Ideas please for how to enjoy respite

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by thebes, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. thebes

    thebes Registered User

    Feb 10, 2014
    163
    London
    I am in a muddle! I have respite time agreed but can't get myself to do it. My friends and family are expressing increasing concern that I will make myself ill if I don't take regular breaks, and my head can see the sense in that. I make every excuse under the sun for not being able to fix it, and certainly the facts that I am very unlikely to find anywhere in this area that has a suitable respite space, and that my OH doesn't want to go away from home so it means me going away and someone literally sleeping in my bed, don't help. But I think the bottom line is that I can't work out how to relax and enjoy it, and so there is no point in going to the trouble of doing it. That sounds quite daft but I can't unravel my thinking. Help!
     
  2. Aragorn

    Aragorn Registered User

    Jul 23, 2015
    18
    You are in danger of becoming locked into the role of carer - understandable but undesirable in the long term. Think of something YOU really want to do - a hobby to revisit, a trip somewhere, something new - and work out how to do it. It might be easier to do it with a friend first time round. But please - DO IT. I know what I want to do, it's just that I can't find the respite care for OH.

    And one more thing - tell us how you got on.
     
  3. esmeralda

    esmeralda Registered User

    Nov 27, 2014
    3,072
    Devon
    Oh thebes, I know just what you mean, but sometimes you have to do things even if you don't feel like it, and even if you don't enjoy it the first time you know in your heart that you need to otherwise you might lose a sense of yourself. Do you manage to get away for a day at all? That's a good start and not so hard to arrange. It's got more difficult now but I love getting out and walking with a group. I've had to miss a few lately because of my OH's needs and I missed it a lot. I don't know if you're old enough but I am a member of the University of the 3rd Age, there are groups all over the country and you don't have to be academic although they do activities if you are. It's a sort of self help organisation where members run groups if there is a subject they have a special interest in and there's a huge variety of interesting things you can do. Sometimes there are breaks you can go on, and then you would already know people you were going with. Sorry if you don't have one in your area. Carers organisations can be good places to go too and can lead to ideas for getting away.

    Like Aragorn said it can be easy to become isolated and lose the confidence to go out. I really hope you can find something which suits you.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
     
  4. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,839
    Suffolk
    My first respite I went to stay with my favourite cousin, who is married to one of my best friends. It is a 6 hour drive away, a bit extreme, but saved me changing my mind in a hurry!
    It was a complete change, which jerked me back to normal life for a few days.
    It was badly needed as I had had Carers breakdown. Thebes, you really don't want to be there! I would suggest going away and doing something you really enjoy. Your husband will cope, honestly. Mine did, though he did realise that I had been 'stressed'!
    He went into a home for two weeks, incidentally, on the understanding it would be for two weeks only. Well, he said he understood!
     
  5. Feline

    Feline Registered User

    Oct 25, 2012
    164
    East Devon
    Hi Thebes
    Please try to do it, the first time is always the hardest, even if it is just a couple of nights somewhere. It is quite a lot to organize especially in the frame of mind you are in, but make yourself do it and see then how you feel. It will give you time to unravel your thinking.
    Best wishes
     
  6. Lilac Blossom

    Lilac Blossom Registered User

    Oct 6, 2014
    499
    Scotland
    Hi Thebes, I am in similar position regarding respite. I'm not sure what I would do with respite - I have become so absorbed in caring for hubby as his needs have increased over the years until now he needs help with everything. I have become so isolated - friends have moved on and I don't have family near.

    Speak to your friends and family, plan something with them which would be easy to achieve - that would be a good way to start I think. I expect the first time would be most difficult but I hope you manage something good for you. xx
     
  7. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,839
    Suffolk
    First time is definately the most difficult!
     
  8. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    7,396
    Yorkshire
    I like Spamar's idea of going FAR away, so you can't back out.
    I've been fancying some time away and a friend gave me a brochure of a coach company which does tours of Scotland - anything from 3 days to weeks. He goes alone and has a brilliant time. The beauty of these type of trip is that there is no real organising to do - book, pack, go.
    So that just leaves the same for OH - book, pack, send off.
    I think everyone's right - first time is trickiest - it's the letting go - so don't allow yourself to think - book the time - do anything or nothing yourself - leave OH to the carers (YES you can) - it'll be easier 2nd time around and you may have discovered during the first respite what you really do want to do in the second.
     
