Respite - Support is available

I’d like to tell your readers about Parkinson’s disease.

It’s a progressive disease which inhibits the way the brain controls movements such as walking, talking and writing. It affects nearly 130,000 people in the UK alone. There are many well known people living with the disease including boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who was diagnosed in 1984.

You may have seen the campaign for Britain to award Ali an honorary knighthood – not just for his services to sport but also for fighting against poverty and raising money to combat Parkinson’s. Because of his condition, his public appearances are now rare. Unfortunately being house-bound is a problem for many people with advanced Parkinson’s.

People with the disease, like other people with disabilities, often face financial and physical barriers when it comes to taking a respite break- but that should not be the case. Our research has found 96 per cent of disabled people and carers think proper breaks are essential to sustaining a good relationship. Yet respite is still not viewed as a necessity.

I work for Revitalise, a national charity providing respite holidays with 24-hour care, and we see things differently. Each year we welcome thousands of disabled people and carers to enjoy much-needed respite breaks at three accessible centres around the UK. Our guests tell us the breaks are invaluable to them in maintaining caring relationships.

If your readers would like more information about Revitalise or would like to support our vital work, please call us on 0303 303 0145 or visit www.revitalise.

Sarah Wiley