When you go into the day centre during the afternoon, they are all sitting together like a little happy family, and to me that was wonderful
Susan, 79, who lives in Almondsbury, was a carer for her husband, Mike, 82, who has had Alzheimer’s, for many years, before he moved into residential care.
In 2017, she started using the day centre service at Humphry Repton House in Brentry, which provides a safe and supportive social environment, where adults with dementia and physical care needs can be cared for, whilst providing day-time respite for carers.
She said: “I’d got to the point where I felt I couldn’t really leave him. It made shopping tricky. I felt I couldn’t keep him occupied sufficiently and felt it was the right thing to do to offer him stimulation elsewhere.
“When I first went to the day centre, I immediately warmed to the manager. My husband is a very down to earth person, and that was the feeling I got. I’d heard it was good and it was also very reasonable in terms of cost. I’ve never looked back.
“I was able to go shopping, go to pilates without asking someone to look after him. I was able to go to the carers’ group. I was relying on other people quite a lot and I realised that had to change.
“When you go into the day centre during the afternoon, they are all sitting together like a little happy family, and to me that was wonderful. In the morning, they do activities and they often join in with entertainment in residential care too.”
Susan’s husband now lives in the residential care part of Humphry Repton House but he regularly visits the day centre.
Susan added: “I went in on Easter Sunday and did some gardening as it’s something I enjoy – it’s my pleasure – and I stayed for lunch. I go every day, and I do his laundry. That’s my choice though – they do laundry perfectly well – but I still want to contribute.
“The whole place is happy and caring. It’s homely, and that’s what matters.”