Respite Wisdom 2012 Responses
husband is wheelchair and hospital bed bound. His home
care service helps me schedule an aide to be with him up
to 12 hours a month under his Long Term Home Care
Program. After a stressful and tiring week, I
took five hours off to meet a friend yesterday for lunch
and some shopping. We try to do it once a month.
Other times, I schedule respite for my own doctor's
appointments and the next time. it will be for a
few hours when I get a perm. I have been caring
for my husband almost 20 years now, through many ups and
downs, in and out of the hospital and nursing home rehab
and then back home again. I know I need respite
time to keep from burning out. I never use the
full allotment, but it is so good to have it available.
My husband and I take care of our adult very
disabled son. Our last break was our 25th
anniversary when we stayed at a neat little B & B,
located in a historic town not too far from us. We
did just what we wanted to do, which is rare. We
walked around the town and ate at a couple of the
well-known restaurants. I actually got to read some
magazines that I had never gotten around to (months
old). Our breakfast was prepared for us and it was
delicious. The innkeepers were so accommodating and
kind, we actually felt like we had made new friends.
There was an old general store that had all of the
neatest things you seldom see anymore. By the way,
that was August 2011. Before that, we took a dream
cruise in May of 2006. Our "respite" time is very,
very rare; but when we do get it, we try to enjoy it
by keeping it simple and go where it is peaceful and
I am taking my husband living with dementia to a
group at our church specifically for dementia
patients. They keep them entertained, feed them,
play games, create social interactions. And the
CAREGIVER has some respite time! I am having a
deluxe pedicure and manicure and I won't have to
worry about hurrying back, if he is okay by himself,
has he fallen, etc. Four hours of bliss and at the
same time, he gets to talk to his heart's content to
like-minded individuals who also need a friend!
Thank you so much for all you do. I get so
much out of it.
I took myself out to Taco Time and had a great
I was able to take two hours this morning to
play tennis. Running around in the sunshine
did wonders for me, both physically and mentally.
I am so grateful for this time!
I tend to use things way past their usability. I
decided to redo the bathroom. There is an outlet
store that provides much of my bounty at a
reasonable cost. Well, the bathroom was finished and
I looked at the bedroom. It needed something new.
Another outlet store furnished a bed in a bag at
50% off. Looked really good...but then I needed
something for the fireplace. The picture cost a
little more than I wanted to spend, but it is just
what I wanted! I did this last weekend. It
provided a necessary lift to my spirits at an
affordable dent in my budget. Making up my mind to
make the changes and use some resources was the
Went to see Elton John; had a Mom-sitter for 12
hours. It was a great time to be with friends and
not worry about my mother.
A few weeks ago, I went to my home town of
Topanga Canyon to spend the day with my two very
best childhood friends, Joann and Anthea. I've known
these women for 53 of my 55 years! Topanga in itself
is very nurturing for me—hills covered with
sagebrush, oak trees, the little windy mountain
roads of my childhood.
We hung out at Jo's house, just the three of us, and
talked about caring for our parents, how to balance
it all, death, our relationships, you name it. We
had lunch, which included greens picked from
Anthea's garden that morning. We sat outside in the
sun, then we sat on the floor inside watching Jo's
new kitties play. We just lounged for hours. We had
no plan but to hang out together.
The depletion I often feel from getting strung out
caring for my dad (after 10 years of helping with my
mom, who died five months ago of Alzheimer's) was
gone for a while! A day like that, for me, is like
getting filled back up with all the warm good
stuff—well worth the five hour drive!
Thanks for asking.
My father is in an assisted-living memory care
facility, but I have many responsibilities other
than all of the personal, financial, medical
appointments, and banking duties for my father.
One thing I have done is to “take off” a few days
and just read, watch TV, or go out with my husband
so it feels like I have taken a mini-vacation.
I appreciate your email notices that focus on
caregiving and the toll it takes on the caregiver
even if the family member is living in a facility.
They remind me that others are having the same
issues as I am.
Thank you for your support!