When Roger Williams had a stroke nearly three years ago, it had a big impact on his life.
His wife Jan, who has been with Roger since they were both 15, became a full-time carer, but found herself at breaking point when she didn’t get a rest.
For many years Roger, now 78, helped to look after his wife, who suffers badly with arthritis. But when he fell ill, the roles were reversed and Jan found herself needing some respite.
That’s where adult day care centre The Lodge came in. The centre, which opened less than two years ago, is next to the Mountbatten Centre in Hilsea, Portsmouth and provides care on a personal basis to elderly people in the community.
Roger, who used to play on the site next to the centre as a youngster, is picked up by owner Michael Cox two days a week.
It gives him the opportunity to get out of the house and mix with other people and it gives Jan a rest.
Jan, 78, from Hilsea, says: ‘I rely on those two days a week when he’s at The Lodge because it gives me a lovely break, which I do really need.
‘It’s very hard for me. It’s a great relief when Michael picks Roger up. You realise that you aren’t on your own. You do need help and I rely on my family quite a bit.’
Jan adds: ‘Michael and June are brilliant people. They are so good. To anybody who needs any help, go to The Lodge, they are fantastic.’
Michael explains: ‘Roger was our first client. He was a keen bagatelle player and golfer. We regularly take him to his old golf club to see his many friends. This story shows how a day centre helps so much and avoids people going into care.’
The Lodge, which is run by Michael alongside June Conn, allows people to have the freedom to do whatever they like. That could be reading, having a nap, playing games or doing arts and crafts such as painting, model-making or jewellery-making.
The building, which is an old park keeper’s house, has a variety of different rooms to keep clients entertained. They include a library, a bright lounge and dining room and two bathrooms with shower facilities, plus there is an outdoor patio area.
People can visit for the day or for half a day and enjoy lunch as well as tea, coffee and cake. It costs £45 for a full day, £30 for a half-day including lunch or £25 without lunch.
To find out more about The Lodge, go to the-lodge-day-centre.co.uk/ or call (023) 9269 4661.