Respite care; What do you do with your loved one with dementia when you have to go out of town?

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Our 13 year old daughter just got invited to participate in the Midwest Closed Tennis Tournament, which is by invitation only for the best of the best players. I am so proud of her, she wants to be a pro player and this is where recruiters go. It lasts for 5 days and is a few hours away so we will be far from home. I don’t know what to do with Doc. There’s one worthless sibling who refuses to help at all, and we have no one to even come check on him. What exactly is respite care and how much planning or advance notice do you need? I think this will be a huge ordeal for Doc as he has never spent the night anywhere and would not understand why or agree that he cannot stay home alone. He gets confused on his whereabouts even at home, is a major sundowner, needs assistance and reminders to take meds, eat, shower, and for overall safety. What do you do with your loved one with dementia when you have to go out of town?

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I have incredible teens as well, and it would be shortchanging them of unique high level opportunities if we were to try to incorporate both elder care and high level competition. I commend you for being reasonable about your dad's limitations.

We put mthr in a memory care when she could no longer live by herself (we rescued her, actually). It has been really good for everyone. We have been able to send her postcards when we go to competitions and these get passed around to **all** of the residents at meal times. I don't think any of them know who those cards are from, but they all enjoy hearing about the sights, the news, and the reports on competitors.

We know my mthr is well kept and we don't have to worry. We are able to visit when we are home and it is a good situation. The kids are not exposed to the indignities of living with a grandparent in Depends and are able to enjoy what is presented publicly, with none of the embarrassing parts. My mthr is still at the same memory care 5 years later, while I've sent two kids off to college.

Since your daughter is at that age when she will be soaring and you want to be part of it, I'm of the opinion that it's time to find a memory care that is a trial period right now of respite, with the overall goal of grandpa staying there afterwards if his first week or two are good. He is only going to decline, and her teen years are done so fast. I've just realized my baby girl has a year before college- she's almost gone! The decline of old age is a slow goodbye, while the teen years are a quickly changing hello to adulthood.
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Reply to surprise
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Do you have any agencies around you that would come into your house, like a Visiting Angels or Home Instead type? They can provide different shifts and this way Doc could remain in his own home.
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Reply to PaniniSandwich
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Thank you for all the responses. We would take him with us, but he hates the sun and being outside, and that doesn’t work very well in tennis tournaments that last all day for days, especially with rain delays. He has a very hard time getting around, so that makes it all the more difficult. He cannot be left alone ever anywhere, even for a few minutes in a strange place, because he would wander off. His bathroom habits are atrocious (or he will just go in his depends and act like nothing happened), and some courts do not have bathrooms close by or they have portapottys. Two days ago, I was in angry tears as I furiously cleaned the huge brown spot of sh** he left in my passenger seat from when I took him for a haircut. It would not be enjoyable in the least on a trip away from home, and I don’t want to take that spectacular experience away from our daughter. Doc has Medicare - I wonder if it covers the same as Medicaid. Still very new to the process, and am grateful for all the supportive people here willing to help each other.
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Reply to CaringForDoc
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Is Doc on Medicaid? In Michigan, Medicaid will pay for 30 days of respite in a facility for caregivers. Most facilities prefer a 5 day stay but it is not required.
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Reply to tacy022
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My experience is similar to Midnight's. Although in my case it's $395/night for mid level care. Mid level being welfare checks every 2 hours but that's about it. Not full time 24/7 "babysitting". That's much more. The acceptance procedure is exactly the same as if the person will be a full time resident. So the same medical and behavior checks have to be passed.
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Reply to needtowashhair
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I’m still learning the ins and outs of respite care myself ~ but some of the things I have learned... dependent upon the facility, respite care has different levels of care (ex: assisted living type of care or skilled nursing care). Payment wise, not covered by insurance. All the places I’ve seen require a minimum of a seven day stay. I’ve seen a few places that require a two week minimum stay. Usually there is a health evaluation of some sort (kinda like an unofficial doctor visit but it’s by the facility staff - evaluation, getting to know the client and their care taker) - and giving advance notice is always good, the more notice given the better.

** I’m being selfish this year ~ saved my money - paying for a seven day respite care stay in local nursing facility for my grandmom. Fortunately she was a volunteer in the past at the same facility so she’s looking forward to being there. I gave the facility six weeks notice (figure it’s the summer and folks want vacations - caregivers needing breaks). Already made a list of what I’m packing for her... including reminder notes - I have one framed that will be by her bedside, reminding her why she’s there, etc. The second one will stay with her chart in case the original note gets misplaced. **

Can’t really speak for average prices, but in my case... it’s $233 each day. True it’s expensive but it’s money well spent.
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Reply to midnight78
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