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My husband, 6 yr old daughter and I moved my hubby's 84 yr old grandmother in with us about 6 months ago. She now has dementia on top of a few other health issues. We soooo desparately need a vacation but there is no one else to take care of her while we go. Would like to know if anyone has ever heard of nursing homes or rehabs taking patients on a 1-2 week basis if it's not medically necessary for anything other than my sanity?

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If you body is screaming you need a break, hey it's telling YOU something NO MATTER what others are telling you. Cause if you breakdown and get sick then who's gonna take care of it. Perhaps you just need a three day weekend? Or have caregivers come in for 3 to 4 hours and watch over her while you go do some shopping or something. Perhaps crafts or gardening...or try new recipes...that's some of the things I do to let my mind escape from the 'evil Her'....LMAO wink wink. You may think this is funny but my best mind relievers are when I feed the wild animals like the crows scraps and the squirrels peanuts and the litte birdies their seeds. Pssst did you know the little birds like cooked rice...so don't throw away your old cooked rice the little ones love it.
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Your welcome. I really wasn't anticipating or expecting such a full reply but I can tell it has helped to get it off of your chest. Your description of your nature or how you were raised to me sounds like in that sense you are my twin, but I'm the one on disaiblity for that is the very think I did in my work and with my family even before my mother became old and her health got on a very slippery slope. You are not a bad person for wanting to take care of yourself. It we don't take care of ourselves, no one else is going to.
You are very right that on your own you can't change this lifestyle or your enmeshement with your mother at the hip. I'm not a therapist, but I've been in therapy enough to know that it would help you to get to point B from point A.
I agree that a good amount of preparating and planning for taking this vacation is a good thing, but again you can't borrow trouble from in the future. What if you break down and have a heart attack or a nervous break down or your husband gets tired and fed up with you being joined at the hip with your mom and leaves, but never really says why. I've not had to deal with that joined at the hip thing in terms of care giving, but I've had to deal with it in my mariage and it an't no fun feeling like a single parent who is married to someone whose more married to their mom than they are to you and thus you feel like you are married to more than one person, pardon my dang bluntness as a husband and I sure hope this is not true or ever will be true of you and your husband.
All in all, I wish you the best as you consider all the good help shared her and exercise the power of your own choices. Don't ever forget, the one thing you always have is the power of choice although it's hardly ever easy sometimes.
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Good questions crowemagnum. A few of them I can answer right away without any thought and some I'll have to dwell on to figure them out.

All my life I have been one of those people who puts everyone else first before myself. It's just my nature. A part of who I am. Although I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, there are plenty of times that I wish I wasn't that way. Although I do try to veer from that pattern, it has been with only a little success. I'm not sure if I can just simply change who I am or change my nature and in this particular instance...it is kind of a hinderance.

I'm not acually afraid to rock the boat in the aspect that I'm afraid she'll be upset with me or disappointed. Over the past year, she has basically attached herself to my hip so to speak. She won't even believe what her docs tell her until I reiterate it. I think it's past experience that makes me dread it. The last few times that she was in the hospital, even pre-dementia, she came home completely unhinged....delerious, delusions and all. We have slowly been working on this. Trying to lessen her separation anxiety with short trips to the senior center where she's without me for an hour or two at a time and slowly increasing the time she's away from me. My fear is that she'll be in such a sad state of loony affairs til I get back home that a vacation may actually create more work and stress for me in the long run. And in her present state of health, as much as a vacation would help me, I'm not sure that it's in her best interest health-wise. Along with a pacemaker, numerous stents, several anxiety disordes, several mini-strokes and the dementia, today she was diagnosed with Parkinsons. Which actually explains alot of the other medical problems. What a vicious circle. Without my sanity, she has nobody to care for her but a vacation to restore my sanity may put her in a state of health where my help will do her no good. Vacation hasn't been ruled out but I do think that a well thought out game plan and some serious preparation will definitely make the transition smoother. We'll work on it. Thanks.
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giles167,

Sounds to me like a huge amount of FOG has surrounded you like fog on the London Bridge or clouds above the ocean along the big sur in California which keep one from seeing the coast below.

First, has your mother's deminatia been deterimed by her doctor that she is not able to conduct her business in a business like manner? If not, I would let the doctor know what is going on and that you need his assessment and if he's as good as my mother's neurologist is, he will move from the assessment to some persuation about letting you help her with I'm assuming the POA that you have which again I'm assuming she's already given you for such a time as this. I think my mother's neurologist must have had some training in counseling he was so smooth about this and he so has her trust that she listened to him.

Second, I think you recognize the FOG, but in order to really deal with it, take the break you need before you break and join the statistics of fallen caregivers, I urge you to get some counseling or find an dementia support groupt to help you get from point A to point B.

