Information & Resources
Mealtimes can be very confusing for someone with dementia. It can also be very frustrating for you when someone refuses to eat what you have cooked, even though you know they have not eaten today. Try to remember it's not their fault: dementia is a disease.
Sometimes one of these simple strategies may help:
. Eat together to make meals more enjoyable and to enable the person to copy what you do
. Serve fingers foods so they don't need to use a fork
. Keep the place setting simple. Use a plain colour plate or bowl with a contrasting mat. Avoid patterns
. Limit distractions (turn the TV off or down)
. Only serve one or two foods at a time, eg. potatoes first and meat afterwards
. Small amounts of food are often less daunting than a plateful so try serving half as much as usual
. Make meals look attractive. For example, sandwiches look really boring so liven them up by cutting into triangles or strips, taking the crust off or leaving them open
People with dementia often forget to eat or believe they have already eaten, so gentle encouragement can work wonders.
Sometimes it helps to serve a small drink with a meal, but avoid drinks immediately beforehand as they can make people feel full.
Above all, be aware of your own tone and body language. People will not eat if they feel frightened or intimidated. Sit down with the person, smile, make eye contact and keep your sentences short.
If nothing works, don't be afraid to stop trying for a while. Let the pressure come off and try again later, with a genuine smile of encouragement
Every year, people in the UK lose upwards of £9 billion to fraud (BILLION!!). Horrifically, the average age of the victims is 74, largely because older people are at home all day & are more likely to answer the landline and have time to talk.
There are simple rules that will help keep you safe:
. Never give out personal information to strangers over the phone
. Don't give strangers access to your computer
. Never give your PIN number to anyone, even if they are dressed as a policeman
. Never give your password to anyone, even if they say they work for a bank
. Don't worry about being rude to people who ring you out of the blue - just hang up
. Never send money to claim a prize
. Never buy things at the door
- Make sure you're registered with the Telephone Preference Service. It's free and it will help cut down the number of calls you receive. Call 0345 070 0707 to register.
If something makes you feel uncomfortable, just hang up. You don't need to give information to anyone. If they are genuine, they will find a better way to get in touch.
Never get into conversation with someone who calls you out of the blue. You could easily tell them something like; "My nephew always sorts out my computer problems", but then their next call might start "Your nephew asked me to call...". This is much more likely to make you think it's a genuine call. Don't get into conversation - just hang up.
Remember that the people contacting you with these fraudulent deals are criminals, and many of them are very clever. This is their job & they spend all day thinking up new ideas so if you think you may have been fallen for a scam, DON'T BE EMBARRASSED.
Call the police immediately on 101 or speak to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
As we grow older, it makes sense to prepare so we can continue to live in our own homes for as long as possible. No-one wants to think about it but, for example, how would you cope if you couldn’t manage stairs any more ?
Some things to consider:
Do you have double glazing and central heating ?
Do you have enough insulation ?
Is the roof in good repair ?
Is the room you prefer to be in easy to heat ?
If you couldn’t manage the stairs anymore;
Do you have a downstairs room that would make a good bedroom ?
Is there a downstairs toilet you could have a wash in ?
If there isn’t a suitable room, is your staircase suitable for a stair lift ?
There are companies who will help you move to a more suitable home or help you organise the one you have.
Bear in mind that it’s much easier to make changes while you are still physically fit and able and have access to a car.
Talking about money with your parents can be difficult. However, these conversations can also be some of the most important ones you will have with those you love. It doesn’t need to be a full examination of their financial records, as you clearly don’t want to overstep any boundaries or cause offence. But there are also questions you need to ask to ensure your parents have prepared for the next stage of their lives, as well as helping you to know about any areas where you might need to provide support in the future, as early as possible. Here are five important questions you should be asking:
Do you have records of your investments, property and important documents? Not telling their children where all their assets are is often one of the biggest mistakes made by parents when planning their estate. Asking your parents to put everything in one folder, in a safe place that’s easy to locate is a good idea, if they haven’t already done so. This should include bank, investment and pension accounts, including account numbers. Digital and online storage is increasingly popular and can help prevent files from becoming lost or damaged.
When did you last review your financial plan? Assuming that they have a financial plan, your parents should be reviewing this regularly. They may have planned for a certain life expectancy during their working life, which may now be a significant number of years longer. You need to understand the sources of your parents’ income when they retire. It’s also a good idea to know how to contact their solicitor, accountant or financial adviser if applicable.
Have you made a will? Make sure your parents have a will in place and that it is up to date. A will more than five years old should be reviewed to ensure it reflects your parents’ wishes. It’s also a good idea to find out about any unusual or specific requests in their will now, to avoid any unexpected surprises when you least want to experience them. Asking your parents to check the beneficiaries of any life insurance policies or pensions is also worthwhile, as these can override bequests in a will.
Have you considered a lasting power of attorney? A lasting power of attorney, or LPA is a legal document which nominates a trusted friend or relative to look after their affairs if they are unable to do so themselves. It’s a sensitive issue to know when the time is right but it is worth putting an LPA in a place long before you think you may need it, so you can make the right choices on your parents’ behalf.
When and where would you consider moving if you can no longer stay in your current home? Perhaps the most difficult question, but one of the most important. If your parents can no longer manage in, or maintain, their home due to age, illness or worse, you need to know what their plans are and what they would be happy to do. Neither you nor your parents is likely to want to think about growing old and frail, but if you have the discussion sooner rather than later, it can make both the financial and emotional sides of dealing with matters surrounding care when the time comes that much easier.
Thank you so much for all your help and support these past few months. You have been marvellous!!Mr G - Sandhurst