Rachel’s story

For Leuchie guest, Rachel, breaks at Leuchie House give her and her husband the time and space on their own that they both need.

"Coming to Leuchie House is terribly important not just to me, but to my husband Mike too.

Mike and I have had 60 years of being really happy together. When I was in my 40s I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and since then, as my condition has progressed, he has become my main carer. He does so much for me, including helping me in the middle of the night.

By the time we reached our 80s, Mike was beginning to get very tired so we decided to look at respite. We found Leuchie House and I’ve been going there for respite care ever since, with short breaks three or four times a year.

The care is excellent and really is person-centred. Everyone who comes to Leuchie has different needs and all of these are catered for. I can always be confident that I’ll get the support I need and I love the kindness of the carers here.  It’s the little things too like being able to give your medication over to a nurse, knowing that you don’t have to think about it and everything will be taken care of – that’s a great feeling and a real relief.

Over the past 40 years, I’ve found art to be a great comfort and have developed a real love of machine embroidery.  Now the team at Leuchie have nurtured my love of painting too, giving me the support I need to paint with very limited vision.

The people I’ve met at Leuchie House have given an extra dimension to my life. I’ve made so many friends, including my great friend Joyce who loves to sit with me while I paint. She helps describe a scene to me and I paint it. It makes me feel that our friendship is expressed in my paintings.

At home, we don’t get a chance to get out and about very much. It’s just too difficult because of my condition. So when I’m staying at Leuchie I love going on the trips, going to the cinema and the theatre – things I wouldn’t be able to do at home.

For Mike, when I’m at Leuchie he gets the chance to rest, which is terribly important. When I’m on a break he sometimes uses the time to go and see our son and daughter in London, which he couldn’t do otherwise.

That’s one of the special things about being here - the space it gives us both and the time to be ourselves independently.

I always feel so much better at the end of a break at Leuchie and its good for me to see how much more relaxed Mike is too.

Coming to Leuchie House has made a big difference to both our lives, giving us the space and the time to be ourselves independently. That really is very special."