Time to Live
A story by Dochas Centre
We provided grants directly to carers who live in Argyll and Bute caring for an adult 21 years and over, to plan and pay for a short break of their choice.
What Time to Live did
Staff encouraged and supported carers on one to one basis to complete the application and this includes the young carers and the parents. All the centres had a local panel, this enabled a quick turn around for the decision, which allowed the carers to get the breaks when they needed them.
We advertised the funding in newsletters, at support group meeting and when carers were accessing a carers assessment. We had some group activities in most areas which enabled us to use the funding to support a large number of carers to do something together, as some carers do not have someone to go away with as their lives have become smaller or they are isolated.
With the money they received they booked a holiday abroad where they both relaxed and got some sun. Their cared for person went in for respite the week they were away to allow them to get away.
A accessed support through our carers centre and visits quite often to drop in for a coffee and a chat. She also accesses holistic therapies. During her visits she became friendly with some of the other carers and struck up a close friendship with Carer B who has recently became bereaved. Carer B shared a lot of her experience with carer A and encouraged her to take the break. This demonstrates that peer support is very powerful and speaking to someone who understands really helps.
It was an amazing experience for all involved living in the castle for 5 days, having treatments everyday in a very special room in the castle and eating meals from around the world every evening. Everyone got on so well and we had a reunion 2 months ago.
Time to live allowed us to fund this adventure for all involved which made a special and wonderful holiday into a memorable experience for all involved.
What Dochas Centre has learnedThese breaks are very important to carers. Being able to offer them means that we know carers can access a break quickly without jumping through hoops. We can assist them through the whole process. They trust us because we usually have a trusting relationship with them. We often know their situation so we can assist them to make the break happen, that the care for is looked after.
There are no real surprises throughout the process. We are proactive in raising awareness of our services locally and this is how we identify new carers. Word of mouth is generally the best means of referral. It’s been a great opportunity for carers who don’t usually get any breaks to be able to access a break away.