Case Study: Stephen and Sharon's Story

Not originally knowing that respite care was an option, Stephen and his wife Sharon felt they needed extra support in caring for Stephen back in 2013.

How did you discover Bluebird Care?

Stephen, a tetraplegic, is primarily cared for by Sharon, but as her parents also needed additional support at the time, so then did Sharon. Discussing his care needs, Stephen explained:

As a tetraplegic, I need assistance with getting out of bed, washed, and dressed, then showered and putting back into bed. We were not aware of any care providers at the time, so we reached out to social services to see what care options were available.

Sharon adds:

Both my parents were very poorly, and a lot of my time was taken up with caring for them. I soon realised that I now had reduced time to care for Stephen and so we reached out for additional support. We heard about respite care options and specifically Bluebird Care Oswestry through a social services referral. It allows me to have some respite care away as well as precious and much needed time for both myself and Stephen.

What does Respite care with Bluebird Care allow you to do?

Bluebird Care Oswestry currently visit Stephen and Sharon three times a week for around one hour each time, primarily to assist Stephen with washing and getting changed. When Sharon requires more time away, Respite care with Bluebird Care gives her the confidence to do this, for example a weekend away simply means the care assistants are on hand to come in every day and night.

One of the benefits of respite care is that it can provide the main carer with more time to interact with family and friends or the wider community.

Stephen describes the stress-free element of respite care: 

The support I get takes the pressure away from Sharon. We fully trust the Bluebird Care team with everything they do, allowing a little bit of time out for Sharon to fully relax and enjoy that time away, stress free. Sharon likes going out for the day to spend time with the grandchildren and on those days, she can relax knowing that Bluebird Care are looking after me, we both 100%25 fully trust the care assistants so that she doesn’t have to worry at all.

Sharon describes how she sometimes structures the respite care for herself, so she can essentially bundle up the allotted time and take it all at once. 

I went on a weekend away to Barcelona with my friend and used up the respite care allowance available to me. The respite care is good for my self-esteem and also it works for Stephen and I to have a break from each other.

How did you feel about having someone in the home at the start, and how do you feel now?

To help Stephen and Sharon understand how care in the home works, and to make sure the care provided was a perfect match, Bluebird Care Oswestry’s Care Manager visited the couple to assess their needs. This involved asking about the current care set-up, life and care requirements. Stephen comments:

The initial steps were very streamlined and perfect. Everything was done for us which made the whole process very easy.

Sharon adds: 

Bluebird Care Oswestry, right from the start took the time to understand our life by asking questions and finding a solution that would add value and support, to make everyday life easier and enable Stephen to remain as independent as possible. It remains like that to this day. It makes Stephen happy to see me happy and vice versa.

What has respite care with Bluebird Care Oswestry meant to Stephen?

Due to my age, I don’t want to go into a care home, so the support from the Bluebird Care team is very good, it’s like an extension to the family set-up. I can be left as I am in very safe hands which means Sharon doesn’t have to worry in the slightest, which allows her to enjoy her day. Essentially, the additional care allows me to be as independent as I possibly can.

Get in touch with Bluebird Care today to find out how we can help support you and your loved ones.

How to find the right care for you or your relative

1. Find your local office

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2. Get in touch with us

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3. Assessment

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4. Care team chosen & care starts

You'll be cared for by our specially trained team to support you to remain at home for as long as possible.

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