Respite in a home


New member
Jul 18, 2018
My dad has vascular dementia and Alzheimer's. He is 86. Mom is struggling and has booked him in for 2 days respite beginning of Sept and a week at the end of Sept with the view of seeing how he goes at the first one. This will be the first time for him. We took him a few weeks ago to look around the home which is lovely but he became so angry, banging his stick and shouting etc. He was rude to staff. (He can't walk well and uses a stick and wheelchair. He refused to have anything to do with the place and said he would walk out (he can't walk), he could do what he liked when he liked and nobody could stop him. He would go and drown himself. Obviously this was not how my dad used to behave. He was the calmest, kindest person I know. We're worried about what might happen and whether he would regress if we left him and even whether my mom would be able to leave him there on the day. What will happen if he plays up and they can't keep him. How have other people got on. Have you told them beforehand, only dad refuses to acknowledge anything and says he won't go so we've stopped mentioning it for the time being. Do we take him with suitcase and not tell him we're going. It's all getting really stressful and we don't know what to do for the best. Any advice on what other people have done will be gratefully appreciated.


Registered User
May 30, 2017
Italy, Milan and Acqui Terme
I wouldn't tell him beforehand. Even though I think he is unlikely to remember , it is better not to risk. You never know if his memory starts working on this occasion.
I have read here that most people tell their PWDs it is the doctor who has prescribed some days "there" ( call the place as you like, except for care home) for reasons connected with their health.
You say he will stay for two days only to see how he goes. I wonder if they are too few. Given his strong opposition, I think the first days may not go well, even if it doesn't mean he won't settle as he gets used to the new situation.

Hair Twiddler

Registered User
Aug 14, 2012
Middle England
HI @Whiteheather,
Respite was an absolutely invaluable life-saver to me when Mum lived with us. Over several years mum had about 5 respite stays in the home she eventually went to live in. We were lucky mum could afford the fees.
I agree with margherita, don't mention the stay again to your Dad.
My mum did "play up" terribly at the start of one stay. She refused to get out of my car, so with the collusion of the home staff I simply told mum that she had to stay, that it was what the doctor had ordered and I would now have to go, kiss, goodbye "see you in one week". Then I left the car door open, next to the care home door and walked away. In reality I hid in their office. I would have left the car and keys there and gone home had it come to it, but after several (experienced and magnificent) staff members had been to see mum and talked her through the situation she did (after about half an hour) leave the car calmly and went into the home. The incident was instantly forgotten - never mentioned.

It was harrowing for me but I've no regrets, mum was fine. The hissy fits were all centered on what she wanted rather than what was needed, dementia often gets to that point when it has an iron grip on the person you are caring for.

Be strong for yourself and your mum. You both need this respite.
Love from Twiddler.