I first became aware of The Chaseley Trust when Sandra (my mum) needed emergency respite after my dad, who is her carer, became critically ill. A friend suggested that mum went and stayed at Chaseley as it provided care to people with acquired brain injury and had residents of a variety of ages and abilities.
Mum had suffered an acoustic neuroma in 1986, with substantial postoperative complications. In addition, she had two strokes in 2016 and 2017, causing her mobility to be limited. As she is so young at heart, does not suffer from dementia and is sociable, we felt that a home for the elderly would not be appropriate (she is 76 years young!)
After spending a week by the sea, whilst my sister and I sorted carers for both her and my dad at home, mum returned to the family home. As my dad was no longer able to care for her after his life changing illness, she soon became depressed and isolated. The home care was not working out as hoped and mum no longer had access to the amazing activities and events, she had experienced during her respite stay at Chaseley and she soon became isolated and depressed. As a result, we contacted Chaseley again and asked if it would be possible to have a rolling respite provision, to enable mum to make her own choices for the immediate future and for the longer term.
That was back in October 2018. Mum has now been a resident for over two years, and we all feel like some of the staff and residents are part of her, and our, extended family. Before Covid and the restrictions it bought, I would visit from London, approximately every other weekend. Not only would this be to visit and take my mum out for sea walks, lunch, and shopping, it would include chatting to many of the residents and staff, sharing ideas with the team for enterprises and activities (I am a Special Needs teacher) and offering to help at any of their fundraising events, such as their summer fair.
Obviously, this year has been difficult for all the residents and their families. I have visited mum in the garden and in the shelter and am so very grateful that she has been able to Facetime regularly. I cannot wait until the day I can hug her, go inside Chaseley, and reconnect with old friends.
Whenever Chaseley are nominated for awards or grants, I always make sure I vote and promote on Social Media on their behalf. I really believe that this place enhances lives and provides love and exceptional care both, physically and emotionally. Well done and thank you Chaseley.