Please help us support carers and those they care for
For the people who care for someone in their family, life can be hard, but losing the ability to communicate with someone you love can be one of the most heart breaking aspects. Under these circumstances, a simple break from the daily duty of care becomes hugely important. Beryl Stray helps us understand why:
Brian and I recently celebrated our golden wedding.
“Brian and I recently celebrated our golden wedding. When we met I was studying nursing and he was itching to join the Corps, like his dad and his uncles.
“He was 24 when he signed up – and spent 18 years in the Marines! Brian doesn’t remember much about that now. I put pictures up to remind him.
“I had my leg amputated below the knee when I was young. I get around OK, but it gets harder. Brian was my rock back then.
“Brian had his first stroke when he was still in the Marines then he had another stroke about four years ago, then later a heart attack. He needs a wheelchair now, but I can’t push him far. I take care of him including his medication and do everything around the bungalow.
Communication is the biggest thing we’ve lost.
“Becoming Brian’s carer was a gradual thing for me, but things have got much harder since his dementia diagnosis late last year. Communication is the biggest thing we’ve lost.
“Brian tries to talk but he can’t always get his words out. He wants to tell me how he feels but he can’t. His memory is going now, which also makes it hard. You wonder what’s round the corner…
Without our breaks we’d both be stuck here at home. It doesn’t bear thinking about…
“We came to Revitalise’s Netley Waterside House centre for the first time last year. It was so nice just to have a change of scenery. The most important thing for me was being able to socialise. Being made a cup of tea and not having to cook was just wonderful. It gave me strength to be around other people in the same boat.
“At home my life revolves around Brian’s needs but at Netley there were no demands on me at all. I could just sit and watch the boats go by. On our last break I made friends with a young volunteer. We got chatting and we write to each other now.
“Brian doesn’t show a lot of emotion or feelings normally, but I could tell from his expression that he was happy. He seemed calmer than normal. Brian loves holidays, he really enjoys going away. Without our breaks we’d both be stuck here at home. It doesn’t bear thinking about…
The Revitalise Autumn Appeal
According to our own research, 90% of carers have never been able to access a proper holiday away from caring and a third of carers have never had any time off since they started caring. Any one of us could find ourselves in the same situation.
Carers like Beryl do what they do out of love and devotion, but in doing so they often place themselves at great physical and emotional risk. Many end up disabled themselves as a consequence.
Beryl and Brian’s story is of course unique, but Beryl’s experience as a carer is sadly all too familiar. Without the escape valve of regular respite, caring relationships can come under incredible strain and even break down completely.
Revitalise is proud to have been able to help Beryl and Brian, but there are many thousands more people in dire need of our support and we are determined to reach out to them. To achieve this aim we need your help, so please give what you can in support of our appeal.
Chris Simmonds, Chief Executive
Please support our Autumn Appeal
- I’d like to make an online donation in support of the Autumn Appeal
- I’d like to give by text: Just text BEBR17 followed by £10, £5, £4, £3, £2 or £1 (leave a space and don’t forget the ‘£’ sign!) to 70070. Simple as that!
- Cheque donations are just as valuable to us and to our guests and their carers, so if you’d prefer to donate by post please make your cheque payable to Revitalise Respite Holidays, and send it to us at Revitalise, 212 Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London, N1 0QH