Re: how do I tell her?
Jo, I did this with my SIL at exactly the same time (over Christmas) last year. While I don't have a magic recipe, perhaps there are lessons in what I did wrong lol.
I ended up getting into a protracted debate with SIL about whether or not she could look after herself. First, she had agreed to go, then she did a 180 degree turn. An impossible conversation, since I didn't want to say anything to hurt her feelings and, of course she could argue till blue in the face that she didn't need help. At the back of her mind I am sure she was afraid it was the beginning of institutionalisation.
As Martha suggested, just a simple "I am going on holiday and we need to know you are going to be safe", and no debate if you can manage it.
By the time we actually got there I was so upset I'm sure they almost admitted me!!!
I ended up leaving all the packing until after I had taken her in as that would have just drawn things out even more, and packing is very confusing for her in the first place (perhaps you could do that prior?). I included photos of pets and family for her stay. Neighbours and family were all geared up to send postcards and/or visit so she wouldn't feel abandoned.
Where I (think) I went really wrong was in choosing a location that she was very familiar with as a young child and woman. I thought that would be a good thing, but in reality I think it gave her the confidence to escape, which she did on the first day!!!!!
So if your respite care is not lock down, make sure she has an ID bracelet. The staff at the respite place had been glued to SIL's side all day trying to engage her in activities, but she managed to give them the slip.
On the evening of that long, long day, she had completely forgotten that it was me who had taken her there - just angry that 'someone' thought she needed to be in a home.
I didn't have time (I had to arrange this in a hurry because I was caring fulltime for someone else who had suddenly become ill), but it may be a good idea to write down some of her history (where she grew up, hobbies, things she enjoys, and family names) so staff have something they can talk with her about.
best of luck Jo
Last edited by georgie04; 11-23-2006 at 11:01 AM.