A Limavady couple who have provided respite care for children and adults with learning disabilities for more than 25 years have been praised by the Western Health & Social Care Trust.
Up until November of 2016, Eddie and Josie Reid provided respite care for children and adults with learning disabilities through the Western Health and Social Care Trust’s (Western Trust) Child and Adult Placement services.
Ann Marie McMenamin, Adult Placement Coordinator for the Western Trust said: “The Host Family Scheme started in the early 90’s as a ‘home from home’ community based shared care scheme to help support families with a learning disabled child. The scheme facilitated short respite opportunities ranging from a few hours to overnight stays and weekend breaks. As the years progressed the scheme evolved into offering care breaks for adults with learning disabilities. Today the structure of the programme is split into adult and children placement services.
“In 1990 Josie opened her home providing a safe and caring environment for the children, many of whom had very challenging behaviours.
“After Eddie and Josie got married in 1996, they continued to work as a team providing the short breaks and supporting families in caring for their learning disabled child. When the scheme started to accommodate adults with learning disabilities, Josie and Eddie enthusiastically became involved and displayed great insight and skill into the individual needs of the person they were caring for.
“No matter who you were or how challenging your care needs, Josie and Eddie always had a warm welcome for you. Josie has four daughters and also has grandchildren, Josie and Eddie ensured that whoever they were caring for were well received and integrated into the entire family.
“The couple never looked for problems and always set out to do their best for the individual, like they were one of their own.
“The families of those being cared for felt content and secure knowing that their son, daughter or family member was in ‘good hands’ with Josie and Eddie.
“The pair understood the great need for family carers to have a break to recharge batteries, and these short breaks were an important part of this.
“At times of emergency, Josie and Eddie were also there to help, often at very short notice. Over the years Josie and Eddie made many friends through their caring role, attended their family occasions and still keep in contact with them, some of whom referred to the couple as their second mum and dad. It was with much regret that Josie and Eddie had to retire from being a host family late last year.”
Ann Marie added; “On behalf of the Western Trust I would like to sincerely thank Josie and Eddie, for their years of devotion to the service and to the children and adults within it.”
They will be missed very much.”
For information on becoming an Adult Placement Carer, call 028 7186 4362.