Patients benefit from virtual relaxation classes

Vera Measham lives with her husband Charlie in Hailsham. She has recently been accessing our relaxation sessions over Zoom and has kindly shared her story:

‘I was diagnoses with terminal stomach cancer about three years ago and was referred to St Wilfrid’s shortly after. I was nervous before I came to the hospice, but I came in for a look around and realised that everyone was very friendly and that it was a kind place.

‘I have previously stayed on the Inpatient Unit for respite care, and it made the world of difference. I went in feeling very poorly, but after a few days I was able to get out of bed and walk around. The was one time when I was making a cup of tea in the family lounge, and I started talking to a family who were visiting another patient. “Are you a Nurse here?” they asked me, and I said “No, I’m a patient!”

‘I first met Angie (our Complementary Therapist) for some massage sessions. I enjoyed spending time at the hospice, and I made many friends there.

‘When the Wellbeing Centre closed, during lockdown, I began Angie’s relaxation sessions on Zoom. My husband has prostate cancer so there is a lot going on and the sessions help me relax. About halfway through the sessions I fall asleep, but I can still hear Angie’s voice.

‘The sessions really improve my wellbeing. I spend quite a lot of time receiving care at the Royal Marsden Hospital and if I miss a couple of Angie’s sessions, I look forward to coming back. Angie has also sent me an aromatherapy stick and a recording of relaxation exercises which I use between sessions. Doing the session over Zoom means that I can go into a room on my own and enjoy the session without coming to the hospice. It has also been nice meeting the other people who attend.

‘As well as Angie’s support I also use the 24/7 Nurse Line if I am in a lot of pain, and they quickly organise the District Nurses to come and visit. We don’t have any family nearby, so it is nice to be able to talk to staff at the hospice if I need to. I have also been supported by Ella – one of the hospice’s Counsellors.

‘We have had several friends die recently and we always like to donate to the hospice in their memory. I really think it’s such a fantastic place’.

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