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I need to introduce my cognitively impaired husband to the concept of staying in a facility to give me respite or in an emergency situation. I tried discussing the idea of my going out of town overnight with him. He doesn't think he needs any help, but I find he sometimes can get very agitated and confused [panic?] if left alone. He currently attends and loves a day program, so he is used to other caregivers. He can be very difficult and argumentative if I show any irritation toward him.

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quailmom, you may just have to accept that this has to be done even if he is unhappy about it. Obviously you want to make it as stress-free as you can for him, but it just may not be possible to achieve perfection.

One thing I learned was to factor in my husband's memory problems. He was fine with my explanation of where I was going. He was excited that his daughter from out of state would be staying with him. I thought, "no problem!" But by the second day he had no idea where I was or why I left him or if I was coming back. His daughter's assurances only helped for a little while. Based on our experience, I suggest that you write up a brief explanation of where you are, when you'll be back, and and that you hope he has a good time where he is. Give him a copy, and also a copy to the staff so they can use it to reassure him if the need arises.

Whether it is in your own home or a facility, and whether you think you don't need help or accept that you do, it must be really frightening to find your spouse gone, with no explanation that you can remember.
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Thanks everyone for the comments. I have weighed hiring a caregiver but there are animals, a machine shop, a wood shop... his judgment isn't so good any more and he loses things can't fix things but still wants to do projects with my help, of course. Any one in their right mind would run away. so that's why I'm thinking a facility would work best at this point. They can keep him off ladders, away from circular saws and torches...... (sigh)
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What are your plans for him, if he outlives you? That is what is likely to happen, if you don't get regular respite. You may find out that he is actually better off, in a facility with activities and routines.
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singin telegram.
na na na NA
i love ya old man , weve had a great life.
your a good man , im a dedicated wife .
i give ya good care , but its a wearin me down .
im gonna hire some help , and get out of this town .
the carer ive hired wears her jeans a little tight,
its only fair to warn ya , shes a transvestite ..
youll be with her a week , alone indoors.
dont try no s*it , cause hers is bigger than you-urs ..
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How did you get your husband to accept the day program? Perhaps the same approach would work for this.
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I would agree with Maggie, give little to no notice. Be firm as to why you are doing this for a short time and how much you will miss them. AND how much they will enjoy the change for this time, also! Make it an adventure, if only in their mind!
See what you find in your area for in-home care, God Bless!
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If he's cognitively impaired, you may not EVER get him to accept going to a facility to give you respite. You CAN get 24-hour caregivers to come to your home. You may want to investigate and compare the costs. Completely discombobulating someone to actually move them is probably much more disruptive than just having someone come in. And it may not even cost as MUCH as putting him in a care facility. Look into it in your area.

At any rate, and in either case, I personally would give no notice. Maybe the day before talk about it a little bit, but bringing it up a week or two in advance? I'm not even sure my mom, as an example, would remember it. Orrrrr, she's hold onto it and be anxious the whole time leading up to your leaving.

Yeah, I understand he can be difficult and argumentative if you show any irritation toward him. My mom is exactly the same way. Loving, caring, and what they call "pleasantly confused" changes in a heartbeat to I'm P.O.'d and not doing anything if I let my impatience show. It's been a lesson in patience, that's for sure.

I admire your advance thinking about respite. We all need it.
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