Trevor and Joan Dobson have been accessing our Wellbeing Network’s Share & Support group, as they live with Trevor’s terminal COPD, a lung condition which causes breathing difficulties. Our Wellbeing Team have supported the husband and wife emotionally and practically, and they’ve gained a lot through friendships with other patients and relatives who share similar experiences…
“Trevor’s respiratory nurse referred him to Saint Michael’s Breathing Space, and once his symptom management care concluded, the Breathing Spaces team referred us to the Share & Support group. It’s all been so well-organised and easy for us, it’s amazing that everything feels in-hand.
“At the Share & Support group, we can talk to the Wellbeing Team about anything. With Saint Michael’s it’s different to other care teams, it’s refreshing how they’re not frightened of talking about what’s going to happen. When you know the end is near, it becomes very important to you, and it’s uplifting to be able to come somewhere where you can really speak from the heart.
“Both of us have got so much from the Share & Support group. We’ve talked about where Trevor wants to be at the end of his life, what medications he could have and the effects these may have, as well as funeral plans. With the support of Saint Michael’s Wellbeing Team, in just two days I had a blue badge which is something I’d tried to get many times before.
“It’s not all doom and gloom at the Share & Support group! We also talk about what we’ve done at the weekend, where we’ve been, and general chit chat. We do have a laugh, and that’s important.
“The Share & Support group has provided an opportunity to meet people in a similar situation with us, where they are living with terminal illness, and we have been able to make friendships. We’ve exchanged contact details with people at the group so we can keep in touch, and we look forward to seeing friends each week.
“We can’t fault the care given to us by Saint Michael’s. It has been absolutely superb, thank you. One time we turned up a little late to the Share & Support group, and we must have looked worried or in distress because as soon as we arrived we were asked if we were ok, and if we wanted a private meeting with the support worker. The team are always there to talk to.
“The staff and volunteers at Saint Michael’s are wonderful, so informative, helpful and welcoming. The team can’t do enough for you. We really recommend talking to the staff and volunteers.”
“The Share & Support group is wonderful for me, because I can talk to other carers – we talk about how we cope as the person in a relationship who doesn’t have the terminal illness.
“The Wellbeing Team always ask both of us how we’ve been, which is so nice. Quite often people only ask the person with the illness.”
Conversation over a cuppa can be a powerful form of support, and our Wellbeing Network offers a weekly Share & Support group for just this. To find out more, visit https://saintmichaelshospice.org/how-we-help/saint-michaels-wellbeing-network/