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Dad needs a break...

lucy p

Registered User
Jul 29, 2007

I am new to TP but so glad I have found this forum. Just read several threads and realised there are so many people out there in similar situations...helps me to feel a little less lost in the whole thing.

My mum was diagnosed with early onset 6 years ago (aged 54). My Dad became a full time carer about 4 years ago, and with the help of direct payments, we have had a 'companion' for Mum who comes in a few days a week. A saviour for all of us.

A year and a half ago we started with respite care - just for one day a week to begin with, but now we use it for Dad to have a bit more respite, so every so often Mum goes there for a week's stay. It's a local home which specialises in dementia. It's probably as good a home as we could hope for as it's just round the corner with fantastic views of the countryside, but it's still a home and I still feel racked with guilt when Mum's there...but shy of giving up work myself there aren't really any other options.

Over the past couple of months my Dad, brother and I have had a few heart to hearts over what to do next. When Mum was diagnosed we were told she had a life expectancy of about 5 years. Well that's passed now and although Mum has virtually nil speech anymore, she still has a sparkle in her eyes and brightens up when she sees close friends and family. Dad feels he can just about cope with keeping Mum at home for the near term so we are taking every few weeks at a time.

But to come onto what my thread is really about...Dad needs a life too. He has been completely selfless over the past 6 years and a couple of weeks ago Mum had a week's stay in the home. Dad went away for a week...on his own...and although it sounds like a break...I think it gave him too much time to think and get even more down about the whole thing.

Trouble is, although some of Mum and Dad's old friends keep in touch, they are all still happy middleaged couples enjoying life together (exactly the things Mum and Dad always talked about doing together)...and so Dad can't exactly tag along on holiday with them.

I've searched the internet for possible groups, holidays etc - but everything seems to be either centred around holidays for the carer and the sufferer, or coach trips for older people and cruises or dating holidays! Obviously he could have a break with me and my brother, but it would be so good for him to get away from us for a change, and that way we can stay local to visit mum whilst she's in respite.

Dad's 61, enjoys boats, cars, good food and good wine and doesn't want to be stuck on a coach with a load of septagenarians (no offence meant). Does anyone know of any good websites, companies etc offering ideas for what he can do to get away from it all for a week or so?

(Sorry this is a long thread...but as it's my first I felt I had to introduce myself)



Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Hi Lucy and welcome to TP

I think you're correct in that time away from caring can be a time to brood - it's one thing to be able to rest, but when you're caring 24/7 the removal of those responsibities, even for a short period of time (or perhaps expecially for a short period of time) can leave a gaping hole.

Your father is only a couple of years older than my husband, and I can't begin to imagine him on a coach trip, so I know where you're coming from.

The only thing I can think to suggest is some sort of activity based holiday, because a regular "away from it all" type of holiday may well give him to much time to reflect. Also, a holiday that involves physical activity will tend to be self-limiting with regard to older people.


Linda Mc

Registered User
Jul 3, 2005
Nr Mold
Hi Lucy and welcome.

As your Dad enjoys boats, good food and wine how about a mini cruise?

Hope you visit here often everyone is so helpful and friendly.

Linda x

lucy p

Registered User
Jul 29, 2007
Thanks Jennifer and Linda

Following your advice I had a new burst of energy so did another search on line and found www.justyou.co.uk, a company which arranges holidays for single travellers in groups...loads of different types of holiday including activity breaks and cruises... and it's for all ages.

Have requested a brochure and keeping my fingers crossed that my Dad will think it's a good idea too!



Registered User
Apr 27, 2006
Hi Lucy

I am looking for something similar. I have contacted you by private email. It would be great to hear from you if you have had any luck finding a suitable holiday company


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