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Time out

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carers

Time out can be difficult to arrange, and costly, because unless  you are lucky enough to be surrounded by a network of voluntary sitters, you pay for one.

In my case, it is doubly difficult, as Wriggly Bum gets quite upset. Not upset that I am leaving him, the dear man is generous to a fault, and I go with his blessing, but upset that I consider he needs what he insists on calling a baby sitter, when he is convinced that he can manage quite well on his own .

So, I consider time out to be  a precious commodity, to be cherished and used wisely, in whatever way most suits the carer, to preserve his or her sanity.

It is well testified that carers' federations and associations, whether large, or small informal local groups, provide an excellent service, and are indeed a lifeline to many. I know too that many carers find tremendous benefit from spending their time outwith others 'in the same boat'.

But it is not for everyone.

For me, I prefer to spent my time out away from carers and caring situations, but rather in re-establishing a foothold in the real world outside. To be able to browse round a shop, rather than dashing in and out, is sheer bliss. And to get to a department store in town, WOW!

Even better,for me, are the few hours I help out at our local charity shop. I enjoy the buzz, the comradeship of other volunteers, the banter with the customers, and the feeling that I am still a fairly useful member of the community.

The pinnacle, my best time out of all, is the hour a week when I help out at the local Rainbows group. The fresh, eager, exploring minds of those little girls, their energy, their joi de vivre! Such a tonic after the sadness, the long days and nights spent watching an ageing and confused loved one, drift ever further into his own place, where I cannot enter. The time with those children is pure magic, especially if, like me, you have no children and grandchildren of your own.

For others, the ideal time out may be knit and natter, or walking, or a book group, or sitting by a stream. I just pray the all carers, everywhere, can from time to time have the freedom to do 'their thing'. I know of no better way to recharge the batteries.

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