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Advice from people with experience please - Carers UK Forum

Advice from people with experience please

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
My mother in law is 93 and has been living with us for 2 years now. My husband is retired and although I work we share the care. My mother attends a day care centre a couple of times a week. Of late things have been difficult as my husband has also been ill and his condition isn't yet been managed by the Consultant, so he can feel pretty poorly most days. This, of course, makes caring for his mum more of a challenge for him. I also feel that the strain of being a carer has contributed greatly to his poor health. My mother in law refuses to have carers to come in and just be around so that my husband can get a bit of time off. At the moment I'm doing all the caring as my husband needed to get away for a break (but we couldn't go together).

We have been offered two weeks respite per year - which would require my mother in law going into residential care. This is something we have never felt able to raise - usually another family member comes up and stays if we go away, but this isn't always possible. Any suggestions please for raising this option with my mother in law (and probably my husband, as he knows his mum won't be keen and I think deep down he secretly would feel guilty about suggesting this).

Time off together is important - this is something I see as an option that we should be considering. Anyone else had or experiencing anything similar. Suggestions greatly appreciated.
Hello Sylvia,

When my mum died in January 2006 my OH and I stayed on in the family home to help dad. He has multiple illnesses, and OH had a serious back injury in 1999. Dad was always reluctant to go into respite care, but had no choice when OH was found to have cancer and had to go to hospital a 6 hour drive away for five operations.

Would your MiL understand if you explained it was important that you and your OH have a short break in order to recharge your batteries in order to be better able to care for her?

Our other respite saving grace was the need for a new kitchen to be fitted and mum and dad had a week away while that was being done. Mum would have happily stayed as she thought she was in a grand hotel........dad would hear none of it.

Hope you get some more suggestions soon.

Take care

Thank you for taking the time to respond. What you say makes a lot of sense, it's just so sensitive to try and work things out. Interestingly we also have building work to be done in the house, your suggestion has made me realise that this may be the perfecto opportunity to make respite in residential care an option.

Thank you!
Hi Sylvia

My Mum had a week in respite care earlier this year as I was getting desperate for a break.

It was a case of choosing the right time to bring the subject up - not easy when you're dealing with someone with Alzheimer's. Even with my sister telling Mum that I needed a break it still took half a dozen tries before the idea took root !

We found a very nice home that was able to take her and I took her for an afternoon visit a week or so before she actually went in - she took to it like a duck to water (although she doesn't actually remember any of it now) and I have asked the home to keep us in mind if/when they get another vacancy.

Hope you can get your MiL to see sense - you never know she might surprise you and be quite amenable to the idea.
Thank you so much for your thoughts on this. I really appreciate it.

I have not had the experiance of this, but for what it's worth, I think it has come to a point where your mother in law has to accept outside help as your and your own hubbies heath are suffering. You both need a rest and time to recupperate yourselves. As a parent I sometimes have to do what seems like a cruel thing to be kind (eg giving him meds when he doesn't want them even though they are needed.). I hope you manage to work it out.
Thank you Sparkletechie - great name by the way. Yes you are right of course I guess I'm just avoiding dealing with this situation and moving it on because it requires having difficult conversations. Posting on this forum and the responses I've had have greatly helped in my endeavours to sort out my head and my heart. Being a carer certainly requires a fair amount of emotional labour doesn't it!