Sil having him for a while. (He had to insist very forcefully.).

I remember all too well collapsing on the sofa after they fetched him, and sleeping for four whole hours. Those few days were bliss.

Teddy111 Sun 28-Apr-19 13:24:21

Daddima,I don't know if all councils provide a 'carers' assessment. I found out completely by chance even though I had received counselling and befriending at the local carers centre,it was never suggested.
I phoned the Family Carer Team. A lovely,kind lady interviewed me and then wrote an assessment of what she thought would be helpful to me. She found that they could provide a grant for me to pay for me to go swimming and she suggested that I contact the local hospice. We went last Friday,they have said that if I take him,he can spend a Thursday there,have lunch and they will bring him home. This is for six weeks. They will assess his needs . It is vital to get out of the house on your own. I hope you may get some help.

Aepgirl Sun 28-Apr-19 14:26:41

Yes, exactly. Sounds like you have good friends.

Grandma2213 Mon 29-Apr-19 02:32:32

Friends can be so special. I used to make up meals that could be eaten or frozen for a friend who had a mastectomy after cancer. Another did the same for me after a hip replacement. My neighbour came round and did my ironing when I had an accident. Another friend with depression I would call on the phone and just chat about what was going on in her life and mine. Currently I have someone who has not responded to my messages in the usual way. I sent her a message .. when you're ready I'm here. It is hard however to know what is too pushy, though I feel for her as I have been through exactly what she is suffering. We are all different, but I suppose you have to know someone really well to do the right thing.