accessibility & help

Roy’s story: Respite care by tricycle

Roy gets some exercise on a tricycleAnthony UptonFollowing a stroke three years ago, Roy Wynne was left weakened and frustrated – but now he’s quickly building up strength by joining his Red Cross respite worker on a two-person tricycle.

Roy (78), a former Welsh international rugby player from Cardiff, has seen a massive improvement to his motivation and mobility thanks to the encouragement of Brenda, who works for the Red Cross carers respite service.

The pensioner was originally referred to the service, part of the organisation’s care in the home programme, following his stroke. It enables carers such as Roy's wife Jean – who look after a family member full-time – to enjoy a break from their responsibilities for a few hours each week.

Pedal power

Roy gets some useful exercise on a tricycle Anthony UptonThe Red Cross’ help became all the more crucial last year when Jean’s health unexpectedly deteriorated, leaving her unable to do any lifting. This obviously meant she could no longer help her husband into the car.

And that’s when Brenda started taking Roy to Pedal Power, a Cardiff-based charity that provides a selection of specialised therapeutic bikes to suit people of all ages and abilities.

Brenda recalled: “One of the main benefits to Roy has been all the exercise. The other thing is he’s now able to get into a car himself, which has made life a lot easier for his wife. In the past couple of weeks he’s even gone onto a single bike, which he operates with his right hand.”

Big improvements

Jean is especially pleased with her husband’s progress – and puts it all down to the respite worker’s hard work. She said: “Brenda is so wonderful and friendly. I call her ‘Brenda the motivator’ because now Roy is really improving. His weak leg and arm have strengthened and his walking has improved. He’s happier too. It really helps him to go out and meet people.”

Linda Amoss, project manager, said: “Even though we’re technically there to give respite to the carer, we also want the person being cared for to have as engaging a time as possible. That’s why we encourage them to do whatever activities they’re able and want to do.”

The Red Cross carers' respite service provides 3,900 hours of respite care every year to people in the Cardiff area.

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