Some of our patients are happy to share their stories with us to support those who might want to access our services
Following her diagnosis 9 years ago, Diane became frustrated with the challenges of living with a life-limiting illness and was initially referred to the Hospice by her Parkinson’s Nurse for a half-day assessment.
“The Hospice gave me a real boost. I felt part of a community and made the most of my visits by participating in all the activities on offer”.
At the time Diane did not think it would be helpful but went along for an initial consultation.
Making the most of every day following a critical diagnosis.
Diane attended the Hospice for 5 years. She had initial reservations but felt she was able to better accept and adjust to her Parkinson’s diagnosis with weekly visits to the Hospice.
Over the years, Diane returned to the Hospice several times and said, “It has been great to be able to have such a wonderful service to return to, I got a lot out of attending and being able to socialise with others in a similar situation”. During lockdown, Diane received weekly calls from the Hospice nurses and it was a lovely surprise for her when she was called one day about joining one of the groups returning to the Hospice. She told our lead nurse. “Don’t ask me, I am a definite!”.
Diane was transported to the Hospice by a volunteer driver and found this was extremely helpful, with a friendly and caring face to greet her each week.
“It was wonderful to be back at the Hospice following lockdown” Diane added. “The new lounge is lovely and bright with plenty of space. I looked forward to my visits and the nurses were there to answer any questions. I felt so much more positive”. When the weather was nice, Diane loved to spend time in the Hospice garden and to go to the Hospice boutique shop to find a bargain!
Her advice to others thinking about attending the Hospice is “Try it if you are not sure. It’s not easy to accept a critical diagnosis, but you are not on your own”.
Kirstie self-referred to the Hospice as she felt she wanted to be around others in a safe haven while she was still waiting for an operation. Kirstie attended the Hospice whilst undergoing her treatment and although it was tough some days, she said “I felt like I had a group of researchers around me with lots of useful information, so I knew what to expect and could get support, nursing care and advice when I needed it”.
Kirstie found that the weekly education part of the programme provided all the information she needed, but in bite-sized chunks, making it easier to understand and useful in helping to deal with the side effects of treatments such as fatigue. Later in her treatment, Kirstie also found the chair-based exercises and holistic treatments both helpful and relaxing after her operation.
Kirstie says that attending the Hospice “gave me a much better understanding of my situation. I was able to share with others, in a warm and compassionate environment, enabling me to move forward following my treatment”
During one of her Tuesday sessions, Kirstie saw an advert at the Hospice for a driving job and decided to apply. We were very grateful she did and it was great to see Kirstie back at the Hospice once she had completed her 12-week programme, picking up donations and making deliveries for our Hospice shops in Bedford, Kempston and Biggleswade. Kirstie also came back to attend a HOPE course weekly at the Hospice on a Friday, where she was able to catch up with friends she had made while attending the Hospice.
Did You Know…
We undertake over 2500 patient days a year.