Like many people in the disability community, James and I had been shielding from the outside world for well over a year. So, we jumped at the chance to escape the same four walls and have a couple of nights’ away visiting family in the Lake District a few weeks ago. I’m sure we won’t be the only ones thinking about and starting to plan short breaks and holidays away from home, but for some people the thought of going away fills them with dread, not the usual anticipation and excitement.
Travelling with someone like James who has a severe disability certainly brings its challenges. When my husband saw the mountain of ‘stuff’ we had for just two nights, he actually asked if we needed another car! Specialist feed, milk feed, pads, nappies, universal wipes, dry wipes, antiseptic wipes, enteral syringes, PPE including gloves and aprons, tracheostomy tubes, filters…honestly the list goes on!
So, it’s no surprise when you start to weigh up how much you need to pack and then add in the terrifying risk of forgetting something vital, that some people feel it’s just not worth the hassle. Holidays and short breaks are just too stressful for some disabled families. Believe me, I understand this because I’ve been there. After all, Skiggle, the disability charity as you know it today, became a reality for that very reason.
As parents or carers of children and adults with disabilities and special needs, we know we can’t go to a supermarket to pick up care sundries we’ve forgotten to pack. It’s not that simple. Ok, yes, we could maybe track down the closest disability shop for a pack of pads, but what if there isn’t one, or what if its syringes, feed, or feeding tubes we urgently need? It’s not quite the same as forgetting a bottle of shampoo or a pair of socks, is it?
And we deserve a holiday, don’t we? In a ‘normal’ year, the challenges we face as parents and carers are difficult enough, but then factor in a global pandemic and many of us were close to breaking point. I know my mental health suffered, as did James’ as we were both deprived of our usual activities and spending time with loved ones.
Thankfully, apart from the length of time it actually took to pack and unpack everything, (180 minutes if anyone‘s interested!!) our two recent nights’ away did us, and the rest of the family the world of good. My advice to anyone too worried to travel anywhere would be just go for it. Put your trust in Skiggle. If you do end up forgetting something, we’ve got a growing network of people just like you and me all over the country ready and willing – with cupboards and garages full of disability care products and equipment – to step up and help. Book that break today, you deserve it!
Discover more about Skiggle’s unique 24/7 SOS emergency alert service and how it gives disabled people, and their families and carers, peace of mind here.