The very impressive Care Home built on the edge of Craighouse after a long and patient campaign by Jura folk, has six flats, five of which are long term residential but one of which provides a very welcome short (ish) stay respite facility.
The team who run the Centre and the six community directors are very keen that folk on Islay are made aware of just what is available on their doorstep. Carers are among the hardest worked and most committed members of society. Very few of them take anything like the eight weeks a year respite to which they are entitled, and this situation has not been helped by the loss of Islay Hospital as a respite facility. Hospital is usually no place for folk who need this kind of support in any case as they are not ill – they just need a spot of looking after. Gortanvogie in Bowmore is another favoured place for a spot of respite, but as a home for the elderly it is not always appropriate, and in any case it is almost always full.
The new Centre at Craighouse is a busy place too, with lots going on for both permanent residents and visitors. There is a weekly lunch club, a whist club, an art class and even table tennis. There is a healthy connection with the local primary school (if the artwork on the walls is anything to go by), and the building hosts ceilidhs and has become a venue during the Jura Music festival.
The respite flat, like the rest of the building, is light and airy with some tremendous facilities – a high tech bathroom and a hoist to help those who may find getting in and out of bed a bit of a struggle. There is even a separate room for a carer to spend the night if necessary. The whole place is a bit of an eye-opener with a cheerful, friendly atmosphere. So if you are struggling to come up with ideas for that much needed break, or you need somewhere to stay while home improvements are implemented, or require short term emergency care of any sort – you might get lucky and find that there is the opportunity for those you care for to spend a few days in this lovely home from home.