Michele Zara is the full-time carer of her mother Annemarie Framjee, who has speech and mobility difficulties after a suffering a major stroke.
Mrs Zara describes how Carehome Selection organises respite care for Annemarie, who is 74.
“Two months after mum had left hospital and moved into our home, I got a phone call to say we were entitled to respite care. I was given a number to call and spoke to CHS.
“Lynda and Jenny, the advisers from CHS, were really lovely and understood I felt worried about the idea of mum going away. They suggested starting with one week and see how that goes.
“They found a beautiful place in Northwood for mum ‘ it was like a five star hotel. For me, it made the difference between managing and falling apart. I’m an only child and I care for mum 24 hours a day, seven days a week and have three children. You can feel very lonely and cut off because even a simple thing like popping out to do the shopping isn’t possible as mum can’t be left alone.
“That was two years ago and we learnt that we are entitled to six weeks of respite care each year. It’s very easy because whenever I need a break, I call CHS and ask them to arrange respite. I can trust them to understand mum’s needs and make the arrangements for me ‘ it gives me a real peace of mind.
“Mum now has respite in a home which is just down the road and she loves it there. The staff there know her and really make it a great experience for her; they understand all her little ways and preferences. I can have a wonderful holiday which keeps me going safe in the knowledge that mum is happy and well looked after.”