Booking respite care for a specific date?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Showmino, May 2, 2019.

  1. Showmino

    Showmino New member

    Feb 4, 2019
    Hi, I haven’t posted before. Although I’m involved in caring for my mother in law who has Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, I am actually posting this for a friend. Her husband has dementia and needs someone with him constantly. She would very much like to go on a holiday in August with extended family and for a specific family related event. She has been trying to find a residential home that would be able to care for him for a week but has found that she cant book ahead. The care homes obviously keep rooms for longer term residents so can only accept if they have a vacancy, and wont book far ahead. We were told it might be possible to ring and book 2-3 weeks ahead but no more, and there is no guarantee a place would be available.

    It’s really difficult for my friend to plan for the holiday and to check out the care homes ahead of time with this issue. Has anyone found a way to book ahead for self funded respite care please?
  2. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
    Tell your friend to try a different tack.
    As a carer she has a right to ask the LA to promote her wellbeing.
    Even if it will be self funding involve the LA in organising a respite placement.

  3. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    hi @Showmino
    I agree with nitram, suggest your friend arranges an assessment of her husband's care needs, and a carer's assessment for herself, by their Local Authority Adult Services - he may be self-funding but they have a right to these assessments - she can at the same time let them know that she will be going away in August so must have respite care in place or her husband will be at home alone and at risk .... may spur someone into action?
    it does seem a fairly regular concern here, that respite care is so hard to organise
  4. KathrynAnne

    KathrynAnne Registered User

    Jun 6, 2018
    South Yorkshire
    My Mum was self-funding and I contacted the LA and, after an assessment, I was able to book her in advance into an LA care home. Only people who had had a social services assessment were eligible to stay in the home. The CH was excellent and it was such a relief that I could plan a break for myself in the knowledge that my Mum would be well looked after. Prior to this I did go away but was never guaranteed a place in the CH I had chosen until a few days before our holiday so it was very stressful! Fortunately the place I’d requested was always available so I never had the nightmare of finding an alternative at the last minute. Hopefully your friend will get the help we did but it did take about 9 months from when I first contacted SS about it.
  5. circles21

    circles21 New member

    May 2, 2019
    I have just had the same fight with Social Services and trying to find respite in advance. When you're self funding, they expect you to trawl through the Care Directory. Who has time when caring full time for a loved one with Dementia? The person I spoke to sounded about 20 and had no compassion, empathy or life experiences. Anyway, there is a charity in our area called Northants Carers and they had a list of a few care homes who offer repsite on a more regular basis; i.e holding a room solely for respite care. They welcome people booking as far in advance as possible. So try the Carers Trust as they are a national charity and they should put you in touch with a charity in your area that can offer that sort of support.
  6. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    This seems to be an increasingly common problem. I remember the problems that @Ann Mac had trying to find a respite bed. I am lucky that there is a place near me that OH can go into that can be booked, but it isnt a dedicated dementia home and I dont know what will happen once it is no longer suitable for him.
  7. j.s.king

    j.s.king Registered User

    Oct 23, 2017
    Southampton , England
    Showmino, its a nightmare with no help from LA if they don't consider 24 hr care needed. I managed to find one i could reserve and book in advance here in the South. Only the much larger private ( and more expensive ) homes seem to have designated bookable rooms for respite but that's preferable to me than trying to find somewhere suitable just before we leave for holiday.
  8. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
  9. Philbo

    Philbo Registered User

    Feb 28, 2017
    As others have suggested, I found involving the LA worked best for us too.

    My wife already attended a LA run day centre 1 day a week (self funded) and last year, after one of the staff there mentioned that they had a respite unit too, I enquired via the SW about booking a respite stay.

    There was a bit of "debate" as to whether you could book in advance, but it was eventually agreed. (I think that they are reluctant as it is primarily for emergency needs).

    My wife stayed for 9 days and as the day centre staff rotate into the respite unit, she had some familiar faces around and she got on well.

    I have recently booked her in for this summer, whilst I go away with my kids, grand kids etc. to a family event abroad. I was worried that as our LA no longer assign a designated SW (you now have to contact the Adult Social Care "Hub"), the process would be more difficult. However, a SW came out to visit and submitted a request via their bi-monthly "panel", who thankfully approved it. They even advised that we could have 4 additional weeks within the next 12 months, which although I have nothing planned, is good to know.

    As my wife is currently self-funding, she has to pay but at least it is at the LA rate, so works out cheaper than arranging in the private sector.
  10. Showmino

    Showmino New member

    Feb 4, 2019
    Thanks so much everyone for the replies. I’ve used them to do some more enquiring and passed the information on to my friend. Hopefully she will be able to get what she needs
  11. Ann Mac

    Ann Mac Registered User

    Oct 17, 2013
    Hi Sowmino, and welcome to TP :)

    As Canary said, I was faced with this issue, about 3 years ago, when my Mum in law lived with us. I'd had a carers assessment, which strongly advised that I take 'regular' respite breaks, as Mil was very challenging. When we came to actually book respite though, there were no LA run homes in the area and not one of the privte homes offered respite. You could phone round and see if any of them happened to have a bed free at the time of phoning, but booking one in advance wasn't possible. Adult services passed me round from pillar to post, no straight answers, the councils website gave a link that led you to a list of private homes (none of which offered respite bookable in advance) and the CPN (community pyschiatric nurse) very bluntly told me that although adult/social services would not admit it, there were no respite facilities in the county - nor in the neighbouring two counties.

    I fought - contacted MP's, AMP's, local councillors, the press - even phoned into radio 5live and challenged Norman Lamb, the then minister for health and social welfare, live on air, over this issue. Eventually, the council agreed to comission just ONE bed, for the whole county, to be available in a home that also offerred day care. 3 or 4 years on, that bed is still the only one available, and booked up months in advance. Despite the promises at the time, that more beds would be commissioned, if it was found that the first one was used, nothing has changed. My Mil is now in residential care, but only 2 weeks ago, a friend who's Dad has dementia contacted me for help, because her Mum (Dad's main carer) needs surgery - and they can't get respite for her to have the op and have time to recover. The one and only bed is booked up around 10 months in advance.

    As individuals, we can all, I guess, fight like I did and hope we get somewhere - but the energy and stress that causes is often beyond carers who are already exhausted and stressed beyond belief. I really wish that the AZ society would make the fight for respite a priority and start a campaign to ensure that every carer , no matter where they live, has access to regular respite breaks - I honestly think it will take the backing of a huge organisation, like the AZ society, to get this issue actually dealt with. As it stands now, a lot of councils are claiming that by carrying out their 'carers assessments' they are meeting their duty of care, and are sliding out of actually ensuring that respite is avaiable :(

    I hope your friendf can find somewhere xxxx

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