PSP Association
5,294 members7,280 posts

Any suggestions about how to gently suggest respite?

Hi All

My mother in law needs to go into a nursing home for respite to provide my father in law with much needed rest. However, each time it is discussed she becomes inconsolable to the point of hysterics, then very agressive and then very depresssed. It makes the very mention of it very stressful and difficult to say the least. How can we have this conversation when she refuses to acknowldege there is a need for respite? She cannot or will not accept that there are two people needing care. Thank you all



9 Replies

My Mother refuses to go for restpite to. Do you have carers to come in and support your father -in-law you can also get care in of a night too. May be your Father in law could go on holiday himself for a rest. I now has the mai carer for my Mom I need my time out and enjoy my holidays with my husband.

We do have to pay for her care. Though hope that helps.

Hope that helps.


Hi Bubbles,

I know that you are in America and may not have access to the same resources that we have in the Uk but I do think Rainbow's suggestion is a good one. Rather than a change of environment for your mother-in-law why not arrange for carers to go in to the home and get your father-in-law to go and stay with family for a few days if he will. It might also be worth asking her if she would like a holiday as that might get a more positive response than respite?



Hi Bubbles. I'm very new here. My mam was very similar until a friend of hers made a big issue of the fact that I needed a break. My dad is passed 16 yrs and I care for mam. I work full timr in a centre for teenagers who are autistic and also I have four teenagers myself. She won't accept care coming in except for a lady who comes in for one hour to make her dinner while I am at work. This friend convinced her that it would give both of us a break and it worked after some persuading. I didn't know she was doing this but my did I appreciate it. It would probably be better coming from someone outside the family or maybe her GP. I think my mam was convinced that if she was ' put in' to respite she wouldnt be brought home again. You have to be firm at this stage for the sake of your dads health too. It is exhausting...he needs a break. I hope you can work it out. A x


Hi. Sometimes you have 'to be cruel to be kind' ... I think we have to remember that carers need to maintain their sanity to be able to continue. I think having someone in is a good idea, but not the same as having some real breathing space whilst your loved ones are being well looked after. My Dad was not overjoyed at the prospect when we broached it recently but the social worker also talked to him and he fully accepted it. After all we were only talking about a week or two and then also talked about the things we were going to do to make things more comfortable whilst he was away and about a holiday later in the year with the grandchildren, so reassuring him constantly that it definitely was just for a temporary break. Also, we said that if he really couldn't hack it we'd bring him home (and someone would visit him of regularly and I'd take him home at the weekend - where he has all the aids set up)

I would also be fearful about going in a home for any period of time... especially when you're not that old.. so finding the right place is crucial where they understand her condition and needs fully. I wish you luck but please persevere for your Father-in-laws sake. T x


You may well find there is no gentle way. I sympathise - for change no matter how small was and still is extremely difficult for my husband to accept. It was the first symptom of the illness that his co-workers noticed. The best I can suggest is 'try' to keep the conversations light hearted - if that is at all possible and where you can - be open and honest. Your father in law needs a well earned break. Reconfirm to his wife that 'He has and is doing the best he can and all of us sometimes need a little breathing space'. And remember when dealing with moments like these (of which there may well be many!) 'There is no perfect way - Only the one that is made with the best intentions and information you have at the time'.


Alana - Perth, Western Australia


The idea of getting in carers is good but they will need to be overseen by yourselves as if they do not know your relative or what they are dealing with it is a bit risky.

I put it to my mum as a holiday and a change of scenery; she actually enjoyed it. We did it as we really weren't happy about leaving mum with carers while we visited our daughter in America. The bonus was that when she had got to a point a few months later when she needed to go in permanently she was quite happy about it.


Great suggestion!!


Bubbles, Unfortunately the bad reputation of some care facilities is embedded into us all. I'm healthy but, if sick, would hate to be placed in one of these places. Perhaps you could find the best looking and good facility in your area. Once you have it tell the office at the facility the issue with you mom so they are aware of her reluctance. After that get her to visit the facility to see what it's like. Explain that she at least needs to have an open mind and be willing to JUST GO AND SEE. Tough situation but I can understand where she is at with care facilities.




Yes definitely go and see. I was lucky that a new and beautiful place has been up and coming for a year and still had room. The manager and senior carer came to visit mum and invited her for tea. We went along and they had been marking the war with a themed day. They laid on a beautiful tea (which incidently was normal there) and mum had a lovely look round. The ladies were lovely and chatted to mum and made her feel really welcome. I have to add that up to then my mum would not have entertained the idea but she could see the benefits and as she is a very sociable person was happy as larry.Mum came out of it very reassured and was fine about going in full time as I mentioned. It is better to have a look round now while you have time and are not feeling stressed. There is an offical body that oversees care in all of the homes and hospitals now. They are the CQC and write reports for each care home. Check the report and use it to ask questions.Don't take it at face value-there are often improvements in place already as a result of inspections as they are there to improve things as well.


You may also like...