Her Next Door was in tears last night... Gran's catheter has been playing up and it's been quite distressing trying to sort it out. We have now decided to leave it out for a while - but this means we have to get Gran on the commode more often - ourselves. This is hard physical work which is often done by Her Next Door, and is made even more difficult at four in the morning. Of course life becomes a series of mountains to climb when you are tired and exhausted.
Something has to give, so with a firm hand I took Her Next Door out to look at a couple of local care homes for respite care (we are entitled to six weeks a year.) We went unannounced and chose a couple located within 15 to 20 minutes drive from us.
I'm forcing myself to like them, there is essentially nothing at all wrong with them. They were both in beautiful settings, the dignity of the residents preserved and the buildings themselves well cared for and maintained. We found both the proprietors were genuine and the ambiance of the homes relaxed and caring. By Her Next Door's high standards she was pleased with the quality, (she is comparing them to others she looked at once in a different area for someone else.)
The trouble is, no matter how pleasant they are they can't ever be home from home and the guilt feelings rise up like bile in your mouth. Her Next Door said a little sheepishly in the car on the way home; "I think I can cope, there's no need for Gran to go." I am being strong for Her Next Door as she really, really needs a break. It will not be good for anybody, Gran most of all, if Her Next Door becomes ill through sleep deprivation and sheer physical exhaustion.
Benefits for Gran include a proper bath, pedicure and hair styling - as well as her own room. It will only be for a week at a time and she can have visitors at anytime. Does it sound like I am trying to convince myself. I am. It's hard.