1. Josh60

    Josh60 Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    39
    Male
    Sheffield
    Can anyone advise me. My wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer's nearly 4 years ago. She has deteriorated over that time and now I have been advised that I should consider putting her in respite for at least a week but it would probably be better for her and myself to try two weeks. My problem is that ZI don't know how I will be able to take her to the care home and leave her there, I am really upset at the thought of her going into respite and I have no idea what putting her into respite entails, clothes ECT. So can anyone advise how to cope with the problem.
     
  2. MoodyC

    MoodyC Registered User

    Sep 22, 2018
    31
    Hello Josh,
    My OH went into respite today for two weeks. This is the second time this year. Earlier in the year the respite was enforced because I had an op so he went in for three weeks. I am going to be honest and say it took me some months to get him back into routine but we managed.
    I had no choice that time so somehow it was easier.

    But today was harder. I have placed him in a different home and know that there's a possibility that he might not come home.During the last six months there has been a marked change in him but it was the violence that finally made me realise that I needed a break for both our sakes. I felt dreadful leaving him there today but the manager has told me that he's doing just fine. But my reasoning this time is that I am so tired that neither of us are going to be ok unless I do have a break.

    If he returns home, then I have had a break which will give me strength to carry on for a while longer. We can't keep on caring without recharging the batteries. I was going to try for a week but it doesn't give you time to build your energy up nor her to really settle. We know that too much change isn't helpful.
    Good luck with you decision and let us know how you get on.
    PS I wrote OH his life story so that he has something to show people and gives the carer's some information about their temporary guest.
     
  3. Josh60

    Josh60 Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    39
    Male
    Sheffield
    Thanks so much for your reply I really do appreciate your help. I am very unsure about respite but I don't think that I can carry on without a break. The great problem with my wife is that she continually wants to go home and nothing stops her and whilst it was only after tea I could cope but now it's the first thing that she says when she gets up and it now carries on all day.
     
  4. maryjoan

    maryjoan Registered User

    Mar 25, 2017
    1,284
    Female
    South of the Border
    You cannot care for your wife, if you are on the point of breakdown yourself. You will become ill, and then what will happen?
    We had a Care Plan put together with social services for my OH and I was told I needed 6 weeks a year respite to prevent carer breakdown.
    Unfortunately, we cannot fund this ourselves, and Social Services sent us to see the only nursing home that they would consider and it was not suitable as all the residents were in the latter stages of dementia.

    Dementia often is a long term condition - the person with dementia can carry on for years needing care - so try on to just keep going day by day - look at the long term. If this was a job of work you would not expect to work 24/7 52 weeks a year. It is not a job of work - but you do need the same 'down time' as if it was, if you follow me.....

    I think you need a Carer's Assessment and a Care Plan for your wife. You should ring Social Services urgently.

    Good Luck
     
  5. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    708
    Male
    Newcastle
    My wife is now in permanent residential care but before that I used respite to give us both a break. A major issue is finding somewhere that will offer respite care that can be booked in advance. If you can that is a good start. I used a dedicated respite centre with day centre attached. Some care homes keep bed for respite purpose

    It isn't easy at first, but if you start with a short stay (if possible) then build up to a longer break that might be easier. Unexpectedly my wife seemed to enjoy her respite stays and was more settled there than at home with me. I just thought of it as going away on holiday and packed her bag with a suitable assortment of clothes, toiletries etc. But I did it in secret to avoid awkward conversations and did not tell her that she was going to stay in respite. She never mentioned it when I picked her up afterwards but I know that she made some friends (with the staff) during her stays. Hope this helps.
     
  6. Grahamstown

    Grahamstown Registered User

    Jan 12, 2018
    1,242
    East of England
    I was in this situation earlier this year and I went around and looked at 3 care homes. All would only take for a minimum of two weeks but I think they vary. Availability is the big problem because if they are full they cannot accommodate respite care. Only one actually had a respite bed available which is the one I chose anyway. All the staff were welcoming and friendly and I was encouraged to bring him for coffee or even stay for lunch in the weeks prior to the stay which we did several times, so if you can find out if you can do that it helps to familiarise with the place. He even saw the room which he would have. I rather ‘sold’ it to him as a holiday because ‘I wasn’t very well and needed to have some care myself’. I repeated this over and over so that when the time came it was just another visit and he accepted it. He did want to go home when my daughter visited for the first few days but then settled. He was well looked after and the food was good. I got back from two weeks feeling so much better and have coped since. He settled back at home with no trouble and he has never mentioned the stay. Today I took him there for tea and he did recognise it and I commented that he had had a lovely stay there and he said yes. I want him to go again in September if they have a bed so will keep taking him occasionally for coffee or tea. So I prepared quite a while before, and I did feel very anxious about leaving him but I took the view that if I didn’t have a break I really would be ill, mentally if not physically. I really had to grit my teeth and press on taking care of all the details, packing etc. I was pretty exhausted by the time I left him but the weight off my shoulders was huge and I recovered. He is practically a full time nursing case now for almost everything although he can do some things if I give him exact instructions for every step. He needs constant attention for eating and drinking because he wouldn’t do either without. He doesn’t have toilet problems but I have to help him with other personal care. It’s relentless and exhausting. Good luck and don’t give up, if you break down it will not help.
     
