Motor neurone disease (MND) is a progressive disease which affects a person’s ability to walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. While there is no cure, symptoms can be managed to help improve quality of life.
A couple of years after being diagnosed with MND, Ian Pratt’s physiotherapist suggested that he might benefit from visiting the drop-in centre at Barnsley Hospice.
“I’d never thought of a hospice as being somewhere you went while reasonably healthy,” Ian explains in the new film (which you can watch above).
Barnsley Hospice provides a range of services with the aim of achieving the best possible quality of life for patients with a life-limiting illness.
Care and support offered by the hospice is specific to patients’ individual needs, but for those with MND this could include massage and foot reflexology to reduce swelling, ease pain and improve circulation, and aromatherapy to help with relaxation, anxiety and fatigue.
The hospice also helps patients plan for the future, for example by considering different forms of communication for when speech becomes too difficult and adaptations in the home to help with day-to-day living.
“Wherever possible we will help patients and those around them to prepare for the future while they are able,” explains Zoe Mitchell from Barnsley Hospice. “For many MND patients this is a huge relief – to know they have decided on their preferences to help with daily living as and when their needs change.”
Zoe adds: “We believe in a holistic way of caring for patients which looks at body and mind. Our team of counsellors, psychologist, family support and spiritual adviser are on hand to provide emotional and mental support for patients and those close to them to adjust to living with MND.
“By coming to the Limes Day Hospice patients can make friends and share experiences with other patients. Patients often say that this is one of the most important things to them.”
“A visit to the hospice once a week gives me that interaction with other people that I would not necessarily have had otherwise,” Ian explains.
“It makes a huge difference in my life, it feels like you have something back again.”
Ian also comments on how much he values that his wife Catherine can have a break from caring for him thanks to support from the hospice, and that the hospice will be there to help his family when things get tough.
To watch Ian’s full story, please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UtEEXOUDa8