There is little doubt that we have had a narrow escape from the traditional route that Care Partners consider when they are jaded: seeking Respite Care for their loved one.
We both feel rejuvenated from our trip to Coventry on Thursday. Whenever we think of the smile we put on both my brother’s and mother’s face we know that we got that part of our journey right. When I think of the route I might have taken to deal with my tiredness I shudder when I remember the result of that path for my brother.
Respite Care led to a disaster for my brother. His wife was worn out and placed him in Respite Care. He struggled with his new environment was eventually accused of assaulting a member of staff and was Sectioned and taken to a Mental Health Unit. They detained him for six months as no Care Home felt able to cope with the resultant challenging behaviour.
My brother has never been a violent man. Alzheimer’s has clearly changed him and he is now a shadow of his former self. What on earth they medicated him with defies belief He didn’t speak on Thursday: words are rare from this lovely gentle man. He sat in his favourite chair smiling at us on Thursday – perhaps we were a distant memory in his damaged brain.
My mum’s story is rather different she is in her Care Home by choice When dad died she couldn’t cope with living alone. She was adamant she wanted somewhere where there were no men. Her Care Home is small former farm house where she is well cared for. However, I often wonder if she has prematurely lost the ability to walk unaided as sitting looking at the centre of the room seems to be her main activity.
When I was jaded earlier in the week I explored Respite Care for Maureen. I’m so pleased that she declined my attempt to have a break from my role as her Care Partner. What a mistake that would have been: we would have missed out on bringing such joy to my mother and brother. I feel rejuvenated that we have found a better way forward: we will remain on this journey together as we vowed when we married.
We’ll be on our travels again next week. Airport Travel is an excellent local company and they are very attentive to our needs. I have a couple of ideas where ‘Dan the Man’ could take us to next week: I’ll just have to see where Maureen fancies going on the day!