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Please share with me your experiences with respite care. How did your loved one handle this? Did they feel abandoned? Did you visit daily? Were they well taken care of? How long is recommended for me to get well rested?

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To Rosemary44, yes, such good advice. Sorry to hear about such a terrible & "just wrong" experience for you & your husband. Please do not blame yourself for incompetent people & that is too nice of a word for them! I had used a very "well known" & high $ amount place for a short stay. Their protocol was to get prescribed meds from their pharmacy; in lieu of ours which were in the original bottles with strength & dose instructions. I didn't feel ok with their protocol & they wouldn't budge, insistent on their rules. Needless to say they are off my list forever! It's important to make sure you check any facility thoroughly for anything. I was fooled by a sales pitch & high star rating. All sounded & looked great, NOT! Their respites now have a minimum of 30 days, more $ for them. Visit & assess, talk to management & staff, a day try-out is a good idea; a better sign if they suggest it! If you see a caregiver or visitors introduce yourself & ask questions, I've found most to be friendly & understanding, all been there/done that! Don't abandon a thought of a respite, just more homework for us, the caregiver! But "us" need it! Take Care of You
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I really believe they do better in a respite care facility then we think they will do.

Of course we can't know this up front because the facility will promise you the moon, but the one I chose for my husband didn't give his meds correctly. They have to be on a timely basis and the correct dosage. That didn't happen.

My one month respite turned into another 2 months at another facility to get him back into condition to come home.

The moral of this story is find out if they hire nurses to give out meds. How many nurses per patients who require that med service.
My husband has Parkinson's and he needs meds on a timely basis.

If med delivery is not your problem and they publish a monthly calendar of doings every day, your loved one will thrive. Find out if someone will come by to bring him to dining every day and to the daily "happenings". Most have exercise every morning but if your person has dementia they have to be brought there. Find out if that will happen. Exercise is so important for people with dementia and as we know, they can't get there by themselves.

Enjoy your time off. Collapse somewhere.
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Respite has been a sanity saver for me, and my mom is not nearly as difficult as what many of you here have to go through with your parents. I convinced her to go for two weeks in a nursing home because I had a good opportunity to travel for work, and it is not safe for her to be alone (I have to hire a sitter for her when I'm going to be gone for a few hours as she has had too many falls and can't even go potty safely by herself). She cried and was upset, but I even if I hadn't had to go for work, I needed a break.

Don't feel guilty. Caregiving is physically and emotionally exhausting, and can ruin our health (sometimes the caregiver dies first, and something like half of us suffer from clinical depression). If my health goes, then mom will have to go to a nursing home forever, and she doesn't want that. At least she can tell sometimes how completely exhausted I am, and so although she doesn't like it, she realizes I need it. So two weeks a year, I take a break, and every week, I try to take an afternoon to go to the gym or just relax. I am not a natural caregiver, and could not do 24/7 on my own. Yes it gets expensive (mom pays for it) but a nursing home would be even more. I am sole caregiver except for the aides i hire, so I really need a break. If she were more mobile, I'd use adult day care too, but transporting her is just too difficult. There are some very good daycares.
Please give yourself a break and get as much help as you can afford!
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How I handled respite care when I had to leave my Maryland home and move in with my mother where she was living alone in her own home in Massachusetts was I would occasionally use one of her friends to drive her to a Dr or dental appointment, else I would have dropped over and be good to no one! These persons were glad to do it for me! I  can't urge enough...GET HELP.
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My mother was well loved-continued below...
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I have to admit I was scared out of my mind that once he got used to the routine when I placed him for respite I would not be able to bring him home.
I used the same place for respite that I did for his Day Care so he was used to the facility and the people.
I dropped him off for Day Care as usual but I was asked to come back to help him get ready for bed so that it would be easier for him. Well I tried that but he would not settle down. I left and told the staff that he would probably be up for a while but he would go to bed. He did, had a pleasant night and I left that next morning.
I was worried but when I got home I went to pick him up the next day, I waited until about lunch time, went in packed up all his clothes, put them in the car then got him after he finished lunch. He got into the car, got home and went right to his recliner as if he had been away for just the day.
Mind Blown.....
All my worry
All my stress
He was just fine, adapted well.

