Carers Story: My Holiday with Carefree
John went on holiday with Carfree and took the time to review his experience:
CarefreeSpace Take the Stress Out in Every Way.
CarefreeSpace.org provide free holidays for full-time unpaid carers. The holiday accommodation is free for a carer and another adult and/or up to two children. This is a holiday for the carer, so the cared for person is not allowed to come too.
Having been referred by Carers in Bedfordshire late last year, CarefreeSpace.org emailed me a list of accommodation in early January. They listed hotels for 3 to 4 nights on a B&B basis, with one or two places including a 3-course evening meal too. There was also a good selection of 7 night stays in holiday homes in Cornwall, Devon and the Isle of Wight. Dates for the hotel breaks were offered for midweek and weekends.
In the end I chose a 3-night break over the Easter weekend at a hotel in the Lake District. All I had to do was email CarefreeSpace with my accommodation request: hotel name, dates, number of people (just me), and confirm I would organize respite care for my Mother. Within a day, they confirmed my booking. I then had to fill-in a one-page form online and pay the £25 administration fee. That was it. I had a booking reference and just had to turn-up at the hotel, I’ve never found it so easy to book a holiday.
When I arrived at the hotel on the Friday afternoon, I gave the receptionist my name and she signed me in, gave me the keys and off I went to my room. There wasn’t anything awkward or uncomfortable. I wasn’t treated as a special case or someone staying on the cheap. In fact, when I had dinner in their dining room, which cost me extra, I felt very well looked after.
I had a double bed in my room with en suite facilities, tea, coffee and biscuits. It was a good room with a remote control TV too. On the Saturday morning, I had a lovely buffet breakfast, followed by a full English, and then went back to bed to sleep it off. I didn’t get up until 12noon when I went out for a drive and enjoyed lunch while admiring the beautiful scenery of the Lakes.
Being able to relax, lay-in, sleep, drink in the evenings or even at lunchtime, go for some walks and drive around the Lake District was the perfect break. I hadn’t been away during Easter for years, having been caring for my Mother since 2014.
Of course three nights go far too quickly but I had felt all the stress leave me and I was really able to unwind; not having to think about what I had to do for someone else all the time. All I had to pay for was my meals, drinks and cost of getting from my home to the hotel and back.
CarefreeSpace.org are simply wonderful because they have made the whole process of booking a holiday very straightforward and stress free.
If you'd like to find out more about Care Free you can visit their website: https://carefreespace.org/take
There are a number of alternative assisted holiday options, including Dementia Adventure Holidays
The Carers Trust website also provides a list of supported ways to take a break.