So we booked her in for a week of respite care (she's entitled to two weeks funded). It was really short notice, as we had to confirm with them in about 24 hours or else they'd offer the space to someone else on the waiting list.
After the rigmarole of getting mum moved in, her medications list signed and faxed by her doctor, her dietary restrictions discussed and her slippers brought in from home (which had been omitted during the packing), I wondered whether it was going to feel at all like respite for me.
After all, I still had to take her to the podiatrist to get her talons trimmed and to the dentist to get her new false teeth.
But after at the first two stressful days (and the onset of a cold for me), I suddenly felt like this was actually working:
- Because she has no personal telephone (and doesn't know where the communal one is), my mother has not been calling me frequently to remind me of things I already remember.
- Due to my cold, I'm not expected to visit every day to check on her (neither of us are, but my brother seems to be doing it anyway).
- I'm not having to chase up carers who run late or don't show up at all. This last one is a real serenity-buster.
These (especially the last one), plus the fact that I've made a conscious decision to prioritise sleep this long weekend, mean that I really am feeling rested right now.