HUSBAND and wife Jo and Steve Drury, live in Grays: Jo and has been looking after Steve since he was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) in 2014.
During Carer’s Week (11 – 17 June) Jo is keen to let other Carers who may be struggling to cope know about how the Hospice has helped her in her caring role.
Jo said “All the support I have received as a carer has been excellent, from counselling and complementary therapy through to the monthly carers support meetings where you have the opportunity to meet other carers and also various members of staff and volunteers; everyone is so kind. It’s nice to know that you are not alone and that they will do everything they can to help you, irrespective of what the problem is.”
It is a common misconception that Hospice’s only provide end of life care – in reality they provide a whole range of services and support that not only benefit their patients but also their Carer, their family and friends.
Lita Walpole Carers’ co-ordinator at St Luke’s Hospice is passionate about her role and the vital support that the Hospice gives to all carers in the local community – Lita explains ‘Family members, neighbours or friends often do not recognise themselves as being a ‘Carer’ – a role which can, no matter how much you love the person you are looking after, be very demanding both physically and emotionally. St. Luke’s Hospice recognises the valuable work carried out by these often forgotten people and the importance of looking after them so that they, in turn, can provide the best possible care and support for their loved one’’
Lita met with Jo in January 2016 carrying out a home visit and completed a Carers Support Needs Assessment Tool. It was identified from that meeting that there were some services that St. Luke’s could provide which would be of benefit to Jo in her caring role.
Jo started to attend the Hospice’s monthly Carer’s Support Group and referrals were made to the Hospices Counselling and Complementary Therapy teams to help support Jo’s emotional and physical well-being. A year later Jo attended the Carer’s HOPE Course, also provided by the Hospice as well as regular Carer’s group relaxation evenings.
Further information about St. Luke’s Hospice Carer’s Support can be found on their website www.stlukeshospice.com or contact Lita Walpole on 01268 524973 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org