Deirdre Horan has bromyalgia & chronic fatigue syndrome and lives alone in Crumlin, Dublin 12. Regular short stays at Cuisle Respite Holiday Centre provide a much-needed break from daily life in a friendly and safe environment
“Some people are lucky enough to have a great set-up at home, surrounded by family, friends and good food,” says Deirdre, “but unfortunately I don’t have that. I am quite isolated and sometimes weeks can pass without me leaving the house.”
When I arrive, the staff all give me a big hug and I feel so at home – like they’re extended family.
Deirdre gets a funded break at Cuisle Respite Holiday Centre once or twice each year. “I look forward to those trips so much. Getting out of Dublin gives me a real feeling of escape. On the way there, I get so excited. As the bus drives through the village of Castlecoote, I say to myself, ‘I’m getting near!’ When I arrive, the staff all give me a big hug and I feel so at home – like they’re extended family.
“One of the joys of Cuisle for me is the hotel-quality meals. I don’t have the energy to cook, so for the rest of the year a meal means a cheese sandwich or some noodles in the microwave! But at Cuisle the chef does lovely soups and vegetable curries. And the healthy salad bar – oh my gosh! I get hungry thinking about it!
“I would never be able to go on a regular holiday, but in Cuisle the bedrooms are so accessible, with gorgeous en suites, comfortable shower chairs, and bells beside the shower & the bed. I feel safe, like I can just relax. “I always bring my camera and it’s lovely to go round the grounds, smelling the trees and fresh air. I usually wander down in front of the castle, looking out over the River Suck. I might stop to watch the horses grazing and people will pass me by in their cars and wave!
“When I’m at Cuisle, I try to get out of bed as early as possible so I can enjoy being in nature and mixing with other people. This means a lot to me because when I go home, I won’t have that opportunity for a good while.”