A recent survey, released during Carers Week 2014 by national disability charity Vitalise, has revealed the immense emotional and physical strain that a lack of respite opportunities is having on the UK’s 6.5 million carers.
– 4 out of 10 carers have not taken a single day off from caring in the past year
– More than 80% of carers said they put the health of the loved one they care for before their own wellbeing
– 60% said that a lack of time away from caring leads them to feelings of depression
– A further 60% said that long periods without a break result in their getting angry at the person they care for
Vitalise, provider of essential respite breaks for people with disabilities and carers, found that carers often find themselves torn between their need for a break and their sense of duty towards their loved ones. This certainly takes its toll – people providing high levels of care are twice as likely to become permanently sick or disabled than the general population, with 625,000 people suffering mental and physical ill health as a direct consequence of the stress and physical demands of caring.
Vitalise can help. For over 50 years, the charity has been providing high quality, affordable breaks with 24-hour on-call nursing care at their three accessible centres in Essex, Southampton and Southport. What sets them apart from other providers is that they offer an informal, non-institutional and above all holiday environment, which includes a daily programme of excursions, activities and entertainment. With themed weeks such as ‘Music Legends’, ‘Stately Homes and Gardens’ and ‘Murder Mystery’, as well as breaks aimed specifically at the young or young at heart, Vitalise goes far beyond conventional models of respite care, offering carers peace of mind that their loved one is not only being cared for, but also having fun!
“We understand that having reassurance that their loved one is properly cared for is of utmost importance to carers,” says Vitalise chief executive Chris Simmonds, “that’s why we work hard to ensure all our guests receive quality care and a stimulating respite break experience during their time with us. Access to regular, good quality respite breaks for people with disabilities and those who care for them should not be considered a luxury but an absolute essential in enabling families living with disability to carry on coping.”
To read more about the findings of Vitalise’s survey, please see: http://www.vitalise.org.uk/about_us/press_office/lack-of-respite-puts-carers-at-risk-says-survey