Respite care problems


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Hello everyone
I haven't posted anything for a while but have had great support from reading other's experiences makes you realise you are not alone.

Father-in-law scored 13 on his last memory test so is apparently deteriorating at the average rate of 2 points per year. However after the last assessment it was felt that mum-in-law needed some repite. At first FIL agreed to go into the local care home for a few days then decided that he wouldn't so we suggested that he came to stay with us for a couple of days to give MIL a break. He thought this was a good idea and we started to make plans for this. They live an hour and a halfs drive away from us, so when we rang to discuss arrangements he got awkward and said I don't need to come to you I have to stay here to look after my wife. His wife told him that she needed a break and usually he will do anything she wants, but he is determined that he cannot leave his wife as she needs him and as he started to get agitated MIL has decided that he can have his way as she doesn't want to upset him. The problem is she desperately needs some repite and time to herself.

Has anyone had experience of this and if so have you any suggestions as to how we can get him to either come away and give her some time or how to get him to stay at home so that she can escape for some quality time?
kind regards


Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
Hiya Aylsia,
Would it be possible for you or your husband to go and stay with FIL whilst MIL has a break away? He may be happier staying in his familiar surroundings.
Just an idea.
Love Helen


Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
Newport, Gwent
Hiya Aylsia,

Just another suggestion. Might it be an idea to bring them both home with you for one night, then take MIL back home, he may just settle if MIL is there with him for a night first. I appreciate it a lot of driving for you, but it may just work.




Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
For a easier life , I would go with what Amy said

He may be happier staying in his familiar surroundings.
I know from living with my mother even if I pop out to stop is wondering where I am, taking her leaving her at respite new surrounding , really throw her of balance mentally when she gets back home to me .

She always asking if someone would look after her at home , while I go away .

I did do that before I took the step to first respite care home , My son look after her in our home for a week mum was fine . but Son was not , because she would not let him out of her sight for 5 mins if he left, she be getting one of my daughter that where at home phoning him wanting to know where he was , she would not settle till he got back mum never use to go to day center in those days .

Must say none of my kids offer the next time, and when I ask social services if they get someone in rather then respite , they said that respite is for all the family , meaning as I had a family they needed a break away from mum also .

unless your prepared , for it taking someone who has dementia out of they safe surrounding in to a new home , your have double trouble IE missing the wife, also getting use to new surrounding , that could take a week or more

where if he stays in his surrounding , he feel safe , he just ask where his wife is , more then a few time .


if you do looking after him , ask MIL to do a time table of his daily routine , time he gets up , time he eats , what he like to do , words he uses for meaning of diffrent thing , as I am not sure what stage he in with his speaking.
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Registered User
Jul 10, 2007
Margarita said:
taking her leaving her at respite new surrounding , really throw her of balance mentally when she gets back home to me .
We have managed to persuade dad to let mum go in for respite care just for a long weekend to start with at the end of the month. She goes to a day centre at the hospital where the respite ward is on a Friday and Monday so they are going to take her to the day centre on Friday then straight to the respite ward then back to the day centre on Monday then back home. We have not told mum yet as she doesn't want to be anywhere without dad, even though she doesn't know who he is sometimes ("He looks nothing like the man I married", she says (he was 19 then and he is 75 now!) - I know the feeling, mum, my husband looks nothing like the man I married either:) )

Dementia Care Coordinator suggests we tell mum that the doctors want to take her in for a few days to assess her and her medication etc. She warned us about the possible confusion afterwards but we'll just have to see what happens. A few days is better for dad than nothing at all. I know he would prefer if one of us could look after her for a few days but my house is upstairs with another flight inside and I'd be terrified she fell down the steps during the night. Also, as you say, respite is for the whole family.

Will just have to see how it goes. If this goes okay he may be more willing to let her go in for longer periods.



Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
respite help- thanks

thank you for all your suggestions. After a while of discussing things and then discussing them again and again it seems the only way forward at the moment is for MIL to go to visit her family on a daily basis to get some time away and as there are a host of her family living around the corner they can share the time.
many thanks Alysia


Registered User
Mar 27, 2004

Dear Alysia

I know this won't help immediately but have you considered them both taking a holiday with Vitalise. A charity which runs care homes for both carer's and patients together. They do not take permanent residents.

They have all facilties required for disabled or frail people and as much or as little help with the patients as the carer wishes.

We use them twice yearly, and I find that I get the benefit of respite with the with the satisfaction of being together, so I don't feel as though I am abandoning Margaret, and she see enough of me so she doesn't get upset.

More information at

Cheers Frank