“You have good days and bad days, but coming to the hospice’s Community Care Unit is a massive plus and it has totally lifted my spirits, I really would be lost without it,” said Mark Wall, who has been using the hospice’s Community Care Unit services (previously known as Day Care services) since September 2022.
“I was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2022 and it really was a tough time for myself and my wife Susan.
“The hospital recommended us getting in touch with the hospice and like many people we were a little nervous with having to do this, however it is the best thing we could have done, as from the first time we contacted them and visited, they have put us both at complete ease.”
The Community Care Unit, which launched in 2021 to replace the former Day Care services, operates from the hospice site in Ipswich, Beccles Hospital and Martham Medical Centre in Great Yarmouth and Waveney.
It offers the opportunity for patients’ wellbeing and social needs to be met, while also enabling the convenience of all necessary healthcare appointments to be organised and completed in one location on the same day.
“We were aware of St Elizabeth Hospice and its services, as both our dads had died with great dignity while under the charity’s care,” explained Mark, who is 51-years-old and lives in Ipswich.
“I come to the Community Care Unit once a week, but the team have helped me at home, as well through setting up new equipment, such as a supportive chair and bed, to ensure I am as comfortable as possible. Whatever help you need, the hospice team are there for you.
“Everything is done at your pace and the beauty of the Community Care Unit is that it puts you in charge of your own destiny.
“At the Community Care Unit I have received a range of support from physiotherapy and reiki, through to personal care and enjoying social opportunities with fellow service users and their families, which has been really beneficial in terms of sharing similar experiences. Recently the hospice team even held a Community Care Unit fun day, full of food and music, which was great to be a part of.
“The Community Care Unit team have helped me feel confident in myself once again and eased my anxieties. They are a real lifeline during an extremely stressful time.”
Susan said: “Mark often says to me ‘I am so looking forward to the next time I go back to the hospice and the Community Care Unit’. It is so calming and we both have the chance to see familiar faces and he always enjoys the lunches they have on offer!”
Mark added: “The Community Care Unit is outstanding and a real haven for so many people and their loved ones during the most difficult of times.
“I cannot thank the staff enough for what they do and the reassurance they give. I know they will be here for Susan and I, throughout our journey. I have made friends with everyone here and visiting each week is such a wonderful help to me.”
More details about the Community Care Unit can be found at www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/how-we-can-help/hospice-care/community-care-unit.