Mum went into residential respite two weeks ago today. We have just rolled it over for two more weeks although I have a strong feeling that she may be there permanently now. I will never forget the abject panic on her face when she realised what was happening and we have been advised that she has become incontinent since she’s been in there. Her cognitive abilities have definitely decreased in the two weeks. On the other hand, she looks clean and well turned out when we visit and I have spied her chatting to some other residents, about what Heaven only knows as she doesn’t make a lot of sense much of the time. She sundowns quite badly at this time of the year which results in quite bad anxiety attacks and she couldn’t bear to be alone even for a few minutes when she was at home. So it’s swings and roundabouts when considering whether she should stay or not. Also, within the family, we have a few who would like her home and others who feel that that would be impossible now. It is all very difficult. Each of us have visited about twice a week each, usually for less than an hour each time. We see or phone or text each other when we’ve been to report back on how she seemed and any news on her condition from the CH. I think it is safe to say that we are all feeling dreadful about this, even those who think she is in the right place. It would seem from all of this feedback, that I am the only one who gets the “when are you taking me home?” type questions. They aren’t accusatory or desperate, just assumptions that that is why I am there - to take her home. Presumably it is because I was principal carer and did everything to make her as happy as she could be in the circumstances. I am due to go today, for about 45 minutes before her lunch. I am dreading it for the following reasons: she is always SO happy to see me, unlike the others who she often doesn’t really recognise, and I feel sick with guilt for what we have done; 45 minutes isn’t enough but we are encouraged by the CH not to overdo it so as not to unsettle her; I cannot bear the look of disappointment on her face when I fudge whether she is going home or not; I don’t think I will ever get used to not saying bye-bye & just sneaking back to the lift leaving her confused as to where I’ve gone and, most of all, the whole thing just reinforces how much I miss her. Please, someone, tell me that it does get easier.