Charity befrienders

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Charity befrienders

Postby Pepper Pig » October 26th, 2019, 8:20 pm

Does anyone here have any experience of using or being one? Dementia UK have suggested going down this route as opposed to getting in carers.
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Re: Charity befrienders

Postby slimpersoninside » October 26th, 2019, 8:32 pm

Sorry PP I can't help with your question. Just wanted to say sorry you're having a tough time, hope you get some help soon.
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Re: Charity befrienders

Postby suffolk » October 26th, 2019, 9:14 pm

I used to make referrals for some of my families to https://carers.org/what-carer
They used to be known as Crossroads for Carers and the whole idea is to ensure that unpaid family Carers get the respite they need and deserve.

I'm sorry, I accidentally edited the second part of this post instead of quoting from it ... blame fat finger syndrome and my phone :x

I said something along the lines of 'they provide carefully matched befrienders to give Carers time off from their caring duties. A referral from GP or other professional may help.
Last edited by suffolk on October 27th, 2019, 2:35 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Charity befrienders

Postby Amber » October 26th, 2019, 9:59 pm

I think AgeUK do a similar thing.

We never managed to use them, but it’s often been suggested that you introduce them as the (wo)man who came to change the light bulb/cut the grass/do the ironing etc.

Good luck.
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Re: Charity befrienders

Postby Busybee » October 27th, 2019, 6:25 am

I’ve volunteered as one via my time with the (W)RVS. It was on a geriatric ward in a hospital setting, interacting with patients that staff felt would benefit from some social interaction, often patients with no / limited visitors.

We had memory boxes to aid conversations, although some patients didn’t need the impetus to hold a conversation. It was very hard work sometimes, other times the time flew by. In addition to helping the patients hospital experience it also gave a bit of a helping hand to the staff giving them time to concentrate on other patients, I also found it hugely rewarding and my local knowledge of the area improved greatly, the social history I learnt was enormous. I only stopped when I moved back to Yorkshire.

A friends father had a befriender visit him, his wife poo pooed it but I think T thoroughly enjoyed being the centre of attention and chatty to his two ladies who visited. They visited for a couple of years until he sadly passed.

I would give it a go PP, if it doesn’t work out then you could always stop it. :hug:

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Re: Charity befrienders

Postby Chinchilla_lady » October 27th, 2019, 10:12 am

I would have given my eye teeth for one when we had mum, even if it just gives you time to have a shower etc it would be worth it. Sorry to hear that you are going through it, been there :hug: :hug: :hug:
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Re: Charity befrienders

Postby Prettykiwicrazy » October 27th, 2019, 11:19 am

I think it depends on the level of your husbands needs , especially in terms of medical and personal care . The downside of getting carers in is the whole funding/financial area . My Nan had carers in three times a day for 30 minutes at a time which was fine , but I always queried if they were running late getting to her , would that affect her time . Also if they were about to leave and she suddenly required assistance , would they hold on or would it always be one eye on the clock ?

As someone who works in health and social care , I’d say ask as many questions as you can and as awful as it sounds , describe your husband when he’s having his worst days even if they’re few and far between now . It’ll help with getting the support him and you need . Also don’t feel guilty if you get paid carers or volunteers in . I think sometimes all the focus is on the person that is ill , and sometimes the toll on the person who is with them 24/7 mainly isn’t appreciated . Give yourself a break when they’re there .
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Re: Charity befrienders

Postby miss mouse » October 27th, 2019, 1:46 pm

Prettykiwicrazy wrote: I think sometimes all the focus is on the person that is ill , and sometimes the toll on the person who is with them 24/7 mainly isn’t appreciated .


'Sometimes'?!!! The carer and his/her needs are totally ignored IME.
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Re: Charity befrienders

Postby suffolk » October 27th, 2019, 2:33 pm

suffolk wrote:I used to make referrals for some of my families to https://carers.org/what-carer
They used to be known as Crossroads for Carers and the whole idea is to ensure that unpaid family Carers get the respite they need and deserve.


I have banged on about this organisation and the work they do on here and elsewhere until I am blue in the face. Their whole raison d'etre is to provide support to and respite for THE CARER!!!
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Re: Charity befrienders

Postby miss mouse » October 27th, 2019, 3:11 pm

Sorry Suffs, I wasn't having a poke at you or the Carers Care charity, I am cross about something unrelated, carers being imposed on.
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Re: Charity befrienders

Postby suffolk » October 27th, 2019, 3:13 pm

That’s ok Miss Mouse :hug:
But IME its a brilliant scheme ... backed by the ever practical no nonsense Princess Royal.
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Re: Charity befrienders

Postby Pepper Pig » October 27th, 2019, 4:02 pm

Thanks for your input everybody. The centre being suggested is indeed part of the old Crossroads charity.

My problem is that I can't really leave him on his own - I've just caught him trying to light a fire for example. However he can dress and bath himself so doesn't need carers per se. 18 months on and I'm going a bit stir-crazy. When I have an outing planned I have to make sure one of the kids can have him. The girls both have young children, the boys work in Europe a lot. Still, I have always juggled! The dementia care nurse at our practice suggested it at his annual review on Thursday. Mind you she also suggested he goes somewhere to play ping-pong and that really isn't going to happen! :lol:

Thanks again.
Last edited by Pepper Pig on October 27th, 2019, 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Charity befrienders

Postby suffolk » October 27th, 2019, 4:15 pm

Go for it PP ... it’ll do you both good :hug:
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Re: Charity befrienders

Postby Prettykiwicrazy » October 27th, 2019, 4:49 pm

Sounds like it’s worth giving the volunteers a whirl then PP. even if it’s just for “babysitting” , (no offence meant by that term) , while you go out and have a bit of fun
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Re: Charity befrienders

Postby suffolk » October 27th, 2019, 5:55 pm

Prettykiwicrazy wrote:Sounds like it’s worth giving the volunteers a whirl then PP. even if it’s just for “babysitting” , (no offence meant by that term) , while you go out and have a bit of fun


That’s more or less what Crossroads is for :tu:
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Re: Charity befrienders

Postby Pepper Pig » October 27th, 2019, 9:12 pm

And is exactly what is needed.
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Re: Charity befrienders

Postby miss mouse » October 27th, 2019, 9:14 pm

Hooray. Good luck PP.
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Re: Charity befrienders

Postby Seatallan » October 28th, 2019, 10:40 am

Crossroads (as was) are brilliant. I used to refer some of my clients to them as well.

Hope it works out PP- you deserve some respite. :hug:
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Re: Charity befrienders

Postby dennispc » October 30th, 2019, 9:33 am

One of OH’s friends has a hubby like this, we’ll pass on this information.

However, there’s no such charity locally, but every so often she brings in paid carers to either sit with him or take him out for coffee. Gave up her car a little while ago and no longer drives.
He wears an emergency call out device, in case of falls, etc.

In our town, about ten miles from here, there’s a centre called Reminiscence Learning which provides a morning’s activity and thus respite for carers. Unfortunately, at some point she gave up her car and driving a few years back
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Re: Charity befrienders

Postby suffolk » October 30th, 2019, 10:53 am

Maybe the Reminisence Centre is aware of a charity or voluntary driver scheme who can provide transport ... that certainly happens around here.
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