  9. angelface

    angelface Registered User

    Oct 8, 2011
    1,086
    london
    I think a coach trip would be good too.

    The ones I have been on generally have several people on their own,which might make you feel more comfortable.
     
  10. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,481
    Female
    London
    #10 Beate, Nov 1, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
    Thebes, I am in London too and I have been given a free place on a three day carers retreat by the Buddhist Centre in a few weeks' time. It's outside London in the country somewhere. I am still battling to find a respite home for OH for that time. I am very nervous because it will be the first time in over a decade that we're a night apart! And how can anyone else possibly look after him the way I do? How many pages of instructions should I write, or just give them the basics, trusting that they might have done this before? Relinquishing control can be very difficult. God help them if they lose any of his belongings or shrink a jumper in the wash! I know he'll be fine there as he's fine at the Day Centre but will I be fine? Will I be able to relax? Will he remember me after a week? Will he miss me? What if he doesn't? But I wont know unless I do it I guess. So I'll write his name in his clothes and hope for the best.
     
  11. pamann

    pamann Registered User

    Oct 28, 2013
    2,635
    Kent
    Hello thebes, l have just done it, my hubby went into 2wks respite, as l needed a mu h needed break from caring, he is still there 8wks now, and now in permantent care, we have been married for 51yrs, only had 5 nights apart in all that time. L did not realize how bad my hubby was, the CH didn't know how l managed to look after him for so long on my own, he has no mental capacity, l have made the very difficult decision to keep him in permanent care, it was very stressful, l feel so much better now that l have a life, l do visit him twice a day as l do still love him very much, he has settled now after a bad start, he is very happy thinks he is on holiday, l see him 5 hrs a day he thinks that l am staying there too ☺
     
  12. thebes

    thebes Registered User

    Feb 10, 2014
    163
    London
    Thank you all for your replies which I have found really helpful. I warm to the idea of a coach trip eventually, going away without driving or being responsible for anything sounds lovely. I think I have a way to go before I can do that, maybe next spring who knows. And I had forgotten about U3A, which I well qualify for, I will look into rejoining, I know they do trips away.
    In the meantime one of my stepdaughters caught me at a low point, and is working out how she can come to stay the occasional night, which would start the ball rolling in the least stressful way for me. I will report back on how that goes!
    Having given more thought to why I am so resistant I have met up with the guilt monster. Not connected with my current situation, but my care of my mother a few years ago. She was subject to very inappropriate handling by care staff on her first time in respite, which I made a formal complaint about. When she later had to go into a home as my then health problems made caring for her virtually impossible, she fell and permanently dislocated her hip within 6 weeks. She remained bedridden in badly managed pain for most of the 9 months until her death. As you can imagine I found it hard not to feel responsible, and my guess is at some level that is what is making this decision so hard to take.
    Anyone got a good solvent for getting rid of the guilt monster?
     
  13. esmeralda

    esmeralda Registered User

    Nov 27, 2014
    3,072
    Devon
    What a horrible thing to happen to your mother thebes, and totally not your fault, but I know it's not easy to stop feeling responsible. At least you've recognised the block which is making it difficult for you to move forward with having respite.
    Scarlett had a brilliant thread on defeating the GM. Sorry I'm not clever enough to post a link but I'm sure someone will or you could look for threads she's started on her personal page.
    Best of luck in setting something up:)
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
     
  14. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,839
    Suffolk
    If you can find some one, try hypnotherapy.
     
  15. usedup

    usedup Registered User

    Aug 5, 2014
    21
    West Berkshire
    Relaxing

    If you are able to have respite lasting a few days rather than hours, then how about wine? I fear I shall offend a few people by this suggestion, but I have always found alcohol a friend. You will be no use to anybody after the first glass/pint and no use for about three hours after you stop. But you will get away to another place for a few hours.
     
  16. thebes

    thebes Registered User

    Feb 10, 2014
    163
    London
    You don't offend me, but I have already decided that alcohol can't be my way through this except in the tiniest amount s on the very worst days. It plays havoc with my metabolism and just isn't worth it, I can quite envy those who are able to enjoy a regular glas or three!
     

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