Should I visit during respite?

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Rozlynn, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. Rozlynn

    Rozlynn Registered User

    Oct 8, 2011
    #1 Rozlynn, Jul 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
    I've been caring for my husband with dementia for 5 + years. I've taken what feels like a big decision and booked him into a care home for a week's respite as I feel I really need a break away from caring. The home have said I must do whatever feels right for my husband and me but have suggested that I don't visit during the week as my husband is likely to think I am coming to take him home every time I visit. So at the moment, I have arranged for other members of my family and friends that he knows well to visit each day so that he doesn't feel abandoned, I hope. Part of me doesn't want to visit so that I can have a complete break but I also would feel awful if he was very distressed because I wasn't around ( and he does depend on me a great deal). I do a bit of part time work and he accepts that sometimes this means I am not with him all the time, so the plan is to say that I am away working.
    Does anyone have experience of this situation? I have the option of extending the respite to a fortnight which I will do if he seems to settle reasonably ok and I think then I will visit but it's the first week I'm really mixed up about......I feel both awful about what I'm planning to do ( and he doesnt know about it) but I'm also really looking forward to the break and of course, feel hugely guilty about that too! Any tips, ideas, or what worked for you in similar circumstances would be very welcome
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    It's only a week. What if you were going on holiday or had an operation? Don't feel guilty. That's exactly what respite is for, giving you a complete break. If you want to stay in touch, you could give him a call now and then? Other than that, stay away.
  3. tre

    tre Registered User

    Sep 23, 2008
    I felt exactly like you. The CH thought it would be best for me to have a complete break and not visit but I was so anxious about leaving him. They offered to call me once a day to let me know how he was doing. This was very reassuring. On the fifth day they said he was unsettled and asking for me and suggested I talked to him on the phone which they said helped. I was there virtually at daybreak on day 7 to pick him up but he was fine. He went back once more, but only for four days, which seemed to work well.
    I have not put him in respite since as he has deteriorated significantly and needs one to one care 24/7 . His lack of vision means his risk of falls is high and I now could not relax with him in respite.
  4. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    Rozlynn, you do whatever makes you happiest. I've no idea why anyone would give you that advice. I would imagine it only adds to the confusion. If you want to visit, go. If you need a rest, take it. Do as you feel is best for you, but do visit when you feel you can.

    My heart goes out to you.
  5. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    No, don't visit. I put OH into respite, and went away on holiday. As none of his family live close, there were no visits. I also thought that if anyone visited he might want to come home, and that wasn't going to happen.
    As has been said, what happens if you have an operation, or similar?
  6. Feline

    Feline Registered User

    Oct 25, 2012
    East Devon
    I agree, do what's right for you, this is your time and it will go so quickly, I played it by ear, my daughter visited once and then by midweek I wanted to make sure he was ok, so visited and enjoyed a restful hour with him in the garden overlooking the sea! He was absolutely fine, so didn't go again until the week was up.
  7. tre

    tre Registered User

    Sep 23, 2008
    As other wiser people will tell you, everyone with dementia is different. Certainly three carers I know via the AS carers group have felt as anxious as you do about it only to find to their great relief that their carees took it in their stride with no problem.
    Although now I feel it is too difficult to use respite for my husband because of his specific difficulties needing one to one careI do still have the CH him went to for respite on my Contingency Plan as where I would like him to go if I had an accident or anything and it is good to have this fall back situation.
    I really hope it works well for you.
  8. Rozlynn

    Rozlynn Registered User

    Oct 8, 2011
    Thank you all for your very helpful comments. I think it's made me realise the best thing is to try and chill out a bit about it and take it day by day. I won't visit to start unless the home says it would help. As to other decisions about a second week or even making it permanent, well I'll cross those bridges nearer the time.
  9. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    You have to do what you feel comfortable with. I visited my OH every day when he was in respite-and later when he was in a CH for the last 18 months of his life. Why? Because I couldn't do without seeing him every day. Was that beneficial for him? I've no idea:confused: Pete no longer knew me:( I selfishly needed to see him-I've no idea over the right or wrong about my decision. Just do what will benefit you both

    Take care

    Lyn T XX
  10. colincampsite

    colincampsite Registered User

    Jun 4, 2011
    Me too

    There is no right and wrong and every case is unique. However, as was asked, I will share with you my experience.
    Having cared for my wife for the best part of 15 years in Spain, just before last Christmas our daughter said to me, "You have to come home, dad, you are not coping".
    Funny how it takes someone else to see things clearly.
    We returned to the UK in February and things moved apace until 3 weeks ago our care worker said she needed to go into a home so I could get some time to myself. The day after she went in I went to Paris, walked around, drank some wine and returned. It was very difficult for me but she was very happy with her new situation.
    I have had to come away again because of getting upset whenever I visited. I am staying as far away as possible but within the UK.
    If this sounds neglectful then you should know I have been encouraged through all the guilt by family and friends.
    Apparently I am doing the right thing.
    Hope this helps.
  11. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    The right thing is probably different for everybody. The first time OH went into respite was because I had had Carers breakdown. I needed not to see him, to clear my head, to get back on track. Subsequent times were more for his benefit, not that I visited, having had the experience of his first respite. Now he's permanently in care, I visit about once every 2 days, though I have been for the last 3 days for other reasons. Unfortunately, his conversation and talking skills are pretty low now.
  12. Mossyanne1

    Mossyanne1 Registered User

    Feb 10, 2015
    My husband was in for two weeks respite 6 weeks ago, I was advised not to visit him but after a week I decided to ignore this advise and pop in to the care home. When he
    saw me he knew I was familiar but wasn't sure who I was, he seemed extremely happy and content, I took him out for a little walk, went back and had a cup of tea with him and when it came to me leaving he said goodbye and was quite happy for me to go. This to me was amazing as I had been dreading him going. When it was to time for him to come home he didn't even know he had been there. He is totally in the moment. I know this isn't the case with everyone but the carers told me they are trained and know just how to distract our OH if they are becoming a little anxious and us of course. Hope this helps. Good

    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point

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