Have any of you taking care of a family member on Hospice taken any Respite time?

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I need a break. How do I do this and not feel awful? I care for my Dad 24-7. He is wonderful, but I can tell I am in burnout. he is on Hospice and I know they will pay for a certain amount of Respite days. I know I and my husband need this badly. But how in the world can I do this without feeling like crap? I think he will feel like I have left him. I guess I need to look into this as I have lost myself completely and cry often. I lost mom last year after caring for her and now dad for the past year. He is very sweet and 90 years young. I hope that I can do this as I KNOW I have to...but will my crazy guilty mind let me??? advise

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You've just got to take care of yourself! You cared for your mom. She passed. And now you're caring for dad and know you're about to lose him as well. If you aren't "the best you can be," you're short-changing dad, don't you think? You just can't give it your all when there's nothing left to give.

Get re-charged. You will be better for it. Your husband will thank you. And your dad will reap the benefit of a rejuvenated daughter to stand by his side.

*Hugs*
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Thank you so much. I am going to ask the social worker next time she visits. I do need this. I think maybe he does too. My brother probably as well. He is not invilved in the everyday hands on, but he visits often and does what he can. Delivers meds, brings food. He sorks full time and his wife needs him at home more. My husband needs this break from this too. Love you guys!
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When my father was on hospice my Mom needed a break and needed it! She took advantage of the 3 day respite offered and dropped my Dad off. He was not happy at first either but got over it and my Mother enjoyed her 3 days of freedom. He was only with us for a short time afterwards and was able to pass away at home but I do not think she ever felt guilty about taking respite because she deserved it and so do you.
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My husband and I have been caring for my mother 24/7 for the last 7 years. We just took our first vacation since she came to live with us. I have to say I feel like a new person. We saved up to hire the home aid to cover the time we would be gone. It helped that the little gal we have coming in 3Xs a week for a couple of hours has been a gift from heaven. After I got over the guilt of having help here to give us a much needed break to take care of our own chores or just do nothing :-) I did take me a year to be confident enough to take that much needed vacation with my hubbie, but I will do it again as soon as the budget allows. Mom actually told me she felt like she was an "adult" again while we were gone. She felt like she was in charge again. That has made me rethink how I do things for her. I make her more responsible for the decision making and not jump in to do "all" her chores if she feels capable. I have to give credit to this group of people on the website too. Following the journey the other caregivers on here were taking with their loved ones, I don't think I would have ever had the courage to take the steps to take that time off and not feel guilty. If you are feeling like you need that break listen to that voice and take the time for yourself. You will feel better and just know that your father will also benefit.
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Please do this for yourself. Your dad sounds like a wonderful man and he would absolutely want you to take care of yourself. All loving parents want that even if they can't express it. Don't make it seem like your getting away from him. Tell him you have an opportunity to go on a short trip and would love to do it if he didn't mind. I would bet he will say no go ahead. Mayybe don't go far just in case you need to return quickly. It will keep you from worrying too much if you can get back quick. You sound like a kind and loving daughter and you should in no way feel guilty. You have obviously done the right thing by caring for your parents but if you are crying everyday, believe me your father can tell and he would probably be very supportive of you taking a break. He has lived his life and he would want you to live yours. It will be so good for you and your husband. In the long run it will benefit your father as well since you'll be refreshed and happier when your return.
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My Mother lived with us for four years, and was then placed on hospice.Our hospice program has a brand new live in facility, we left my Mom there for a long week-end to get away and to introduce her to the idea of someone else taking care of her, in case we ever needed to explore that option.She was angry at first, but they treated her like it was a hotel and she LOVED it, it was like a mini vacation for her as well. As an FYI, her physical condition improved so much that she was removed from Hospice status BUT her cognitive abilities became suddenly much worse, and it DID become neccessary for us to place her in a N.H., I am so thankful that we had her go to respite care so that she was open to being cared for by someone other than me. You should NOT feel guilty, in fact I think it is an important part of care giving, that you empower him to be cared for by others, just in case.
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