Respite Care/Taking a break

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Gee, Jun 23, 2004.

  1. Gee

    Gee Registered User

    Jun 23, 2004
    13
    london
    Hi Everyone, I'm Gee and this is he first time I've posted a message. I have a problem in that I need a break. I look after My Mother 24 hours a day seven days a week, and I am so tired. I have been offered respite for my mother, but where do I send her I can find no one who says. 'Wow that home we had Mum in is great. The people are wonderful, and they really do look after your parents whilst in their care'. I really find it hard to get out and go out looking at homes, plus when I get there how do I know that they are any good. She went into respite back in April, and I thought the home she went into seemed great, but when I brought her home she had a chest infection, a URT infection (and no wonder they had only used 6 pads in 10 days for her). She said that everyone was nice except one man who was very cruel, he made her do things which she knew was wrong but she had to do them. What she meant she would'nt tell me. She said she could never say. I reported what she had said, but have heard nothing back. Now I not saying anything did happen to her, but how do I know. Since being away she clings to me is afraid of my walking out of the room and leaving her there. She has to be where ever I am. Her Alzheimers is ten times worse now. I am desperate for a break but how do I find a safe, nice loving and caring home. I ask the Social workers am I allowed to send her to a home where my son lives so he can visit whlist I'm away, or can she give me advice about the home's, but she know's nothing and tells me I have to find a place that I feel is safe. Can anyone out there help me? Gee
     
  2. karen_white

    karen_white Registered User

    Apr 21, 2004
    72
    Berkshire
    Gee
    Taking a break in caring for someone is really important, you really need to look after yourselft.
    In finding a good home in your area, we found this very useful for Dad.
    http://www.csci.org.uk/
    It will give you all the relevant homes in your area for your mum.

    I hope you find some respite soon.
    Karen
     
  3. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hello Gee

    Yes, you should certainly take a break of some sort, though since Jan never went in for respite, I have no experience of finding a place, other than on one occasion when the community care people arranged for me to look around one. I did that, but when I asked about Jan going in there, they said they were completely booked up for the next 6 months, so it wasn't an awful lot of use!

    If you have been offered respite, what does that mean, if they don't also offer a place somewhere? Does it mean they will pay or something?

    You mention some things your Mother has said about her previous respite, which was presumably her first?

    While it is essential to ensure her well-being, for someone with dementia to be placed anywhere that is not the normal place where they live is stressful. It could be that a nurse was checking on her infection, and your Mother felt that an invasion of her privacy, especially if the nurse was a man, which happens.

    Yesterday I was as usual visiting my wife Jan at her home and there was a man who had just been admitted on respite. I visited at lunchtime, and the staff were very busy so were glad of my help in feeding Jan. The place where Jan is has many residents who require help in eating, so when someone new comes in on respite, they often sit them down quite normally and see how they get on feeding themselves. Some people really object to being fed!

    Well, this man had a common characteristic of men with dementia [that's my observation] - he could stand, but his head was always looking down at his feet. Could be his spatial awareness was poor and he wanted to be sure where he was walking. This made it difficult for the staff to steer him to the table, and when there, for him to see the food. [it was a really appetising meal of freshly cooked gammon - could have eaten it myself!]

    The staff tried to steer him there and he began to become aggressive. I suggested that they ask him whether he would like to eat and could they show him to a table [ rather than grab hold and lead him there], then that they should try and feed him a little to get him started. They did this and he ate most of what was on offer.

    You may say, why don't they do this anyway without my prompting! Well, with a dining room of five residents who are well advanced with dementia [Jan requires feeding, a man also though he chokes on most food, another woman needs feeding, then there are two women who play with the plates and cups and get food all over the place. ] the staff of two have a real challenge to cope. They pray for a sixth resident who will be easier!

    The point of all the above is that people on respite are out of their comfort zone; they may mis-read what staff try to do.

    So don't necessarily be too concerned about what your Mother said.

    Best of luck in your search for a respite place!
     
  4. Geraldine

    Geraldine Registered User

    Oct 17, 2003
    143
    Nottingham
    Hello Gee

    For the last couple of months while I looked after Mum before she went into hospital and then into care she accused me of doing some dreadful things to her. She told me this awful carer did horrible things to her in the night (ie me helping her onto the commode) never gave her a bath ( I struggled to give her one everyday!). My husband and myself were bullying her ( trying to help her to walk) and while in hospital she said they made her do horrible things...this turned out to be the physio using a hoist trying to get her to walk. And I also witnessed the screams as the hapless nurses tried to get my Mum into bed using a hoist! Every time I go and visit Mum she tells me some lurid tale which i know to be her dementia speaking, so as Brucie says please take care when forming opinions, I have been accused of all sorts over the past year.

    As for the respite my Social services department has 3 council run homes that they offer respite care in and a vastly reduced rate for holidays and weekends away I suspect you would need to book in advance but I imagine that once you were in the system so too speak you could have quite regular breaks. I see "faces" at Mum's home that appear for the odd week or weekend regularly through the year.

    I wish you luck and hope you find somewhere soon.

    Geraldine
     
  5. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    I'm not sure if it is the norm, but people who come to Jan's home on respite, do so several times, and eventually become residents.

    This gives them, and their families, the opportunity to 'vet' the place, and to start to build a rapport with staff there.
     
  6. Chris

    Chris Registered User

    May 20, 2003
    243
    Respite in care homes

    Unfortunately respite in care homes is not on offer everywhere - mainly due to increasing number of council run homes being handed over to independent (private) sector . These sometimes take the view that the balance or whatever in their home may be upset by short stay residents - I can understand that as can take a few weeks for people to 'settle' but ......

    Also it is better financially if places given to long stay residents - this can be got round if Social Services have a contract - block book - a number of places in the home & keep them especially for respite , they can usually keep them full anyhow - this does happen in a lot of areas but only a few places usually - though with more investment in helping people to stay in own home longer this is being seen as cost effective (their priority - not mine !).
     
  7. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Chris

    I understand and agree with what you say - I have seen the disruption some respite people cause - but it still seems nice to me for future residents to be eased into the process by having respite in the place they will eventually live.

    I guess we all realise that this whole thing ain't easy!
     
  8. Chris

    Chris Registered User

    May 20, 2003
    243
    Respite before moving in

    Totally agree Bruce - my Mum suffered terribly - moving from day hospital attendance (had to keep going there while waiting for a day centre placement) , then to day centre , then to a number of different homes as needs changed (& was asked to leave) or they closed down).

    I watched very enviously as a friends wife went to a care home for day care - twice a week, then 3 times a week, then at weekends - then her first overnight then she moved in full time. Seamless !

    Life's ...... I dunno what !!!! a challenge !
     
  9. Gee

    Gee Registered User

    Jun 23, 2004
    13
    london
    Hi Ya all,
    Thank you so much for your replies. As you know this question was my first time on this site, well any site, so when I came back today to see if anyone had replied to me I really did not expect anything, but when I saw people had actually taken the time to write. I felt the door had opened on my world. I know it is a funny thing to say, but I was pleased to think you all seem to be having the same troubles as me. I am not the only one who is climbing the wall, desperate, tired, sick of trying to find help. You comfort me in the knowledge that I am not the only one and I should be grateful for my small mercies. Thanks for the website Karen I will certainly look it up, and let you know how I get on. Thank you also for your tales of what could have happened to Mum on her first respite stay. Your messages help, so thank you.
    Gee
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.