Joan’s Story

Throughout the pandemic, we have adapted our services in order to meet the needs of the patients, families and carers we support throughout Lanarkshire.

Joan has benefited from St Andrew’s Wellbeing@Home and Hospice Hearty Meals services. Here is Joan’s story in her own words…

Hello,

I’ve missed seeing people so much this last year. In all honesty, I think I would have gone insane if St Andrew’s hadn’t been there for me. I have Motor Neurone Disease, so I’m not mobile at all really.
I can’t get out, I have to shelter at home. I want to have the COVID vaccine, but I know the nurse will have to bring it to me and so now I’m waiting to hear when that might be.

When the first lockdown started last March I had not long finished a 12-week Wellbeing Group at St Andrew’s and was just about to begin another with a group of folk like me. COVID meant we had to suddenly switch to doing everything on the computer, which I found scary – I’d not used anything like a videocall before. My son bought me a computer to use, I said “No, I’ll break it!”. But he said, “If you do, I’ll fix it for you!”, so that was that.

The Hospice were wonderful; they came out and set everything up and showed me how to use e-mail and how to join a Zoom call and now I get to have sessions on screen with my group every week. We meet up and talk and share experiences. We have exercise classes – I like the Tai Chi because it keeps my joints moving, keeps me going.

Christmas was lovely, we had a party! With carols and games and a quiz; and it was so lovely to
be able to watch the Light Up a Life remembrance service and see the lights on the Hospice tree. It meant a lot to me to be part of such a lovely celebration, even though we were all sat at home on our own!

The other thing that has made a huge difference to me is “Hospice Hearty Meals”, their meals at
home service. I can’t cook for myself these days and so I’d been relying on my carers heating
a meal for me. But they have so little time, all they can do is put something ready-made in the
microwave.

The Hospice meals are proper, homecooked food and are just amazing (their Stovies are
my favourite!). I get a menu for the week ahead and there’s always two choices of main course. I
usually have a soup to start and then a meal that’s easy for me to eat – I need meals that are easy
to swallow, you see. I’m also diabetic and so I can’t have lots of sugar – but on a Friday I treat
myself to a pudding as well!

I’ve always been a very social person and so it’s the loneliness that has been the hardest thing
for me. I get so low sometimes. But knowing that Donna or a member of the Outpatients and
Community Team will be calling me, knowing that I’ll see my friends in my Wellbeing Group
each week, that’s what’s kept me going.

Do you know, I just want to hug people again. I want to hug my children and my grandchildren
and my friends. I want to go to the Hospice, see the folk in my Wellbeing Group in person and
give every one of them a hug too.

The St Andrew’s team have worked so hard to keep me motivated and looking forward to better
times ahead. They’ve been a lifeline for me and for hundreds of others like me. If you are able to
help them, and I know they really need it just now, we’re the ones that will feel the benefit – and I
know we’ll all be thankful to you.

Take care; and I hope we can all hug our loved ones very soon.
Joan x