It’s a grand statement but I can honestly say respite care has saved my life. Today, my kids are having a sleep over in a residential unit, run by the NHS. They are with their friends and are being looked after by professional nurses.
It’s a chance to relax, have a bath that’s actually hot! Actually browse in a shop! Watch an entire television programme, that I can actually hear! It’s small things like this that allow me to be me again. That break in the routine of being a carer is the difference between coping and not coping.
It gives my kids a chance to be like other teens. What would other teenagers be doing? Sleep overs with their friends? Of course. Sadly because of my children’s condition, they can’t have sleep overs at friends houses. The only way they can experience this is by staying in a professionally staffed residential respite facility. And they love it. It gives them some independence from us and allows them to socialise with their friends without Mum or Dad cramping their style!
Sadly this respite facility is under threat. The U.K Government is slashing money to local authorities making it very difficult for them to afford these provisions. The question is, has the Government really thought this through?
An aging population and an ever increasing strain on the social care system means without proper investment, carers could loose support. What will the Government do when carers start breaking down with stress? Well, the people they care for will have to be cared for by the state and that is massively more expensive than respite!
The Government must never take carers for granted because most if us work round the clock for little or no pay. We save the public purse billions.
Carers matter. Save our respite!