  7. Josh60

    Josh60 Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    39
    Male
    Sheffield
    Thanks for your reply. I am going out with my part time carers boss tomorrow to have a look at some homes that she recommends but I am not looking forward to the visits, I have had a sleepless night worrying about it, I will have see how I feel after the visits.
     
  8. Josh60

    Josh60 Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    39
    Male
    Sheffield
    Thanks for your reply. I feel terrible about the possibility of putting my Wife in respite but I don't know how longer I can carry on. It might be a while before I can get her a place so I might feel better when I find a place for her.
     
  9. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,078
    Kent
  10. Grahamstown

    Grahamstown Registered User

    Jan 12, 2018
    1,242
    East of England
    I do understand how you feel because I had some dark moments wondering if I could actually take him and leave him. I visualised it and it was not a good experience but when the reality came it had already played out in my mind and it was not as bad. It does take quite a lot out of you going through this process but the result is a brief respite from the relentless strain. Also I told myself that two weeks is a very short time and will be over before you know it, and so it was.
     
  11. Josh60

    Josh60 Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    39
    Male
    Sheffield
    Thanks for your help. You have hit the nail on the head, I am not sleeping well worrying about how she would be. I am still not sure but I should be going to have a look at some homes tomorrow so that might help.
     
  12. Philbo

    Philbo Registered User

    Feb 28, 2017
    642
    Male
    Kent
    Hi @Josh60

    My wife attends a local LA run care centre that has both a small day care unit, as well as a respite unit. She goes 1 day a week and last summer, she stayed in the respite unit for 9 days while I went to Majorca.

    I dreaded both leaving her there, plus what she would be like coming home again. I was pretty sure she would be okay whilst there, as she is a happy little soul and tends to sit wherever she is put (no longer gets up and wander around). Our sons and her sister visited whilst she was in there and I rang in a few times.

    She was absolutely fine and thankfully, seemed to get back to normal routine quite quickly, once home again.

    I have managed to get her booked in there for 2 weeks at the end of this month - I am going away with our 2 sons and their family. Again I don't like leaving my wife but I certainly need the break and I will have my sons, DIL and grand kids for company/support.

    I too have started visiting a few care homes, in preparation for when I can no longer cope. Its difficult to know exactly when that time will come but two I looked at this morning seemed very well run and have "Good" CQC recent reports. I have put her name on their lists, so at lest that's a start. Horrible isn't it?

    Best wishes
    Phil
     
  13. Josh60

    Josh60 Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    39
    Male
    Sheffield
    Thanks for your reply. The main reason that I am very aprehensive is that we have no family to visit so she would be very much on her own and if she did go into respite it would be me that would have to do the visits and I don't think that I would get much time to recharge the batteries let alone go away.
     
  14. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    708
    Male
    Newcastle
    It isn't respite if you visit @Josh60. She would not be on her own as there would be staff and other residents to provide company and stimulation. That is why respite can be good for both parties.
     
  15. Helly68

    Helly68 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2018
    368
    Agreeing with Northumbrian K, although we haven't done respite, my Mum now lives in a care home.
    I have been very struck by her close relationships, a source of great comfort to her, with the staff who are brilliant. Sometimes I think you do have to step back and accept that in a new environment your loved on is not alone (Mummy benefited form being around a number of people rather than one very harrassed carer) and that you must have a break yourself. Easier said than done, but vital.
     
  16. Josh60

    Josh60 Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    39
    Male
    Sheffield
    Thanks so much for your encouragement but I still not too sure but I am sure that I will there.
     
  17. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,840
    Female
    South coast
    When mum was in her care home there was a period when I couldnt visit mum because of my situation, so i sent her picture postcards - the old-fashioned sort that people used to send while they were on holiday, with just a simple message saying i was thinking of her. The carers told me that she loved them and got them to read them over and over. It seemed a good way to bridge the gap.
     

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.