‘The class has made me feel much fitter’

Ian, 76, has lived in Eastbourne with his wife for the past 17 years. He was previously a firefighter in London but moved down for retirement. He has COPD and was referred to the hospice for difficulties with breathlessness about a year ago. Since then, he has received support from our Nurses and has taken part in our Fatigue and Breathlessness and Gym classes. He has shared his experience of the hospice:

‘I knew of the hospice before I accessed its support because my daughter-in-law Louise works there as a Healthcare Assistant. Even so, I was a bit apprehensive, and my family found it hard at first.

‘I first got involved in the Fatigue and Breathlessness classes with Joe, the Physiotherapist. He then suggested I go to the weekly gym class, which I have attended five so far. We do quite a lot of varied exercises on our arms and legs, and we also practice going up stairs and do exercises on the bars to help our balance. We each do the movements based on our own ability so that we don’t overexert ourselves.

‘So far, the class has made me feel much fitter. It makes me feel better mentally and has given me a boost. I’ve got chatting to different people in the class and have made some nice friendships. We spur each other on! It’s encouraged me to do some of the exercises at home, too – I also have 10 grandchildren to keep me busy!

‘I am under the care of the Eastbourne DGH but the Community Nurses at the hospice contact me every few weeks to check I am doing okay. Overall, I would say that the hospice is full of friendly people. It is a place full of hope – not despair – I want people to remember that!’

Joe, our Physiotherapist who has been working with Ian, told us: ‘Ian has seen a vast improvement since starting the groups with us. Not only has he improved physically and seen the benefits of exercise, but through the education and supervised exercise classes he has also learnt to pace himself so that he can save his energy to do things that he enjoys, like seeing his grandchildren!’


St Wilfrid’s Hospice is currently part of the Co-op’s Community Fund scheme, whereby Co-op members can raise money for the hospice every time they shop. The money raised will help us to continue supporting patients like Ian through our Living Well activities. Click here to find out how you can get involved (please be aware this scheme ends on the 23rd October).

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