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Respite - Carers UK Forum


Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
My husband has alzheimers and was diagnosed last October. After moving home we have settled back in my home town but after the strenuous move and being together 24/7 I do need couple of days break. How do I go about trying to get some respite care?
Hello Sue,

I don't know your circumstances but there are basically two routes

1) contact Social Services - apart from anything else they will have a list of all care homes that offer respite care in your area.

2) you can self fund respite care yourself - which is really just a case of you doing your own research into which homes in your area are affordable and can meet your OH's needs.

If you only need a couple of nights away is there any possibility that a close friend or relative could stay with him ? When I was caring for my Mum I found that this was a better option for her as it wasn't so disruptive of her daily routine.
Welcome Sue, moving is very exhausting, it's important to look after yourself too. It might be worth contacting Social Services and asking them to do an up to date needs assessment for your husband, and a Carers Assessment for yourself. Then, they would know a little about you both, in case of an emergency to either of you. It would also give you an opportunity to find out if there are any services in your area which you didn't know about. Enjoy your break.
Having been a carer for 20years without a break I decided recently it was time to request some respite. When researching how to apply I was informed that firstly I needed to have the agreement of the person I am caring for before applying to social services for assistance.
Thinking about it now though, it strikes me as a little unfair that the person being cared for can have the final say on whether or not a carer can have a break. In a lot or cases people being cared for can be quite selfish and would, in a way, be using emotional blackmail on the carer rather than accept temporary change.
At first the person I'm caring for refused but later reluctantly agreed and I'm now awaiting confirmation of my request being accepted, though I'm anticipating further problems as the time for respite nears.
Twenty years without a break. That is dreadful. Surely your GP can do something to point you in the right spot to get assistance. It must be almost like being trapped in a routine so much that you forget time and the years pass but this is simply wrong. Yes ill persons can be hugely selfish and canny too. Hope you get the respite you need otherwise you will be need care yourself. God Bless.
Welshlion, that's awful. Caring is a two way street, in return for the love you give your caree 50 weeks of the year, they should be able to manage without you two weeks a year IF they love you too. And if they don't, why care at all?! I would gently point this out to your caree. After all, if you refused to care at all, where would they be then?!
Impossible not to agree with Bowlingbun's post.

However, on the issue of the caree needing to give consent to respite care, um, what would happen if the carer simply upped sticks and went on holiday for a fortnight? Surely the caree would then become a 'vulnerable adult' and SS would be forced to step in and either provide a live in carer or have the caree taken in to care?

Unless the carer were some kind of 'legal guardian' of the caree, surely there can be no question of any 'legal obligation' on the carer never to take a holiday without the consent of their caree (and then again, if the carer DOES have some kind of legal guardianship, that could only have come about if the caree were mentally incapable of having any responsibility for their own welfare/life, so how in that case could they be asked for 'consent' to let their carer have a break?!!)

So, in practical terms, surely the line 'oh, the caree has to give consent' doesn't actually have any 'reality'.......it's a 'try on' by SS!!
Getting someone into respite can be very difficult.
There is such a limited availability in my area, that there is a 3-4 month waiting list. When you are a carer you are very much living day-to-day, so planning that far in advance seems almost impossible. Hence why I haven't had a 24-hr period to myself for a year and a half.
Nenuphar, would it be possible for you to book a series of respite breaks? Then you could look forward to your next break, and perhaps make the time in between easier to bear? (Whenever I've been involved in meeting planning, I've persuaded those involved to plan a series, rather than individual meetings. It's so much easier if everyone knows that on the first Monday of the month they will always be...
I'd love to Bowlingbun, but whenever I feel desperate, the 3 months waiting list just puts me off.

What I would really like, is some kind of emergency respite - I can just about cope, but not knowing that there is any kind of backup if I get really desperate, even for 24hrs, doesn't help. Mum's social worker is pretty limp as well. I always feel like I'm intruding on his time and work, and I actually put things off because I'd have to go through him first.