At Crossroads Care Surrey we feel that the work that we do is best reflected by the true stories of the Carers that we support:
No books or prenatal class could have prepared us for the birth our daughter Emily. Although she arrived seven weeks early, she was already suffering from brain damage and we were warned that as she grew up she would face some significant physical and mental challenges. At the time, it was hard not to think that the future offered little for her or our family.
The doctors were correct, but our worst fears were never realised. Almost nineteen years later, Emily does suffer from profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD for short), but she is a delightful girl who takes life as it comes and enjoys it whenever she gets the chance. Hers is not a life of loss but a life that, though limited, is lived to the full.
Much of the credit for this has to be given to organisations like Crossroads. By helping us to care for Emily, Crossroads enables us to live a life that is not always limited by her disabilities. For instance, without it, we wouldn’t be able to take Emily’s sister to her after-school clubs.
Crossroads is flexible and reliable and offers more than just a “helping hand” in the afternoons and evenings. Crossroads’ staff are well-trained, friendly and caring and treat Emily with the love and respect she deserves. In fact, Crossroads don’t just help Emily to live her life, they help her to enjoy it as well.
It may be too much to say that Crossroads are lifesavers, but it’s hard to imagine life without their support.
Emma and Alex’s Story
Our six year old son spent a lot of his first two and a half years in hospital suffering from seizures. After brain surgery, his medical needs reduced and his little sister joined the family. Unfortunately, Alex’s condition means that as well as epilepsy, he has severe learning difficulties, glaucoma, visual impairment and autism. The autism came to light when his sister began to be mobile and Alex became incredibly aggressive towards us all – he simply couldn’t cope with the change. As my husband frequently works away, I was often in a position of being unable to leave the children alone together – even down to having to constantly be between them to prevent physical attacks.
Fortunately by this time we had been assessed by Crossroads and in April 2012, Kyle arrived and life began to get easier. On Friday afternoons, Kyle arrives and Alex has someone who is there just for him, often just playing round the house, but also taking him to playgrounds, the swimming pool and soft play. Alex adores Kyle and is a happier child as he knows that he gets undivided attention for those few hours (usually upon arrival, Kyle is dragged straight out to the swing!)
A major change this has brought about is that I no longer feel trapped. Due to Alex’s aggression, I couldn’t use a double buggy to take the children out; if Megan was in a buggy, Alex would use any opportunity to run off but Megan was too small to use a buggy board or to walk with Alex in a buggy. I simply couldn’t leave the house with both children. Now, I have support if I want to go somewhere with both children, and if both myself and my husband are at home, one of us gets a break!
While I don’t usually get ‘respite’ in the traditional sense as I still have our daughter to look after, I very much look forward to these visits. Sometimes this is the only time in a week that I really have a chance to chat to another adult – certainly one who actually understands what our lives are really like!
Crossroads has made a huge difference to our lives and I now wonder how we would have survived without their support.
Tim & Anne’s Story
Mr Tim Langton is a regular visitor to the Care Café and loves every minute of it. Accompanied by his wife who is his full time Carer, he enjoys coming along to the lunch, meeting his friend Derek and sharing a joke with him whilst Mrs Langton has a chat with the Carer Support Workers or Alzheimer’s Navigator. ‘It’s really nice meeting other people and sharing a problem with them. The staff are always friendly and cheerful,’ said Mrs Langton.
Tim 83, is a gregarious man who due to arthritis and dementia does not get out that often. Originally he trained as a journalist as his family wanted him to have a profession. His passion though was for aeroplanes and eventually he went to work for many happy years at British Airways, Heathrow. After 27 years with BA he retired and achieved a life-long ambition of flying across American in a micro-lite plane following the route of the Wright brother’s flight in a kittihawk. His wife Anne, offered support by driving a Winnebago which in itself is no mean feat.
Tim and Anne have a warm, loving relationship. They have 4 daughters one of whom lives with them to support Anne caring for Tim. Anne says that the Crossroads Care Surrey has been a lifeline to her. The breaks she enjoys whilst the Carer Support Worker takes over her caring responsibilities enables her to do the things she enjoys like gardening or visiting friends.
Mrs and Mrs Chase’s Story
I always look forward to Wednesdays. It’s then that Dial-a Ride collect me from home and take me to the Crossroads Social Club.
It’s always nice to meet up with everyone, the staff and the members. It’s a good social get-together and we always look forward to an enjoyable tasty lunch.
While I’m there my husband takes advantage of a few hours respite and is grateful for the time which gives him the opportunity to leave his usual household chores and his caring role. He goes swimming.
Thank you Crossroads.
William and Mary’s Story
William, who is the main carer for his 66 year old wife Mary, has high levels of stress. Mary has epilepsy, stroke, impaired balance, impaired vision, Multiple Sclerosis and memory loss. William has a franchise enterprise with staff depending on him to continue with his business and not retire.
Crossroads Care Surrey visits at least 4 times each week. The family receives 3 weekly complimentary hours and William pays for all other sessions. His daughter, who has two small children, is also a part time carer for her Mum between working as a secretary in her father’s business.
The same fully trained Carer Support Workers go into their house each week. They administer epilepsy medication if required; provide personal care (toileting) if needed, make meals (getting Mary to help as much as possible) so her husband has a hot meal when he gets home from work.
Mary goes out in the Carer Support Workers’ cars which she thoroughly enjoys. William comments, “My daughter and I have complete confidence in Crossroads. We have peace of mind knowing that Mary is having a nice time in our absence. We can relax as we are assured that she is well looked after.”
Brad and Peggy’s Story
My elderly wife, for whom I am her Carer, is capable of very little. However, the highlight of her week is the visit of her Crossroads Carer, Linda and Peggy so looks forward to her arrival on Friday mornings.
The first thing Linda does is open the Surrey Mirror and reads out points of interest to Peggy. She then, if the weather is reasonable, takes Peggy for a walk around the garden. Then follows the highlight, the opening of a jigsaw puzzle. Between them they recently completed a difficult 1,000 piece puzzle for which I presented them with a cup which was joyfully received. To crown the morning they play five or six games of “Sevens”.
If you would like to share your Carers story please fill out the form below or contact Emma via email email@example.com or by telephone on 01372 869970.