In wednesday this coming week dad who is 91 will be going into respite care for 4 nights.

This is the first time.

He doesnt want to go.

We havent had a break since june 2019.

I feel really guilty and worried, not sleeping well.

He has to go as no other family members are willing to care for him.

How can i make sure this goes well?

DUMP the guilt.
IF you love him enough to care for him for over 52 weeks , then he should thank you by having respite for a short time.
Feel proud for what you have done, and he should feel grateful.
It’s only four nights, no big deal.
Expect toddler tantrums, sudden illness just before, but do it anyhow.
Your health, physical and mental, is so important.

Hi Julia,

name all his stuff, remind yourself why you are doing this - because you need a break - because you have been looking after his every need and are worn out - and by taking a break you will be able to carry on caring for him.

My Granny used to stay in care home (a very nice care home) when my Auntie and Uncle went to visit their children and grandchildren - she used to view it as a little holiday for herself.


Don’t let him take in any valuables, watch etc, or any cash. Say you will settle up at the end of his stay. Mum’s nursing home did this. Are there any books or magazines he would enjoy, or a daily paper?

Everything you are feeling is quite usual and normal. Think positively you are well deserving of space for you. Think of it this way if you give in to guilt feelings. And the respite doesn’t go ahead and you need it again in the future. How much harder it will be.

Stand firm!

Thank You.

He likes playing games on his laptop so he wants to take that. I guess i will take photos of it. Apparently he has a lockable drawer and they will put things in the safe for him.

Since i havent done this before do i need to worry about his valuables?

Sadly, yes. Even in homes where fees are £1,000+ a week!

Perhaps you could check your house hold contents insurance. Which may cover the cost of the lap top away from home. You could also ask the care home what policies they have for residents valuables.
I would leave anything of sentimental or otherwise unreplaceable and of value at home.

Hello Julia. As Melly suggested, treat this as a little holiday for him. A change of scenery and a chance to meet others. Care homes are not the dreadful places some people imagine them to be. You never know - he may actually like it and want to go again. Let’s hope so, anyway.

It is good that his mind is still active, so let him take his laptop, and make sure he has other things to read - books, magazines, newspapers, etc.

Do please keep in touch, and let us know how it went when he returns.

You say no other family members are willing to look after him - they are the ones who should be feeling guilty, not you!


the care home should write a list of everything he brings with him for respite - I suggest you write this list for them and get them to sign receipt of the laptop.

As Denis says, I hope he enjoys his stay and this becomes something that you both benefit from at regular intervals.


Dear Julia_2104
Im sure that the other carers on the Forum will be able to offer you advice and support on how to cope with your dad being in respite for a short while and that you will be able to cope with the guilt you feel. Sometimes it is best for everybody concerned that they have a break from each other and it is only for a short time. Im sure the other carers will be able to give you the advice you need.
Welcome to the Forum. You are not alone and I am sure like i mentioned before there are many on here who will understand exactly how you feel and offer support. Caring can be very lonely and the pandemic has made caring responsibilities challenging as many carers have been socially restricted and unable to attend social groups etc that is if you had the time to go to social groups.
With Carers UK we are running online weekly meet ups for carers like you and you might feel them beneficial to go on. To be able to find the information on how to register at Care For A Cuppa:-Online meetups | Carers UK. Then there is another online weekly meet up which is:- Share and Learn:-Share and Learn | Carers UK.
We have a telephone number you can ring which is 0808 808 7777 and this is open Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm and you can give them a call when you need help. We have an email address which is (
They provide information and guidance to unpaid carers. This covers:-
-Benefits And Financial Support
-Your Rights As A Carer In the Workplace
-Carers Assessments And How To Get Support In Your Caring Role
-Services Available To Carers And The People You Care For
-How To Complain Effectively And Challenge Decisions.
I hope you find this helpful and beneficial to you and you get the support and help you need.
Best Wishes

Julia, how was the respite?