About the author

This is one of several blogs I have started since my husband suffered a stroke in 2005. Due to the stroke and some complications he is left completely wheelchair bound. I am his main carer. Holiday is an important way to relax and to get away from the daily rut, both for the ‘patient’ and for the carer.

What are his handicaps? The stroke left him paralyzed on the left hand side, so he can not use either his left hand or his left leg. Thanks to the ‘very good’ care he received in a nursing home in the few months after his stroke he has severe intestinal problems. This means it is crucial to take a lot of medication and drink enough on a regular basis. After complications his right leg was amputated at the knee. Thanks to a lot of physio he can stand long enough with a prosthetic leg holding on to a grab rail to help me helping him with some transfers, although we have a ceiling hoist and a chair lift at home. We still live in a normal terraced town house, and I drive a ‘normal’ car, although we have a stationwagon, so we have enough room to transport the wheelchair and anything else we need to carry around.

Like so many others in similar situations I thought at first that it would no longer possible to go on holiday now my husband was in a wheelchair. We felt much too young to travel on special care-holidays with the Red Cross or similar organizations. As it turned out, there are loads of possibilities, if you know where to find them, but we also had some mishaps on the way. And if you are not careful something that is a holiday for the one you care for, becomes very much like hard work for the carer. To help others in similar situations I started to compilate the addresses of accessible holiday accommodations etc. on my website www.gareauxdhome.nl. I also started a blog to describe our holiday experiences, good and bad, in more detail. However, this blog is in Dutch, and a lot of my English speaking friends complained they could not read it. So, here is a completely new blog about our latest holiday experiences, all in English. I hope you enjoy it and that it inspires you to go on holiday too, despite any restrictions you might encounter in your life.

Eliane Heseltine-Mok