I guess it is just like when dropping a child off to day care you imagine the worst, hope for the best and things usually work out well.
Important thing is you need a break you need to take advantage of respite care.
You will be a better caregiver refreshed, relaxed and with a new perspective on things.
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I guess I should have been clear on my answer. If one has the money, and a caring family, and will not feel guilty leaving, then take a few hours see how you feel and increase the time away either longer or more often.
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My daughters took me to England for 80 bday. I was taking spouse 2 day wk to Memory day care. They suggested every day for wk before I left. Then the day I I left acted as normally drop off but left for 2 wks. Needless to say I was concerned. I got shingles 3 wks before from stress. I snuck over his foam bed pad & special blanket. The helpers said to him your going to stay w us tonight when I normally picked him up. A friend had son in law in same place who said she'd keep eye on hubby. She texted me he's doing fine. Was good news for me. When I picked him up out of the blue said, I really enjoyed myself here. Blew me over as he can't remember what he ate 10 min ago. He had never been away from me at nite. I requested he have a rm mate. I can't tell you how wonderful that was for me. Now know all worry was for nothing. God bless, he'll take care of both of you.
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I know you love your "patient" but for God's sake, you are a human being, not God. YOU have every right to have a break and you must in order to take care of yourself. You should NOT feel guilty. Explain this to the patient and if they have any kindness in them and are able to understand, then fine. If not, then don't worry about it - they don't understand and just want attention. But YOU must have respites.
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All the answers are as of money Is not a issue. With us it is.
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My mother was under Hospice care. We put her in the nursing home for respite care for five days to give dad a break. I requested one nursing home because I knew she would receive better care. There was no openings so she was sent to the other. The very first day she fell out of the wheelchair injuring herself. Two days later she fell out of bed. Dad bought her home on the fourth day. We ended up hiring a caregiver for 2 or 3 hrs a day to give dad a break. That way he could leave for a while. Not only that my brother lived with them and I was there quite a bit helping. If you do respite care get references. Be prepared for a backup plan if anything goes wrong so if you take a vacation you don't have to rush back home. Maybe a family member can be contacted if something happens. First of all take a break you will need it.
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Respite care is for you to take a break. Do so & don't feel guilty about it. For your peace of mind research & visit the facility you are considering. Speak with the director & be forthright & honest regarding her behavior & needs. They should want her to visit to assess her. They will request pertinent medical information & copies of legal documents to keep on hand. Most facilities offer activities during the day and encourages socializing. There should be activity personnel & staff present 24/7. If your mom wanders consider a locked facility or a monitor for her, this will lessen your fears & concerns. If you find a place that is ok with 3 night respites & you're feeling ok with it, usually a "gut feeling" go for it. Most places don't even consider 3 nights, their reasoning is they need more time to adhere to their treatment plan. Their preference is usually a 1 or 2 weeks, some want a 30 day, that's getting ready for long term care if you think about it. It's a respite, the longer stay=more $, let's be honest. Depending on behavior concerns, you may have to fib to get her to the facility & do a "sneak out." My brother enjoys breakfast out & the facility serves great food, the dining room, the whole place is like a 5 star hotel. If it's the right fit, and you'll know, your respite will be just that, a rest. Check in to make sure she's doing well, it's 3 nights, then take that deep sigh of relief. The right place knows what a respite is, a trained staff will know both of your needs, they care about you & your mom. A 3 night is a "baby step" it's amazing what that short time does, it goes by much to fast. Recharge yourself. Next time you'll want a week. I'm due & wanting one for me now!🌈Best to You
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Sorry, when I read the question I assumed you were asking about an extended stay away, which generally means a facility. In Canada have government funded home care so I get away a few hours every week, I would be a basket case without it. For shorter weekend get-aways hiring 24/7 aides in her/your home would probably be much less stressful for her, but of course that is contingent on you actually going away yourself. My mom is completely ADL dependent, so a nursing home is her only option. Her first stay was a 1 week trial run and it was a disaster (I ranted here about it). Her second stay I was out of the country, and since she was still breathing when I picked her up I counted it as a success, I didn't ask for details because I didn't see any point rehashing something that was in the past and couldn't be changed. Both options are expensive, fortunately mom can afford it.
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Dear Cadams,
Having respite care when I cared for my father was a true blessing. My father was strongly opposed in having anyone else; it was necessary for me so I could function. We started by having a caregiver to come for a few hours once a month while I would do local errands. Eventually my father trusted the ladies who came and really enjoyed their company. Within 6 months my husband and I were able to have 3 days away.
The ladies gave my father undivided attention and love.
When my father had to be admitted to LTC, the ladies continued to visit and send notes to him.
I know it is overwhelming in caregiving for our parents. People always say to take care of myself but my job was to care for my father. Respite care was caring for him so that I could care well for him. My prayers for you as you continue down this road.
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It's very hard. You just need to check out the place and make sure she is being taken care of. And visit often, just visit. It's important.
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Wow, 2 weeks. I am feeling guilty about 4 hour's just to go out and wash the car. How can one leave a loved one for 2 weeks and not be concerned about the care?
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I'm a 24/7 caregiver for my mom since 2012, so respite is a must!! I have her enrolled in a weekday daycare program through our local Council on Aging. That is 5 hours I can take care of the house, errands and let thoughts wander. Excellent care, a bus picks her up; drops off and keeps her active for a super reasonable cost!
Next, if it's just an evening off, I book through ComfortKeepers or the like. Lisenced-bonded. They are roughly $20.00 an hour, so this is used lightly. I've had very good experience with the company/staff here.
Next, for a weekend or week off it's a treasure hunt to find a foster care home or facility. I find someplace that's great and management changes or they ask me to not bring mom back. It's a blow when I like a place but I'm back in the process of finding another one. When you're in this by yourself; respite is a must. Keep your quest going. Key is if you can find a daycare and get her to go a couple times a week. This gets her in a socialized setting and YOU will love having her gone even a few hours. Sending hugs.❤️
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Three days is better than none. If you find someone who can stay with your mom and it works out okay, you've set the stage for future respite breaks that you can schedule regularly.
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Thanks. I will very carefully consider what you are saying here. I haven't talked to mom at all about this.
No way can I see being gone 2 weeks. I was thinking more like 3 days..........so......we'll see. Thanks for sharing.cadams
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A lot depends on your loved one and the level of care they need. Some people have mentioned going on vacation while their loved one also had an enjoyable "spa holiday" in AL, of course the swankier the facility the more it seems like a five star resort. Someone who is very against leaving their home for any reason, or who need a lot of physical care, can be more of a challenge. Either way their minimum needs will be met, so don't let that discourage you from getting a break. I think you need at least two weeks to unwind. And although our instincts are to check in often it really doesn't allow you to mentally detach when you do, and frankly if it is not going well it may be better not to know (and obsess) about it, if there is a serious problem they will call.
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