Their lives were turned upside down when first Charles, 89, then Ivy, 84, suffered strokes within six years of one another.
The couple now live with their daughter, Lynn Bartrip-Kay, in Newquay, and thanks to home help from Cornwall Care, life continues as normal for the whole family.
For a year Lynn, a charity worker for MIND and a member of her local Lions Club, gave up her outside interests as she didn’t feel able to leave her parents on their own. But since a social worker introduced the family to Cornwall Care in February, Lynn has returned to her charity work and hobbies.
Lynn, who won Pirate FM’s Carer of the Year award, said: “Dad had recovered well from his stroke, so we were utterly devastated and mortified when mum suffered a massive stroke in April 2011. Thankfully, Cornwall Care were brought in to be sitters for mum and dad so I could safely leave them.
“The carers are amazing – they give me peace of mind and are totally trustworthy. One day they noticed the washing hadn’t been done, so they put it on and hung it out. They also go around and do all the little things I just don’t have time for.
“Cornwall Care has had a big impact on our lives. It has enabled me to resume the things I used to do in my life. The carers are absolutely lovely and I know mum and dad are safe with them.”
Cornwall Care, the county’s largest provider of care for older people, is highlighting the importance of excellent care standards as part of the UK’s first Action on Stroke month, a push to turn the spotlight on stroke and pack in as much awareness raising as possible throughout May. It coincides with national Stroke Awareness Day on Tuesday, May 8th.
Cornwall Care’s domiciliary service, known as My Choice, was established in 1996 to provide tailor-made care and support to people living in their own homes. The most common support stroke patients require is help with mobility, but help may be required with anything from eating to communication, personal care to support attending appointments.
Sue Aldridge, one of Cornwall Care’s My Choice Team Leaders, said: “We are delighted to work with this lovely family. Our shifts really involve spending time with Ivy and Charles. We enjoy working with them, they tell us wonderful stories and we keep them company while Lynn is away from home. We give Ivy, Charles and Lynn peace of mind. They trust us to do the right thing in the event of an emergency and Lynn has some time to do some of the things she enjoys outside of the home. My Choice supports people to remain in their own homes and enjoy maximum independence.”
Ivy and Charles, who originally lived in Coads Green, Launceston, have both recovered well and Lynn is determined to help them make their own decisions for as long as possible. The family want to tell their story to give other people who have experienced stroke hope that life can still be good.
Douglas Webb, Chief Executive of Cornwall Care, said: “Action on Stroke Month gives us a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of stroke and to celebrate excellent care standards.
“We see first hand the impact of stroke on the lives of our clients and those who care for them. By highlighting it and encouraging people to look at what they can do to support those living after stroke, we hope to help improve the quality of life for our clients and their carers.”
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