Sue Ryder - Leckhampton Court Hospice
Leckhampton Court Hospice
Tel: 01242 246285
Virtual day hospice helps me feel good when things are grim in lockdown
These are the words of 51-year old Steph Brooks from Gloucester, who is sharing her story about the support she’s received from Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, in the hope others might find out more about the new virtual service.
The mum of three, who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2016, first received inpatient care at the Sue Ryder hospice following surgery to have a brain tumour removed in 2019.
After she was discharged, Steph attended Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court’s day hospice. However, when the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic services suspended day hospice sessions, the hospice team developed a special programme to deliver care virtually instead.
And Steph attends weekly Zoom sessions to help keep her safe and well at home.
“The sessions give me a purpose to get up and get dressed - which can be hard to do in this most recent national lockdown when the weather is so grim!” shares Steph.
“I first got involved with the virtual day hospice programme in autumn last year. Since then I’ve attended a number of sessions on ways to manage fatigue and tips on doing exercise. You can pick which sessions to join based on what will help you. Each session offers useful tips on how to deal with things.”
“I attended a session the other day giving tips on how to prevent falling over, and I’ve attended one talking about our thoughts, hope and dreams. It’s so varied.”
“I really enjoy the sessions. I love the social aspect of virtually meeting and speaking to people. It gives me something to look forward to each week. It gives me a routine, especially when there is not much else going on right now.”
“The sessions help to really set me up for the day, and they make me feel so much better. After I log off the sessions I feel good.”
The virtual day hospice programme also gives patients the opportunity to make social connections with others while the pandemic continues to keep people apart.
“I really enjoy joining in the regular Friday morning social drop-ins on Zoom. It’s so lovely to see other patients and volunteers and have a chat together,” Steph adds.
“You have to get used to not all talking at once on Zoom, but once you do it’s great. We talk about what we’ve been up to during the week, our hobbies, our families and what’s good on the TV. My 17 year old cat, Chloe, sometimes makes an appearance. In fact she has become a bit of a regular on our Zoom calls, she will come and sit on my lap to say hello to everyone.”
Steph hopes more people in Gloucestershire receiving palliative care will be encouraged to find out more about the virtual day hospice service, which is easy to set up and access. “All you need is a tablet, laptop or even a smart phone to join the sessions. You download the Zoom app, the hospice emails you a code for the meeting, you put the code in, press join with audio and video and that’s it – away you go.”
“For my first session my youngest son showed me how to set everything up but now I know what I am doing they leave me to it.”
“It really is very easy to take part and it is so much better than being sat at home looking at the four walls.”
“My friends think it’s great that I’m still receiving support from Sue Ryder and I think it’s just marvellous. I can’t praise Sue Ryder enough for the continued support they’re giving me.”
Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice’s virtual day service programme helps people living in Gloucestershire with a palliative diagnosis keep safe and supported at home, whilst reducing social isolation.
The virtual sessions are run by a team of experts at the hospice including Sue Ryder Nurses, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Family Support Team and trained volunteers to help manage symptoms and improve people’s wellbeing.
The fully individualised programme is made up of community visits to patients homes’ where required, video or telephone one to ones and a series of virtual sessions covering topics like fatigue, relaxation, breathlessness, exercise, safety and falls prevention, spiritual and psychological support, a weekly virtual social drop in and Writing for Wellbeing and Recorded Life Stories.
The virtual programme was created as the hospice pivoted its service to make sure people could continue to receive its expert support.
Thanks to fundraising efforts in support of the charity, the virtual day hospice service is given free of charge to people needing it.
To make a referral to the service first speak with your lead healthcare professional, GP or consultant or for more details email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice visit www.sueryder.org/leckhampton
Sue Ryder - Leckhampton Court Hospice
Gloucestershire's only residential hospice.
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