Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Dementia Blog - Part 2 - Respite

When last you left us, we had just discovered my father-in-law needed to go into hospital, and my mum-in-law needed care as she suffers from mild to moderate dementia.

During our visits to father-in-law, we discovered he had aggressive leukemia, and therefore needed an extended hospital stay and some tough chemotherapy, even to have a chance of surviving.

Clearly we needed to start planning for how to care for mum-in-law, as we were due to bring the girls home from holiday in France in just over a week and resume their lives in Harrow. How could we resolve the need to visit father-in-law in the Royal Marsden, where we would battle to get him admitted and eventually succeed, with mum-in-law in Worthing, look after the girls in Harrow and for my wife to deliver her responsibilities at work in the City ?

Luckily, (again), we knew an old friend of mum-in-law's living in Northumberland who had a career behind her running care homes. She kindly offered to take mum-in-law for two weeks respite care, so that we could start considering our options.

Before we took mum-in-law up, my wife flew back from France for 3 days, to help make arrangements and give me a break and get home for a much needed change of clothing. She helped make sure everyone was informed and agreed with the arrangements we were making. We again were lucky that the girls were happy to stay with our good friend in France until all the arrangements were completed.

My wife flying back to France to bring the girls home, I again took up care of mum-in-law. We then had a week taking turns to drive down to Worthing to care for mum-in-law before my wife drove her up to Northumberland, afterwards staying with a friend in Yorkshire overnight.

So now mum-in-law was safely in respite care, we could start thinking about longer term care options for her. What were they ? Could we afford them ?

Fortunately my wife's work were immensely understanding about our situation, and thankfully allowed her time off whenever she needed to deal with a specific and related matter.

So with one less thing to worry about, what should we focus on next ?

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