Third, Yes it's going to be tough to not think about your mother, but remind yourself that you've placed her somewhere temporarily where she is safe and carred for. By being afraid of being misserable (which BTW will make your husband also) and fear of being misserable when you come home is borrowing trouble from the future which you have not control over and keeps you chained to the present.

Fourth. You might need to ask yourself and maybe discuss with your husband also for he's part of the whole equation. Why are you so afraid of how your mother will react to spending money so you can get a break to keep you healthy as a caregiver and so afraid, I assume, of her reaction to your vacation when you return? That seems to be a very big, bold and underlined capital F. of the fog. Why do you feel so obligated to not rock the boat and make some short term changes to take care of yourself and your marriage? Does she make you feel so obligated to being right there and guilty about any idea of doing something for your own life that you don't feel worthy of taking care of yourself? Please know that you are worthy of taking care of yourself and if you don't take care of you then who is going to take care of her! Why do you anticipate such a burden or guilt trip in reaction to the very idea of a short term break in care to care for yourself or was that programmed in as a small child? Those are my questions about the other two letters of F.O.G. that need your reflection within yourself and between you and your husband as you make plans for your own life and her care.

Fifth while our aging and declining parents may or may not really grasp or appreciate it, it's really in their best interest and ours as caregivers to make that psychological shift in the changing of the roles so that we don't fall back into shaking in our shoes like the little girl or boy we once were and be the adult child caregiver who sees through, past and above the F.O.G. in making adult like decisions about their parent's care and their own care.
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Yep. But thanks for replying pirategal. I checked Respite care around here and it runs $249 per day. grandma has the money but as frugile as she is with it, I'm pretty sure it would give her a heart attack when she heard how much. I've been thinking about it the last couple of days and I think I've decided that I'd probably worry through the whole vacation anyways and in the back of my mind I'm afraid that if I'm actually free for even a few days, that I'll be miserable when I come home. Right now, I barely remember what it was like to have a life and be free and I'm not sure that a reminder is the best solution when I can't actually see the light at the end of the tunnel yet.
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giles i am sure by now your question has been answered, but if not some places are set up for a program they call "Respite care" just for this type of need.
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glitterart, A friend of mine painted a picture sort of similar to my avatar pic years ago and it was immediately my fave of all the paintings they had done. When I saw this pic, it instantly reminded me of that painting. Plus I've always been facinated by fairies for some reason. Been a long day. I think I'm going to bed early tonight. Happy Easter!
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I'm happy my advice helped little. Yes, do whatever to enjoy time for yourself. It's really hard in the beginning, your brain will say, "You need to this and you need to do that, stop wasting time." Don't let guilt get in the way of you taking the time to rest. You have to learn to ignore it and learn to relax. When you do finally learn to let go, and take the time for yourself, it's so beneficial for the spirit and soul. You became a better caregiver.
I'm jealous, reading by a quite lake with snack. That's great. Enjoy your day.
If you every need to chat, need support or advice send me a line.
Love your avatar/photo- very pretty. Does it represent anything? Favorite artist, your artwork, or something you enjoy?
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Glitterart, I'm planning on taking your advice. As soon as the weather is warm enough! There is a lake near her senior center so I plan on taking a snack and a book so that I can read by the lake and get some sun while she's there. Come on Summer!
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giles,
Sorry I put in the wrong information regarding the prices of respite care. It's $195-$$250 a DAY, not a week. It's expensive, but if your really need the help and the rest -you should do it. Look online for "senior day care in your area. The one my mother goes to is half a mile away, I never knew they were there. I usually put her in for a couple of hours 3x a week for 4-5 hours.
Don't feel bad about hiring someone to give her a bath. I hired a home care provider to help with shower, nails, and change her bedding. Yes, I could do it to, but this way I don't have to, plus I can have some time to rest or tend to things I've been putting off.
Even if you only get 2.5 hours of free time, DON"T do errands or choirs. You can always get to them later. Do something for yourself: exercise, have a picnic in the park, visit the library or book store and brows magazines or books, go to a restaurant, or get a manicure. Anything just for you.
In the beginning I only had two or three hours of free time, here or there. I wasted my free time on dumb chores. I used to complain I never get a chance to read anymore. I had to make an extra effort to take the time to read. It's so rewarding to be able to say I finally finished a book.
Everyone need time to recharge and refuel. You'll be a better caregiver, when you take care of yourself. Like you said, "You can put a price on sanity". Best wishes to you.
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Ted & Daniel, I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one! I usually do real well with all of it but after a while I find myself losing patience quickly and getting snippy at the dumbest little things. These are the signs that tell me I need a brief vaca! Coming back renewed with a little more energy and a little less stress benefits her as much as it does me. I know that the nearest Alzheimers facility is over 3 hours away from me but I think there are a few homes and rehab facilities that do offer weekly/short term rooms and care. Just need to find the pricing to compare. But at this point, I can't really put a price on sanity now, can I?! Thanks!
