10 Oct 2018 Care
Hospice Care Week: We focus on what matters to you
To celebrate Hospice Care Week from the 8th - 14th October 2018, we are sharing a different story each day to showcase the amazing reach that Kirkwood has across our community. We are here to support anyone affected by a life limiting illness, every step of the way. This is Jean and Karen's story.
Kirkwood is with you on your journey, every step of the way. We focus on what matters to you. We help you to maintain and improve your quality of life so that you can focus on what is really important to you.
Jean and Karen recently attended Kirkwood’s 12 week Getting On and Living (GOAL) course, run by our Support & Therapy team.
GOAL was created to provide support to people with neurological conditions and their carers. For Jean Lowe, who has Multiple Sclerosis and Karen Booth, who was diagnosed with CMT disease two years ago, GOAL has made a huge difference.
Jean Lowe and Karen Booth
“You hear the word Hospice, and you’re like oh no, it’s bad. said Karen. “But then you come and it’s not at all what you think, nothing like it. It’s fantastic.
“When I first came, I didn’t want to come at all. I felt small. I wanted to curl up in a ball and just disappear. But a couple of weeks in, talking to Jean and everyone else, it lifts you. It changes your life, it really does. I feel different now.
“My big [achievement] was going on holiday to Spain. That was down to Jean. She took me under her wing.
"She saw this small bird walking in, but now I can hold my head up high. Jean helped me to get on that plane." Karen Booth
"She saw this small bird walking in, but now I can hold my head up high. Jean helped me to get on that plane.
“The course gives you a lift to go out and do something, to go out and live instead of just staying at home and festering."
On her illness, Jean said: “You get to a certain stage [in your illness] where you think there’s nothing there for you anymore.
"Particularly when you get to the progressive part of the disease, because there isn’t the medication that is there is for someone who has relapsing/remitting; they get disease modifying drugs. That isn’t available for someone like myself as they don’t help at all.
“For a good number of years I didn’t have that support; until I came here. That’s when everything changed.
"Before I came here, ‘I’d got MS’, but I came away and it was like, no actually, ‘I’m Jean!’” Jean Lowe
“We all gave each other confidence in the group. It helped to build our self worth.
“Before I came here, ‘I’d got MS’, but I came away and it was like, no actually, ‘I’m Jean!’”
The Kirkwood team has developed a range of specialist courses for people affected by chronic illnesses such as Chronic Lung conditions, Heart Failure and Neurological conditions.
Courses include: Braveheart, Breathe Better, Getting on and Living and The Share & Care Group.
You can find out more by clicking here, or calling: 01484 557900
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