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Supporting the family of a WWII pilot

RAFA Pat at her home at Harrison House Park Road, Bloxwixch,  Walsall with her daughter Deborah on the 24Feb2017

RAFA Pat at her home at Harrison House Park Road, Bloxwixch, Walsall

When Deborah and her husband were worrying with the stress of her mum’s care home fees, they turned to the RAF Association for support.

Deborah’s dad was a pilot during WWII, staying in the air force for eight years. He met Deborah’s mum, Pat after leaving the Air Force and they were happily married for many years until he passed away, leaving Pat alone. Nowadays, Pat is sadly living with mixed dementia, she has had Alzheimer’s disease for many years, but when a stroke left her struggling with mobility, she was further diagnosed with vascular dementia. Pat had always been adamant that she did not want to go in a care home and Deborah fought very hard to bring her mum home, despite the complex needs she now had. However it was not to be and in the ambulance back from hospital, Pat suffered another debilitating stroke. Pat was left paralysed down the right side of her body and was unable to go back to the home that she loved. Deborah was left with the enormous decision of finding the right nursing home for her mum.

Finding the right nursing home proved challenging, Deborah understandably wanted the best care for her mum, but the best care often resulted in huge top up fees. They eventually found one that was perfect for Pat and Deborah’s husband took on a more demanding job to pay the top up fees. However, this took a huge toll on his health and after a while, he had to take a step back and change jobs. This resulted in a decrease in wages and they felt back to square one with finding the money for the top up fees.

The stress that this financial burden placed on the family was enormous. Deborah wasn’t sleeping or eating properly and worried a great deal about the situation, as her husband dealt with stress-related health problems himself.

It was at this point that Deborah called the RAF Association to see if we could provide any support. Her caseworker applied for a grant to pay for the top up fees from the RAF Benevolent Fund and Deborah says when she received the call to say the fees would be supported, she cried with joy. It gives Deborah and her family great peace of mind, knowing that mum is well cared for. Because Pat is bed-bound she stays in her room all day, but the care home is so close to Deborah that she is able to visit mum every other day.

Having some of the funds taken care of and the support of the RAF Association took off a huge amount of financial pressure on Deborah and her husband. It is comforting to know that when she visits Pat in the home, that she is happy and safe. Pat doesn’t really talk a lot, but she does recognise Deborah and tells her how much she loves her.

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