Dad is frightened

First post! My Dad has recently started to get frightened about being left on his own when I go shopping. He worries all the time I’m out. He is 97. I’m only going shopping once a fortnight at the moment during the pandemic. I have no one to call on who could sit with my Dad. What do others do in this situation?

Have you thought of a alarm/pendant which your local authority would install. It might help Dad feel more reassured when you are not there. If there should be a problem the central control would take necessary steps. What a fantastic age.

Thank you for your reply, sunnydisposition. He does have a pendant but he has to be reminded that he can use it these days. He has been in hospital three times this year and I think it didn’t help that he couldn’t have any visitors the last time because of the virus. He didn’t understand why and I think the whole situation has unnerved him.

If you can afford it, perhaps you get a carer to come and sit with him every fortnight
for an hour whilst you go shopping. That would cost about £20 per fortnight.

Thank you Albert_1604 . I wasn’t sure that service would still be available during the covid crisis.

HI Marymary,

Welcome to the Forum.

If you can afford it, you can get dementia sitters. I used to have a couple of ladies come to chat to my mum once a week which I organised via Tapestry. They were very kind but mum hated them,. I had to tell her that she was training them for those who really needed them!

It may also be worth asking your local volunteer bureau or Age UK if they have any volunteers providing this service.

Good luck,

Welcome to the forum, Marymary. Sorry to hear your dad is frightened about being left on his own. Shopping is definitely difficult these days, especially if you can’t do it very often and have to hurry home when you can get out to do it. Have you tried shopping online or arranging with someone to do your shopping for you? There are problems with both of these, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t gone down this route. Is it just you and your dad or have you other family members who could get involved in some way, even if it was just to come and chat to him, social distancing mode, at the front door?


Thank you for your reply, Gilli. Yes I have tried online shopping. It is not always feasible. There is only my Dad and I and there are times when I obviously need to go out. Dad being frightened hasn’t been a problem until very recently. There are no other family members living anywhere near us. My daughter is the closest and she is a three hour round trip away. I do however like your suggestion that someone may be able to chat with him in the front garden. I hadn’t thought of that. That might work. I shall make some enquiries! Thank you!

Thank you, Anne001. I liked your idea to tell your Mum she was training the sitters for those who really needed them! Good one!

The idea of having someone in to sit with my Dad is good but it seems that this has come to a halt during the pandemic. They still have telephone befriending but he doesn’t like the phone much these days! Thank you for the suggestion though.

You’re welcome, Mary. Were you able to get anyone to come and chat with your dad in the garden?


If dad needs sitters now, then contact Social Services for a Carers Assessment, and a Needs Assessment for dad.
If you need to go out, there should be no charge, as it is a service for you, not him.