Relocating a family member living with dementia

We all know the importance of preventing social isolation; it’s something that families often speak to us about. Read about how our Northwich & Knutsford office in Cheshire has been helping a lady living with dementia to settle into her new surroundings.

Last December we were contacted by a family member who was relocating her mother, Susan, from Yorkshire to Cheshire following a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.

Susan, aged 84, was living independently in an area she loved and where she had an active social circle but the dementia was starting to have an impact on her wellbeing. Susan was regularly calling her children complaining that she felt seriously ill, resulting in a few urgent visits. None of the children lived nearby – her daughter, Claire, was two hours away and her sons five hours away.

With an understanding of the likely degeneration in their mother’s condition and the knowledge that her cherished Drivers Licence would have to be relinquished, the children spoke to Susan about her moving to live near her daughter in Cheshire so that it would be easier to support her. Susan agreed immediately and was full of beans about her new start.

Having effectively taken their mother away from her friendship group the family was keen to ensure she developed new social activities around her new home in Holmes Chapel. Susan’s daughter is a businesswoman and as such is limited to the amount of time she can spend with her mother during the working week.

We were brought in to deliver two hours of companionship care twice a week. The family are keen for Susan to have support so that, at a time she will need a higher level of care, she is familiar and comfortable with her two allocated Care Professionals.

Over the last 12 months we’ve been able to set up a lovely routine with Susan, taking her to a bi-weekly tea dance at the local Methodist Church where she has made new friends and out to the garden centre or local Costa Coffee for lunch of a cuppa.

Susan has an adorable dog, Harry, and our Care Professionals will accompany Susan and Harry on walks in the local area. Other regular support includes taking her to do her food shopping and accompanying her to the hairdresser.

The family noticed a recent decline in Susan’s dementia which was accompanied by over-buying of food. A quick call to the office has put extra checks in place to ensure that food in the fridge is in date and that cupboards are thoroughly checked before any trips to the supermarket.

As was expected, Susan’s dementia has worsened but despite this she is really happy in her new home and is still able to pop out to the shops or local library on her own.

The family receive updates following each visit through the Birdie app which is much appreciated as Susan quickly forgets that she’s has a care visit so is unable to report what she has done.

They have told us that the visits really take the pressure off Claire who can drop in on her mother on her way home from work, knowing that she’s done something interesting and stimulating during the week.

At weekends, Claire is able to spend quality time with her mother; typically having her over to her house for the day where they work together in Claire’s garden and spend time taking the family dogs (and Harry) for walks.