First attempt at care home respite

Rich p

Registered User
Aug 4, 2015
22
I'm planning on trying to place my wife in a local care home for some respite, for the first time. She goes to a day-care centre for one day a week and seems to be okay there, after a few weeks, having got a bit weepy apparently the first and second time.
I'm aware that everyone is different but I thought about trying her in the respite home for a couple of days to see how it goes.
The home suggested, (and I guess they should know), that 4 days is best as a start because it often takes a couple of days for the person to become accustomed and settled.
I will be self-funding so there is a cost issue as well (£110 per night).
Any advice or experiences gratefully received
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,300
South coast
My OH is in respite at the moment and went for first respite at the beginning of the year.
He is not really able to understand why he needs to be in respite, so I didnt say that he would be staying in a care home (he would probably have refused to go), so I "sold" it to him as having a lovely week away in a hotel with nurses and he was very happy with this.
Yes, I would agree that 2 days is not long enough to make an informed decision on whether it works. Four days (or even a week) would be much better.
 

northumbrian_k

Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
923
Newcastle
My wife's first respite stay was for 3 nights and - although I judged it successful - with hindsight I would say that it was too short. She went on to have 6, 4 and 10 night stays. The longer ones allowed me to have not just a break from caring but short holidays as well. She went to a small place with respite beds and a day centre in the same building rather than a residential home as such. However, I feel that the respite stays were important in helping to ease her subsequent move into full time residential care.

Two nights would not be long enough for your wife to settle in or for you to get any benefit. Four nights or more would be better. The cost per night that you quote seems reasonable.

I found it best not to visit her during any of the respite periods, which was hard at first but easier when I was away on holiday. I have posted earlier on my view of respite and my wife's experience and reaction as far as I could tell. You may find it helpful to read my and others' posts on the subject. The following is what I posted on her second day:

"Already this period of respite is bringing home to me just how hard I have to work to achieve even a poor semblance of normality when my wife is here. I miss her very much but no more, I think, than when she is with me, because she is now a much different and more difficult person since Alzheimer’s disease took over our lives. I am worried how she is dealing with being away from home and her much-loved dog and will probably never know for sure how it has affected her.

But one thing is clear, this short respite has so far been a positive experience for me, and that can only enhance the love and care that I can show her when she returns on Sunday."
 

Rich p

Registered User
Aug 4, 2015
22
My OH is in respite at the moment and went for first respite at the beginning of the year.
He is not really able to understand why he needs to be in respite, so I didnt say that he would be staying in a care home (he would probably have refused to go), so I "sold" it to him as having a lovely week away in a hotel with nurses and he was very happy with this.
Yes, I would agree that 2 days is not long enough to make an informed decision on whether it works. Four days (or even a week) would be much better.
Thanks, that's more or less what I thought.
Did you visit your OH at all?
 

Rich p

Registered User
Aug 4, 2015
22
My wife's first respite stay was for 3 nights and - although I judged it successful - with hindsight I would say that it was too short. She went on to have 6, 4 and 10 night stays. The longer ones allowed me to have not just a break from caring but short holidays as well. She went to a small place with respite beds and a day centre in the same building rather than a residential home as such. However, I feel that the respite stays were important in helping to ease her subsequent move into full time residential care.

Two nights would not be long enough for your wife to settle in or for you to get any benefit. Four nights or more would be better. The cost per night that you quote seems reasonable.

I found it best not to visit her during any of the respite periods, which was hard at first but easier when I was away on holiday. I have posted earlier on my view of respite and my wife's experience and reaction as far as I could tell. You may find it helpful to read my and others' posts on the subject.
Many thanks. You've answered my question during a cross post too!
 

Olliebeak

Registered User
Sep 13, 2014
112
Buckinghamshire
My OH has had about 6 spells in respite now. The first time I had a call after one night to say he had packed his stuff and was calling a taxi. They managed to talk him round and now he goes quite calmly if not quite happily. The staff are great and all greet him like they are really pleased to see him. Unfortunately he tends to have a different room each time but the respite stays just go into whatever room is free. I now plan on an 8 day stay every 12 weeks so I can go and visit friends and have a few days home alone and I even plucked up courage to take a weeks holiday abroad this year. We are very lucky that we can afford it but we had planned our retirement to include a lot of travel. Sadly his holiday money goes on his respite hotel! Good luck Rich p I hope it works for you.
 

Skeet

New member
Oct 20, 2019
7
I read about everyone's guilt... and I SO get it. In my case, I'm the one w/Dementia and my guilt is through the roof. I feel so guilty to be a burden to my family. And it will only get worse. I want to die as I see no reason to keep living. I'm not necessary or needed anymore. But I can't to anything to facilitate that as it's against my religious beliefs. I do pray every night that I'll have a fatal stroke or heart attack so that the Dementia will end... so I will end. I'm also a D.N.A. should something happen to me. My doc asked me last week if I was taking one baby aspirin a day, since I have had one stroke and several TIA's. I told him I wasn't. He asked why. I told him that it seemed to me that taking the aspirin might lengthen my life and why would I want that? He was quiet for a few seconds and then said "he got where I was coming from."
 

