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Aid for the elderly


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I am going to visit and get advice from the 'Social Worker" person regarding help for my elderly father (aged 89) in looking after my mother (a year younger) who has severe dementia (and is ALD agreed).

Before I go it would be helpful to have any information or even better experience of getting help in these circumstances.

My father has refused all offers of help (specialist and GP suggestions) as he "does not want somebody in the house doing nothing most of the time" and in any case "does not want odd people messing her about"...

He is very fit but the strain is getting to him. She can go all "stiff" for no obvious reason and it is almost impossible for him to move her against her will.  He says that what he needs is someone who will come when he telephones for 15 minutes when he has a problem. He will not allow me to do it (in any case I am 5'+not a lot and she is quite a bit bigger!!). The main problems he has are what one might call "hygiene".

The only person Mum recognises is him and she is anxious if he is not visible - I sit so that he can go shopping and she can get really tearful no matter how much I say he will be back soon.  I cannot look after her in my house as we have no downstairs toilet and to get her up the stairs is almost an impossibility.

There is no family now in the UK as my children are also abroad (not France).

The sort of things I would like to know in advance are:

     Is the help means tested?

     Day centres?

Many thanks in advance for any thoughts

Mrs H

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There is help available, but the only links I have are in French.

Is that ok?

This would be a starting point for example




For 'hygiene' problems 'une infirmière à domicile' or an 'aide soignante' might be able to help and could be prescribed by the Doctor, who I think should probably be involved.

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Everything here is means tested one way or another regarding financial help/care help etc because obviously if the person in question has a healthy savings account,they more than likely must pay and the public money is used to fund those with modest incomes which is the same as the UK as the threshold there is something like £21,000 in savings before you have to pay.

I would get the local assistante sociale involved with this case because as time goes on, it will only get worse for all involved.

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We ended up in a similar situation and I more or less forced help on my father. My mother was very ill and did not want any help at all.

My reasoning was that if my Dad didn't get help he would have been on his way before her, never ever an easy woman and only far far worse with her illness. And there was no cure for her, she was getting worse daily and everything was really taking a toll on my Dad. In the end it didn't matter what my mother wanted really.

My Dad soon realised that the burden was reduced enormously when the help started, still hard work, but some relief from it. And now tells me how glad he was that I insisted. My mother died in 1990 and my Dad is doing very well at over 87.

Carers seem to soldier on, above and beyond what they should be doing and not taking their own well being into account. Good luck and be insistent, help is good.

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Thanks for replies, Yes in French is fine although I will take a French friend with me when I see the assistante sociale to make sure I don't just understand each word individually but get the meaning correctly!  I will read the links given first.

I think my Dad would be willing to have more help if (a) my Mum did not get weepy when he is not around and (b) he did not feel that nurses/carers will make her get up (for example) when they want not when she wants and will be sitting around most of the time with nothing to do.

They have a small, modern, bungalow which was designed by him to cover their needs ten years ago - so he does not have a spare room that could be used by him or a night carer for example - the nights are often when he needs help as sometimes she will refuse to go to bed (she can hardly tell day from night).  This last sentence makes him sound rich - he is not, land is so much cheaper here he was able to build within the price he got for his "oldies" home in SE UK.

He would love to have savings anywhere near 21k pounds!

I may speak to our lovely village infirmiere about "hygiene" help as she will know what is needed.

It is awful getting old...

Mrs H

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Going a bit further into the links there is a document you can download which the Doctor can sign to show the degree of help needed in the basics


click on accéder au formulaire

To get some idea of the financial help possibly  available


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My mother has carers ( we are all in the UK) and over the months they have become real friends not only to her, and they take a whole lot more from her than either my sister and I would, (like iduns mother, she is a difficult woman) but to us too. ( She doesn't have dementia as such, but her memory is failing and she sometimes confuses dreams with reality) Usually they have the experience to really help and sometimes have a different way of looking at things that sometimes eases a problem.

As the others have said its important to care for the carer too, they need a break as well.

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My mother and her carers, well she would have had them out of the house if she could. She hated them, every last one of them. As she lost the ability to speak, she would growl and look, a look that if it had worked would have struck them dead.

My Dad still has a friendly chat with them when he sees them.


My parents were chalk and cheese. Insular, mean and often nasty woman. Friendly gregarious man. 43 years married. I never wanted to be like my mother.

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Difference is, I have friends. I am generous, even if I have little. I care, probably too much. In fact I am completely opposite to my mother. If I was like her, I would not be on here, I'd lurk and look down my nose at everyone.......... that was what she did in real life, so why not on the web.

The frightening thing was that my son's fiance was just like her. Petite frame, quiet, watching everything, hard to speak to, get on with, and everything was for 'her'. She spent all his money and dumped him and had the audacity to ask me for money. And maybe if I hadn't grown up with such a female, I may have taken pity, but I did not.

You see I think men can be taken in by quiet, pretty little  girls fluttering their eyelashes at them. I think that they take the 'quietness' as a sign of being 'nice' and it doesn't necessarily mean that.

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I think a good place might be your local CCAS (Centre communal d'action sociale)

 Le CCAS anime une action générale de prévention et de développement

social dans la commune en liaison avec les institutions publiques et

privées. Il est de ce fait l'institution locale de l'action sociale par excellence.

A ce titre, il développe différentes activités et missions légales ou

facultatives, directement orientées vers les populations concernées :

aide et accompagnement des personnes âgées, aides aux personnes

, aux enfants, aux familles en difficulté, lutte contre les


Have a look here:


ou might find a local one from this list


This one is typical


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