Week- long Respite is on the cards - Advice please...

Lladro

Registered User
May 1, 2019
115
I know its coming - I have resisted it for a long time now, but my OH will have to "go away" for a week to a care home soon, so that I can re-charge and re-boot my energy levels, as I know I am close to losing it.
Had a meeting with the social services lady today and I know she is right - BUT, how the hell do I cope with the fact that my OH will be devastated? She depends on me totally , panics when she doesn't know where I am for more than five minutes and never wants to be apart from me. I love her desperately , but I know I am going to have a major problem with this.
Can anyone advise me from experience how to cope with this please? Thank you
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
2,944
West Hertfordshire
By entrusting that those that will be caring for her, will do their very best.

You'll also have to be probably the strongest you have ever been

Clearly you love her dearly, but dont forget, you need to love yourself too, and NEED to have a break
 

northumbrian_k

Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
922
Newcastle
It is a hard thing to do but a necessary one @Lladro. I found it easier to cope if I did not let my imagination run riot when my wife was on a respite stay. Try to look at it as a positive move for both of you. It is unlikely to be as bad for her as you fear as the staff in the respite home will do their utmost to make her stay a good one.

My wife seemed to cope well. When I picked her up at the end of her first 3 night stay I was expecting to get the full force of her fury but she was calm and unconcerned. By the time we got home she had forgotten that she had been away. The feedback that I got from the respite centre was that she had been very relaxed during her first stay and seemed to have enjoyed staying at the 'hotel' with staff on hand. This was the encouragement that I needed to go ahead with other planned dates, all of which worked out fine.

Resist the urge to visit during respite as that will not give you the kind of break that you deserve. My guess is that the time will hang much heavier for you than it will for her. With luck, like me you will be pleasantly surprised (actually rather amazed) at how well she adapts. All best wishes to you both.
 

reedysue

Registered User
Nov 4, 2014
4,705
Scotland
My mum has just completed her 1st weeks respite, I had to be sneaked out of the home but once she was there without me she settled down. When I collected her at the end of the week I don't think she realised how long she had been there and once home she quickly settled back into her routine and forgot that she had been away. I did not visit as I needed the break and it would have unsettled her.
 

Olliebeak

Registered User
Sep 13, 2014
112
Buckinghamshire
The first time is the hardest. My OH had his bag packed after one night and was calling a taxi. You have to trust the staff who deal with this all the time. In our case they allocated a member of staff to spend a lot of time with him. Chatting and distracting him. I did get a few phone calls from him asking when he was coming home and I was dreading going to collect him but in fact he was fine. He said how good all the staff were.

He has been in for about 6 separate weeks now. I think he secretly quite enjoys it. The staff always greet him like an old friend they are pleased to see and he is quite accepting of his trips there.

It really helps me and I don’t think I could manage without the occasional break.

is there anyone who could take your wife to the home when the time comes? If not it might help to stay and have a meal with her to help her settle and then walk away and don’t look back! You have to think of yourself. Ideally go away for a few days so you won’t be tempted to go in ir take her back early.

You never know she might surprise you. Please enjoy a break. Plan something good for yourself. You deserve it and if you were the one with this awful illness and she was the carer wouldn’t you want your wife to take a break? Good luck.
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,586
East of England
The first time I organised respite I was very anxious and he said didn’t need to go anywhere. I said that I was unwell and needed to have some care myself and that he was going to have a holiday too where he would be looked after. The second time he still didn’t want to go but I said the same thing and he did accept it even though, like you, he is so dependent on me personally. I have booked a third stay for the last two weeks of February and I am as anxious as ever, he is much much worse than four months ago but I know now that he is looked after, he survived fine and it did me the world of good, so I just steel myself and go through with it. Once he is home he completely forgets. I seemed to need a break every four months over the past year and I have done it, at financial cost but it’s worth it for my mental health. It’s awful to think that this is such a huge issue which is so unthinkable in normal circumstances that it shows how bad this is for carers. Yes it’s horrible and not what we would choose but this is the disease so take heart, press on and recover. Remember it’s better to control the process than the process control you which would happen if you fell ill or needed to go into hospital.
 

Lladro

Registered User
May 1, 2019
115
Thank you all so much for your kind words and encouragement - It really helps me, honestly it does.
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,586
East of England
As described in another thread I got The Selfish Pig’s Guide to Caring and wow, it says it all. Yesterday I had an email discussion with the manager of the Care Company I use and after hearing about his deteriorating condition she suggested that he comes to them sooner rather than in another four weeks. I am worrying about physically getting him to the care home. He is so weak and although he can still weight bear and do stairs, in another four weeks he may be unable to do this. I am alone most of the time and I am just about coping. I just burst into tears with the relief at the suggestion that he could go this week. Then reality hit, if he goes now then he would be there for six weeks and then would he ever come back? I felt quite sick after the elation. The Selfish Pig book discusses these roller coaster thoughts very well with a light touch. I discussed it with my daughter and I could tell that she was shocked by this sudden turn of events, I guess it represents a further step downhill. I know that permanent care is not a panacea, it brings its own problems. This ghastly disease gets to you in the end.