As Christmas draws ever nearer and many of us look forward to spending time relaxing with our loved ones, spare a thought for those who may not be celebrating Christmas this year.
For many disabled people and carers, Christmas can feel like any other day. The pressures of giving and receiving care, worrying about physical and mental health, keeping up with appointments and just getting through the day can all take its toll. Christmas – and celebrating the day – becomes a second thought.
That’s why this festive season, we want to give our guests the gift of time. Time to spend together, away from the stresses and strains of every day life. We understand that it can be hard to hand over the care of your loved one to someone else. This alone can prevent family carers taking the break that they need. Our breaks are designed to enable our guests to spend precious time with their loved ones without any worries, so that they can focus on rediscovering a loving connection as father and daughter, mother and son, husband and wife once more.
Our guests tell us that even knowing there is a place like Revitalise where they can go to relax, recharge and just be themselves is a lifeline for them and their families. It is these people that we are urgently fundraising for this Christmas. People like husband and wife Steve and Lin. Just 15 months after their wedding day, Steve tragically and unexpectedly had a stroke and Lin became his full-time carer. Suddenly their lives changed and all that they had known before was gone in the blink of an eye. As his wife and carer, Lin fights for Steve – to help with his recovery and to make sure he gets all the care and support he needs, with little time for herself. At the time that Lin and Steve first came for a break, they were both exhausted, and it is for people like Lin and Steve that Revitalise exists.
Their Revitalise break alleviated the pressures which come from giving and receiving care and meant they could spend quality time together – as husband and wife. As Lin explains:
“Revitalise is outstanding; you get treated as an individual. It is like a bubble when you are there – faces light up, a weight is lifted, and it is a bit of paradise. Without Revitalise there would be nowhere for disabled people and carers to go.”
We know that time spent in prolonged stressful and exhausting situations can have a detrimental effect on our health and wellbeing. We all need a break from time to time, but it is often the case that disabled people and carers go for long periods of time, without this opportunity. According to Revitalise’s own research, 63% of unpaid carers said they were mentally exhausted and 60% felt unable to switch off from their caring duties at Christmas time.
And, with the New Year fast approaching, it’s evident that for unpaid carers all across the UK there is no optimistic outlook for the future either. More than half of carers did not know how they would be able to cope if things continued the way they were.
According to the charity, Scope, 62% of disabled working-age adults have experienced depression, 58% have experienced anxiety and 49% have dealt with stress within the past year.
A lack of respite is undoubtedly a contributing factor behind these shocking statistics, as it’s fair to say that without the opportunity of a break, we would all begin to feel the pressure. Spending time together with family and loved ones in a friendly, safe environment can help alleviate these feelings not just at Christmas time, but all year round.
Revitalise strives to reach out to all disabled people and carers, like Lin and Steve, who could benefit from essential respite. This Christmas, please help us to give even more of our guests the gift of time to be together by making a donation below. Thank you.