Cat27

Volunteer Moderator
Feb 27, 2015
10,641
Merseyside
I read about everyone's guilt... and I SO get it. In my case, I'm the one w/Dementia and my guilt is through the roof. I feel so guilty to be a burden to my family. And it will only get worse. I want to die as I see no reason to keep living. I'm not necessary or needed anymore. But I can't to anything to facilitate that as it's against my religious beliefs. I do pray every night that I'll have a fatal stroke or heart attack so that the Dementia will end... so I will end. I'm also a D.N.A. should something happen to me. My doc asked me last week if I was taking one baby aspirin a day, since I have had one stroke and several TIA's. I told him I wasn't. He asked why. I told him that it seemed to me that taking the aspirin might lengthen my life and why would I want that? He was quiet for a few seconds and then said "he got where I was coming from."
@Skeet please don’t feel you’re a burden to your family. I’d do anything to have my Dad back.
I wish you strength to deal with your condition.
 

davidsitges

Registered User
Apr 26, 2018
13
I read about everyone's guilt... and I SO get it. In my case, I'm the one w/Dementia and my guilt is through the roof. I feel so guilty to be a burden to my family. And it will only get worse. I want to die as I see no reason to keep living. I'm not necessary or needed anymore. But I can't to anything to facilitate that as it's against my religious beliefs. I do pray every night that I'll have a fatal stroke or heart attack so that the Dementia will end... so I will end. I'm also a D.N.A. should something happen to me. My doc asked me last week if I was taking one baby aspirin a day, since I have had one stroke and several TIA's. I told him I wasn't. He asked why. I told him that it seemed to me that taking the aspirin might lengthen my life and why would I want that? He was quiet for a few seconds and then said "he got where I was coming from."
I can't speak for your family, but my OH with quite advanced Alzheimer's is no burden at all. There is enough of the real character still in him that I love all the time that we have together. It is true joy when bits of the old character show through. I hope he will be around for many years yet, although I know he is going to get worse. But for me and his family, it's something we live with and make the best of. There is no question of it being a burden, just a different form of living.
But having said that, the most important criteria is that he should be happy - he is but if you are not happy, I can understand your prayers and support your decision not to lengthen your life.
 

CLEMENTINA

Registered User
Jun 14, 2014
18
I'm planning on trying to place my wife in a local care home for some respite, for the first time. She goes to a day-care centre for one day a week and seems to be okay there, after a few weeks, having got a bit weepy apparently the first and second time.
I'm aware that everyone is different but I thought about trying her in the respite home for a couple of days to see how it goes.
The home suggested, (and I guess they should know), that 4 days is best as a start because it often takes a couple of days for the person to become accustomed and settled.
I will be self-funding so there is a cost issue as well (£110 per night).
Any advice or experiences gratefully received
 

CLEMENTINA

Registered User
Jun 14, 2014
18
Hi, Give it a try! You need the break and actually so may your other half! The care home may not have the sort of ideas that this website does, for instance the thread on "bathroom lights". Last year my OH went in for the first 4 nights respite after attending the day unit successfully. His wanderings in search of toilet, after being unable to spot the one in his own room, have been the main problem. I have tried a lit up sign in luminous felt pen with a gent's logo on perspex within a frame, (you have to draw it youself, it's available from a popular local store) . He doesn't know how to turn this off but it's battery operated so the staff or friends on visits need to keep topped up. He is disoriented on returning home so I place it outside our own bathroom too, and I selotape the bathroom light switch at night to prevent him switching off after a night time visit. Good luck.
 

Alex54

Registered User
Oct 15, 2018
192
Newtown, Wales
The home suggested, (and I guess they should know),
Please whatever you do, do not assume the advice you are given is always the best. Ask basic questions yourself, how do they deal with aggression, not eating or drinking, and how often do incontinent patients get changed. You are in a strong position paying the bill directly, so don't accept second best.
Personally I would visit the home every day, but only stay a short while, just to make sure the wife is OK.
 

northumbrian_k

Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
923
Newcastle
It is different where the respite is longer-term as canary has said. For a short period I would say that it isn't really respite if you visit. The benefit of a short respite stay is that it allows a break for the carer, giving time to relax and do something other than caring. Your wife would also get some benefit @Rich p as there would be staff and other residents to provide company and stimulation. That is why respite can be good for both parties.
 

Rich p

Registered User
Aug 4, 2015
22
It is different where the respite is longer-term as canary has said. For a short period I would say that it isn't really respite if you visit. The benefit of a short respite stay is that it allows a break for the carer, giving time to relax and do something other than caring. Your wife would also get some benefit @Rich p as there would be staff and other residents to provide company and stimulation. That is why respite can be good for both parties.
Yep, I take your point.
She's now booked in for 4 days in mid January. I'll report back on how it goes