New member
Oct 5, 2017
My mother is 90 and has vascular dementia. She lives with me and I have looked after her for four years full-time and before that - part-time for 12 months. I am used to a demanding, stimulating career and being active. Needless to say I have found the life I now lead to be utterly boring, relentless and frustrating. I have found a wonderful social enterprise day centre that takes my mother for six hours on a Monday and Thursday. My mother loves going there and the staff are fantastic. But finding respite so I can take a break of two to three weeks is extremely difficult. Any care home I have vetted ( and there have been many!) for respite can never commit to dates unless it’s a week or so in advance. This makes booking somewhere so I can go away very difficult. I recognise that from a financial point of view care homes give priority to permanent residents. But from a carer’s perspective it just doesn’t work. When I find a care home that gives good quality care and my mother accepts the care - the next time I try to book respite in the same care home, just three or four weeks ahead the answer is invariably, we have a room but we cannot commit to it at the moment because we give preference to permanent residents ( who may or may not be occupying it!). I then have to start the process - yet again - of looking for another care home that may be able to offer respite. The only way to cope with looking after my mother - on my own as I have no family who are in a position to assist me- is regular respite. But I find the process of arranging respite so tortuous, time consuming and frustrating. I am keen to hear from others who have found ways of achieving regular respite - with continuity. I think the key is continuity - if you find a place that offers good quality care you want to continue to obtain it - nit gave to go back to the drawing board every time you need a break.
Thank you

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello @Bolo

You have doe well caring for your mother for so long.

Sadly I have seen few people able to get the kind of respite care you are seeking. Care homes lose money by keeping beds available for respite which may be why good respite care is hard to come by.

I have never needed it so others who have and have been successful may be able to offer better advice.


New member
Aug 2, 2019
My mother lived with us for 6 years before she passed away, I found it easier to arrange for a live in carer to move in whilst I was having a break, I found it worked for us.