• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can now be found in our new area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Respite care or not

Varilite

Registered User
Jan 26, 2015
9
Firstly, sorry if this has been discussed elsewhere, I looked but couldn't find it. If there is a thread I'm happy for someone to redirect me.

In the meantime, I'm considering respite care as an option for my Mum. The Alzheimer's is gathering pace & I think realistically a care home setting will eventually be inevitable and actually better for her. However, I have no idea how she will react never having been a great 'joiner-in' during her life. So, is respite care a good idea to see if she likes it? What happens if she hates it? it will make the future prospect of it being permanent much harder if I know she hated the respite.

I know there is no right answer but I would so appreciate people's experiences & thoughts.

As ever, thanks for being there.
 

Bessieb

Registered User
Jun 2, 2014
108
Hi there,
I have recently been through the same dilemma with my parents. After much debate and soul-searching I chose to put them in to respite care to see how they got on and to take a view whether it was the right time to move to residential permanently. I was given good advice (I think) that it is good to move to respite / residential slightly earlier rather than later as it means they have a good chance of adjusting / orientating themselves and getting to know people (carers and other residents) before the Alzheimers is too severe for this to happen.
I am just making the decision to make the move permanent. But respite has been a great opportunity for me to take a balanced decision.
I would only recommend that if you do go for respite you select a setting that you would be happy with on a permanent basis. Two moves are not likely to be helpful.
Sorry you have having to make these decision - I know how hard they are.
 

CollegeGirl

Registered User
Jan 19, 2011
9,524
North East England
Hi Varilite and welcome to the forum :)

Personally, when faced with choices like this, I usually take the approach that if you don't try, you'll never know. When I've taken the plunge and tried things (not necessarily dementia related, but in other areas of life) I've generally been pleased that I've done it. Even if things haven't worked out, I feel this is better than always wondering 'what if'.

I don't know if this is helpful to you, but it's my two pennorth worth :). Good luck and do let us know what you decide to do!
 

snowygirl

Registered User
Jan 9, 2014
151
Hi there,
I have recently been through the same dilemma with my parents. After much debate and soul-searching I chose to put them in to respite care to see how they got on and to take a view whether it was the right time to move to residential permanently. I was given good advice (I think) that it is good to move to respite / residential slightly earlier rather than later as it means they have a good chance of adjusting / orientating themselves and getting to know people (carers and other residents) before the Alzheimers is too severe for this to happen.
I am just making the decision to make the move permanent. But respite has been a great opportunity for me to take a balanced decision.
I would only recommend that if you do go for respite you select a setting that you would be happy with on a permanent basis. Two moves are not likely to be helpful.
Sorry you have having to make these decision - I know how hard they are.
Bessie B my parents both have dementia and my dad is currently in respite. Was it easy to get them both in together or did you have to look far and wide to find a place who would take them both?
 

AndreaP

Registered User
Aug 19, 2015
75
Adelaide South Australia
I elected not to go for respite care because I knew mum would almost certainly not like being in care and therefore moving her home and then out again would be doubly difficult. But people are different. My mother in law didn't like being in respite but didn't complain or get angry about it which was a great blessing. She just did what she was told rather than make a fuss.

My mum's situation at home wasn't desperate but we were finding it difficult to deal with the constant phone calls, her paranoia and her delusions. We elected to move her when a place became available at the nursing home of choice reasoning we should grab it now rather than wait for a crisis to occur that could see her end up somewhere less salubrious.

Perhaps we were selfish to do so but the Alzheimer's has been getting slowly worse for such a long time that we both felt we couldn't take it any more. She would get distraught if one of us went on holiday and she was forgetting to take her medication which was essential for her glaucoma.

I think respite is best for a carer that only needs a temporary break from the responsibility. A respite to try out care is not likely to be a success IMO.
 

bdmid

Registered User
Dec 4, 2013
36
70
Bristol
I found your post almost identical to my delima now with mum who has mixed dementia. We are almost 4 yrs in and just like you, the constant tears, tantrums when we want/need some time out which is very rare. So.,We are looking into residential care now before we crash and burn, although mum doesn't think there's anything wrong with her. If you have managed it yet, how did it go?
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
I think respite is best for a carer that only needs a temporary break from the responsibility. A respite to try out care is not likely to be a success IMO.
I would be inclined to agree. However nice the place you pick, if your caree makes up their mind that they hate it, it will be that much harder when it comes to permanent care.
So much will depend on the person, though. If someone is placid, compliant and sociable, it might work very well. If they tend to be difficult or frankly on the stroppy/awkward side, then I think I'd want leave all the potential hassle for the permanent move.
 

daisydi

Registered User
Feb 25, 2015
255
Norfolk
Hi, we tried a different approach. We sent my mum to day care at the home where she is now, started off with a morning, then a day, then a couple of days and when it got to every day we made the decision to place her into permanent care. It made the transition so much easier as she knew the staff and other residents. She went for respite but never came out as she had settled so well. The first few times she just had her hair done and stayed for lunch. She ended up looking forward to going after all the trauma at the beginning and it really was the kindest way for her. I didn't want her to go into care but now realise it was best for her although sad for me!
 

Bessieb

Registered User
Jun 2, 2014
108
Bessie B my parents both have dementia and my dad is currently in respite. Was it easy to get them both in together or did you have to look far and wide to find a place who would take them both?
Hi Snowygirl,

I looked for somewhere specifically that would take couples and we were lucky we found somewhere quite quickly that had space and we liked. There are quite a few CH that do take couples - and unfortunately quite a lot that don't unless they are in separate rooms and we didn't want that in my parents situation. If you do find somewhere that has couples rooms it helps hugely with the costs which wasn't the main motivation for us but clearly a big benefit.
It's just a question of phoning round and looking at websites to find out if they have couples rooms.
I hope you find somewhere
 

Varilite

Registered User
Jan 26, 2015
9
Just a quick 'thank you' to everyone for your thoughts and advice. I fear it might be taken out of my hands soon as she's visibly going down hill and it's beginning to look like self-neglect.
She won't eat (unless it's Rich Tea or Custard Creams), wash, allow help with personal care...not in a particularly stroppy way, just vague, dismissive, but stubborn. Now today she's talking random rubbish and not making eye contact. If it's not an infection it's the next stage. A call to the GP Monday & see where we go from here.

I may be back...:)