My 87-year-old mother lives with me. I will be going away on a trip for two weeks and don't know how to bring up respite care. What's the best approach?

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I agree that the caretakers need "me time". I work part-time and on the occasions that I am home with my mom (sedentary and worsening dementia) for several days in a row, I get so depressed that I can't do anything. My therapist says that on those days I should get out for a couple of hours, but my mother makes me feel so guilty every time I leave the house that I generally stay and lapse into my horrible depression. It is so difficult. I give you all credit for doing what you do because it is the hardest thing I have ever done.
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Promise her that you will call her at least a couple of times each day and do it. Make sure the caregiver/agency had your phone number for emergencies. I would have plans made on how to come home early if there is an emergency.
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N1 - I agree about your idea of still "teaching" and going over things...I see that it also helps me with my mom, if I go over stuff over and over...it eventually sinks in!
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I assume that you have checked out this facility carefully over and over again, and have found it to be satisfactory for your mother's needs. Tell her that you will going away for two weeks, and she will enter the facility the day before you leave. Walk her over to the calendar, which should be prominently hanging on your wall in your home. Point to the days that you will be gone. Again, point to the days that she will reside there. Show her the day she will be coming home to you. Take her finger and tell her that this is the day she will be home again. Try to sound and look happy. Give her a hug. Use this calendar frequently. It is a great teaching tool as well as a wonderful means of setting boundaries and planning for future events.
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Mmuriel-To me, the best way is to be stright forward with your Mom, as in the long run she will find out. You can explain to her that it is a win win situation for all. If you are NOt able to do this, than contact a social worker on aging in your community for their advise. Many of us here in this forum have faced this at one time or another, and are sharing our experiences. How this matter is handled-is between finalized between you and your Mom.
Best to all parties concerned-and keep in mind, an efficient caregiver also needs some "me time"---DON'T deprive yourself.
Hap
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Hi All -

Another timely question for me. I am fixated on taking a mini-vacation with my daughter this summer. We have never had more than 2 overnights away a year in her life and now she is headed off to college. I have already started to introduce the idea to my mom - will get an agency in to check on her a couple times a day and have a wealth of friends who will be there for her if she needs anything. But, fear she will sabatoge at the last minute.
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Heck, I have had to put off any vacations or trips for the past 12 years dealing with mom...good luck on taking a trip...I am jealous :-) lol.
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Only you know the actual hands on care that your mother needs. If you feel that the person who is coming into the home will not be able to provide the additional care and you want peace of mind you should call around and see if there is an ALF that also has a day center/activities that will meet her needs. Depending on the severity of her memory problems she may have to be placed on the dementia floor to keep her safe from leaving the facility. After you have checked out all of your available options then you will have a better idea how to present to mom. If mom is in the mild stage of memory loss- ask her which she would prefer. The bottom line is that there is nothing worse than going away and worrying that everything is fine. Do what gives YOU peace of mind.
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Contact the agency you want to provide the respite care, and have them speak with the two of you. Most of the mtime we are experts at this conversation, and can lead it in a helpful and guiltless manner.
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Thank you for the responses. I do have someone come in to be with Mom when I am working my second job in the evenings. My problem is I don't know whether I feel comfortable leaving mom in the house for that long a period or if it would be better to put her in assisted living for respite care. She does crossword puzzles all day but I provide meals, give her pills, help bathe her. She says she is o.k. with being by herself but I have never left her alone for so long. She does have memory issues. What are your feelings with her remaining in the home versus assisted living?
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