Jean’s daughter-in-law Jenny was the only person who had sat with Martin up until then and Jean needed Jenny to take her to the appointments. Care Options were able to provide respite care for Martin, enabling Jean (as Martin’s primary carer) to attend the vital treatment appointments for her eyes. Jean had not left Martin alone for more than an hour until that point, as his condition had been deteriorating.

Jean says she can’t praise Care Options staff enough, particularly Leanne and Gavin, who cared for Martin while Jean had her eye treatments. Without this respite she fears she may have lost her sight. Martin’s battle ended in August. Jean is thankful for her sight, which would have added to her grief if she had lost it.

Jean is now living each day at a time and has taken on board advice not to make any big decisions in the first year after Martin’s death. She has time on her hands now. She’d like to get back to the shops and in time, to reconnect with the St Nicholas church group. Care Options now supports Jean with her house and garden upkeep and James (Care Options coordinator) has been in contact to make sure Jean is coping.

Jean’s story demonstrates the importance of respite for carers. It can be a full-time role and emotionally demanding to care for a loved one. Carers sometimes need a break to continue doing what they do and in Jean’s case, to look after their own health needs.