A hospice patient living with a rare progressive disease has given her praise to St Barnabas in Louth, with whom she credits being her saviour.
Lynn Peace was just 18 years old when she began to notice symptoms of what was eventually diagnosed as Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia.
The disease causes stiffness and contraction in the lower limbs, as a result of damage or dysfunction of the nerves.
Lynn, 37, from Mumby explained how she didn’t think the hospice would be able to help someone with her condition but how their support became invaluable.
Lynn said: “Before I came to St Barnabas more than 12 months ago I lived in a world that felt very isolated and I was incredibly low. St Barnabas has been my lifeline and I now have a very different outlook on life. I am able to see the good once again.
“The nurses there are very understanding and they really take the time to listen to you and have helped to manage my pain and symptoms. With their guidance, my confidence has grown and for the first time I am able to express how I truly feel.
“Attending Day Therapy has also opened up opportunities to meet people in a similar situation to my own, which has been a great relief. We are able to share our experiences and it is a great comfort to realise you are not on your own.”
The flagship day hospice, run by Lincolnshire’s St Barnabas Hospice, from the building leased to them by Louth & District Hospice has propelled palliative care into a new era by providing and developing a whole range of care services for the local community from the Grimsby Road site.
Under the leadership of St Barnabas Hospice the charity has brought an unprecedented amount of expertise under one roof to support thousands of people with life-limiting illnesses and their families.
Lynn visits St Barnabas twice a week and during her time there she has benefited from physiotherapy, tai chi and acupuncture.
Lynn said: “The varying therapies I have accessed have had a lasting and positive effect on my physical and mental wellbeing. The acupuncture has been particularly helpful at ridding me of the pain I was experiencing in my back. Prior to this therapy I had been in pain all day, every day.
“St Barnabas also takes the time to look after the whole person and not just concentrate on the medical side of things. I took part in Look Good, Feel Better where I had a professional make over. It felt nice to be pampered and that is the great thing about St Barnabas, they recognise the importance of a person’s overall wellbeing.
“The time I have spent with St Barnabas Hospice stands out as nothing short of outstanding when compared to any other care I have received.”
With an ever ageing population people are living longer with deteriorating health caused by many different conditions such as; heart failure, respiratory and neurological disease, dementia and cancer.
The charity works in partnership with other organisations to help patients live better, for longer, regardless of their diagnosis.
St Barnabas, the principal provider of end-of-life care across the locality, now provides day therapy four days every week from its locality base at the hospice.
Around 435 patients benefited from various day therapy sessions last year, which are free of charge and funded wholly through charitable donations to St Barnabas.
Lynn adds: “Hospice care has been an eye opener and really is more than I ever could have imagined. At St Barnabas I feel like I am part of a family and I even think of it as my second home. It is a beautiful building with glorious gardens that I look forward to visiting each and every week.”
Day therapy can help people with a range of issues which they may be having difficulty with, such as physical, emotional, social, spiritual and psychological problems. The aim of attending the range of day therapy activities is to help people manage their symptoms, help them gain more confidence at home by assessing their personal needs, and to help improve the quality of their lives.
St Barnabas also provides pre and post bereavement counselling through its Family Support Service, with a drop-in bereavement group meeting every Thursday afternoon at Louth Hospice.
Anyone aged 18 and above can refer themselves to any or all of the different services provided, without the need for a doctor’s letter. For any further information on how St Barnabas’ care services can be accessed in your area please call 01522 511 566 or visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk.