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Dealing without getting a break - Carers UK Forum

Dealing without getting a break

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Hello I am Denis. I am 65 years old. My wife Rofiah is 64 years old and has suffered secondary
progressive multiple sclerosis for 30 years. She has lost the use of both legs, is wheelchair bound
and is now losing the use of her left arm. I have cared for her throughout these 30 years. The
hardest thing which I have found to handle is not getting a break. Initially after diagnosis it was
ok but now it is getting tough. I have had only 7 days off in the last ten years. I have been able
to take this but I don't know for how much longer. I wish to take Rofiah on a two week holiday
to Majorca but the travel arrangements are hard. We would both benefit from such a nice break.
Can anybody give me some useful tips and advice?

Alternatively, you may find it less complicated if you go somewhere in the UK, such as Bornemouth or Skegness for example
Hello Denis

If you google "holidays for disabled" you'll find lots of information and companies that specialise in holidays for disabled people and their carers both at home and abroad :)

I always found the biggest problem was getting suitable travel insurance ! But organisations like Age UK have a list of disabled 'friendly' insurance companies that are worth checking out.
Would the various support organisations and charities etc for MS itself have any good suggestions to make this easier to achieve?

I do understand you want some lovely memories, especially if this might, sadly, be the last time you can both get abroad.

My husband and I, and our son, had a wonderful 'last holiday toether', before his cancer claimed him, and it has been my son and me precious, precious memories. My husband was SO relieve that he actually could make for what proved to be our last family holiday.

One other source of 'easy' holidays might be companies like Saga - eg, wheelchair friendly etc etc.

With careful planning, and good research, you may well, I would hope, find it all doable.

One thing to look out for, I would say, is whtehr the resort has a 'promenade'. (I don't know Majorca myself), or, failing that, a 'Harbour area'. Anywhere with a levelled metalled surface of some kind.

For example, in the UK, if someone was needing a Wheelchair friendly holiday, I would recommend resorts like Sidmouth, which have a lovely promenade that can be easy for wheelchair 'strolling', whereas some resorts just have towns, a flanking road, and a sandy/pebbled beach, utterly useless for wheelchairs.

I do hope you can manage to get something sorted, hopefully with the aid of a specialist company that has foreseen all the problems beforehand, and sorted them out in advance!
jenny lucas wrote: One thing to look out for, I would say, is whtehr the resort has a 'promenade'. (I don't know Majorca myself), or, failing that, a 'Harbour area'. Anywhere with a levelled metalled surface of some kind.
Most Majorcan resorts have lovely wide, level promenades - my personal favourites are Cala Bona and Cala Millor which are side by side and provide a lovely easy stroll from one to the other. It is also possible to hire wheelchairs in both resorts if you don't want to take your own with you. Most of the hotels in both resorts have disabled friendly rooms and bathrooms - much bigger than the average room with plenty of space for a wheelchair; although the last time I took Mum I don't recall any kind of hoist being available - that might be something you'd need to look into separately.
That sounds encouraging!

Another possible factor to take into account is temperature. If your wife finds the heat trying, you may want to time it for cooler weather?
I'm goint to Majorca on my own in September, with Thomson. Just by changing from 7th to 14th it was £200 cheaper. Lots of late season deals being sent to me at the moment.
Thank you very much Colin, susieq, jenny and bowlingbun

Your suggestions Bournemouth, Skegness, Sidmouth, contacting Age UK, the MS Society,
Thomsons are all very helpful and positive. I shall follow all of these up and hopefully
Rofiah and I will get a nice break this year. Thanks again. Denis
I do hope you get to Majorca! (Beats Skeggy any time!!!! :) :) )

(I seem to remember the old adverts used to lure tourists to Skegness with the invitation: 'Come to Skegness - it's so bracing' !!!!)
I really hope you get your break together as a change of scene can make all the difference. I know there are hotels in the UK for those with disabilities that have the specific facilities and carers to help as we looked into them for my Dad. And I am sure they exist elsewhere too. So happy hunting!

Do you get any time off for yourself otherwise? If not, it might be worth looking at what respite services are available locally? I mention it as I have just been sent a leaflet by my local carers organisation who offer 2 hours a week respite care for free and you can save them up to a maximum of 8 hours in one go. So something like that might help you to step away from the situation to recharge your own batteries on a regular basis? It is so important not to burn yourself out.