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Thanks Glitterart. I just hired a company to come in one day a week and give her a thorough bath, trim her nails, clean her ears, help her with her hearing aids and straightening/cleaning her room. Yes, I could do all of those things but this gives me one day a week to do EVERYTHING ELSE that gets put aside because she is so time consuming. She does go to our local senior center sometimes but it's only for 2.5 hours and til I drop her off and drive home, it really doesn't give me time to do much before going to pick her up again. It doesn't really give me any extra free time but it does help her to stay socialized. I'll have to call around to see if we have any facilities to provide repite care. At the ballpark prices that you listed above...that's not a bad price to pay for a nice vacation and some sanity. Thanks!
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I checked and called facilities while caring for my mother 86 yrs. with middle stages of Alzheimer's. Respite care is expensive: most rehab or convalescence homes charge between $2000-$3000+ a month for long term care, short term care runs about $190-$250 a week. Take it if you really have to, just think of it a payment of part of your vacation.
Another option is try "Senior Day Care". I was at my wits ends when I was caring for my elderly mother, with little to no help at all. I was overwhelm, depressed, and loosing my self. Then, I found a Day Care facility near my home, it was a great help. She went for couple hours to several hours a day just so I could get some rest and recuperate. She was able to make new friends and participate in activities. The fees are affordable: $10 hour, I could use as much or as little as I needed. It's help with relieve stress immensely.
Third option, is hire someone to come into your home and care for her 24/7 while your on vacation. The are home care providers that hire nurses and licensed caregivers to stay at your home to a care for your love one. Check around, do research to find the best on to fit your needs, make sure they are licensed and bonded. That means they thoroughly check and screen the people they hire. If there is theft in the home they will go after the perpetrator, or if there is an accident in the home your protected form being sued if the care giver is injured. In addition, home care providers can help with bathing, meals, senior-sitting (babysitting), transportation to doctors, and more on a daily bases.
Your lucky, you only had your love one for a sort time. You haven't had to care for your love on continuously for years and years, your just starting out. Find out all you can before you become a statistic as Crowemagnum had mentioned at the top. I didn't know about resources, forums, online support, home care assistance, day care or respite. After caring for my mother for four years with little to no help or vacations, finally I'm getting my life back with getting the extra help I needed. I just wish I had know about all this sooner.
Good Luck to you.
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Ads on this site led me to an Alzheimer's care facility in my area. I have visited, they have visited my home, met my mother and I researched. I have not used them but I will feel no remorse when I do choose to ge some respite. I was required to have my mom's PCP fill out a medical needs form and administer a TB test. Also, remember there are Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) and facilities for AD sufferers that don't have urgent medical needs. In California Medi-Cal will only pay for an SNF. There are options. So definitely get some respite, it'll allow you to become a better caregiver. GOOD LUCK.
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Glad you asked this! I am one of the people Crowmag refers to and I am just today going to start calling around to find a place for mom for a week so that I can take a break. It's not because I want to, but because I must. I am worn down to the point that I am starting to make some seriously bad decisions. I need to take a break for the health, safety, and well-being of both of us. I am going to try and use mom's time at a facility to have her re-evaluated for any problems I might have overlooked lately, and hopefully, with her dr.'s support, this may help defray the costs.
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Most asst living/alzheimer places have a respite room available to rent for the day or week. I would start there.
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Thanks everyone.
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Dementia patients are only made worse by constantly moving from one place to another particularly as time goes on.

If you think 6 months is tough, the stories of others here are heartbreaking as I read about the loss of their own mental and physcial health, some have lost contact with family or friends, loosing their jobs, spending all of their own savings and retirement, closing a business they started, leaving a home of several yers, children feel alienated, people divorcing, absolutely not having any life at all, and living under the Fear, Obligation and Guilt often placed upon them as a child which now their parent used to keep them intraped as if carring for them at home equals promissing to take care of them or honoring your parents ,etc. just to share a summary of the worst that I've read since coming her in November.

I don't know the answer to your question, but based on my experience with putting my mother into rehab after a stroke, the nursing home saw her need for her to stay there, but my sttep-dad wanted her home which became a major mistake. Be ready if a rehab or nursing home takes her to first pay some big bucks unless you have a doctor's order for her to go to such whereby medicare B would pay 100% for the first 20 days and second for them to tell you that she's really too much to have at home which will only get worse and worse and place an incredible burdern on you, your marriage, your daughter, etc.

You definitely need a break, but you also need to take a serious look and have a serious discussion about why you brought her into your house and how realistic is this care given the other parts of your life?
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