Booking into a care home to go on holiday with the family

Paul Griffiths who went on an alternative respite holiday with his wife

Whether you are caring for a relative or are in need of care and support yourself, getting away for a break from daily routine can be beneficial all round.

Rather than having a holiday as a family, often one person will have a respite stay in a care home, where they are safe with professional carers and can join in the social life and activities with other residents, while their relatives go away for a relaxing and restorative break. That works well for many families, but what if they want to go away together?

That was the dilemma that faced Paul Griffiths and his wife Valerie, who live in Doncaster. They regularly used to have family holidays in Bournemouth, but Paul has Multiple Sclerosis and he and Valerie found it was becoming increasingly challenging to manage his needs while staying in a hotel, so much so that they ended one holiday after just two days and last year they decided to miss out on a holiday completely.

Paul was determined that there would be a way to have a family holiday that would be relaxing and enjoyable for both him and Valerie.

The solution he came up with this year was to book himself a respite holiday in Meyrick Rise care home in Bournemouth, while Valerie and her sister Lynn stayed in the nearby Marsham Court Hotel. This enabled them to have a great holiday, spending enjoyable quality time together, while the home supported his care needs.

Meyrick Rise is run by brighterkind who have 71 care and nursing homes in England and Scotland, with a proposition that is designed to attract people who are self-funding. The signature elements are high standards of care and service, a full programme of leisure and social activities and entertainments and a restaurant style dining experience.

Meyrick Rise is rated as “good” by the CQC.
Each morning, the care team in Meyrick Rise would help Paul to get up, washed, dressed and ready for the day, give him breakfast and help him into his electric wheelchair, ready for Valerie and Lynn to arrive and they would go out together for the day on trips to local attractions and beauty spots, such as Sanbanks in Poole and to enjoy meals in restaurants. In fact, a traditional holiday.

At the end of the day, Paul would return to Meyrick Rise and Valerie and Lynn would go to their hotel to have a meal and enjoy the evening sun on their sea view balcony.

Paul said: “Back at Meyrick Rise I would have my evening meal and around 6.30 ask to be helped to bed, where I could relax and watch TV or watch Sky sport on my tablet, until I was ready to go to sleep at about 10pm. The carers would help me to turn on my side, which is how I usually sleep.”

Paul got to know a few of the residents, who he would chat with. Although the home has a varied programme of activities, outings and entertainment Paul didn’t join in. He said: “I would be out all day and after that I was tired and just wanted to get out of my chair and into bed.”

Paul said: “The standard of accommodation and service at Meyrick Rise compares to a good quality hotel. The food was superb. The staff were lovely and couldn’t have made me feel more welcome. I was safe, and they respected my dignity. I had a lot of fun with them.

Would I stay at Meyrick Rise again? I have already booked for next year and I am really looking forward to it. “