Everyone says its one of the worst moments you have, when you, take your wife or husband, mother, for the first time for a period of respite. Nobody wants that to happen, you don't want it to happen, certainly the patient doesn't, you want life to be as it was before. And it was simply horrid, the first time that we did it, she said she didn't want to go and I was doing it against her will and so on.
And, I had to try to, persuade her that this, a little period apart for both of us would be good for both of us and after all she did like and know the people that she was going to be with. But it was a difficult moment.
We've now had four periods of respite and each one has got a little bit easier. And the way we're working it at the moment is this. We talk about the respite experience as a regular part of conversation. You know, I might say, perhaps with other members of the family here, 'Oh, do you remember [name] when you were in respite you did…' so and so, or 'you met…' so and so; so its, its there as, as part of the memory of our recent past.
And then, and sometimes [my wife] herself will, will suddenly say 'Oh, when I was at [the residential home] last, we did…' so and so. Or, 'You know the thing about [the residential home] is I, I like the food but I don't enjoy being in the dining room because some of the other people don't eat in a very nice way.' So we're able to open up a little discussion, 'Well some of these people are very much, are quite seriously ill and are quite elderly,' and she says 'Oh yes, I understand that perfectly.'
So we quite often have discussions about it and she has memories of the past experience. And then about three or four days before she's going I usually tell her that this is what's happening: 'Remember next Monday it's the start of your week at [the residential home].' She normally says, 'I don't think I'll go this time.' So we then have to have a discussion where again I say 'You know the reason why you go to [there]?' and she'll often say 'Yes, it's to give you a break.' You know and I'll say to her 'You like, you enjoy being there and you know we always, look forward to meeting each other again and have a really nice time when we come, together.' So it's that kind of.
But she forgets from day to day and then on the day itself I will say 'You remember this is the day we're going to [the residential home]?' Now, this last time there was simply no problem at all, on the day, she was quite happy for me to pack her case, she herself pottered round and got things ready. Made suggestions about the things that she would like to take.