Peter Whitehead, 92, Hackney
Peter has been a regular visitor to St Joseph’s Hospice for some years. He was first referred by his GP to the Heart Failure group in Finding Space when diagnosed with a heart condition. He also has throat cancer and suffers from diabetes. Peter attends Day Hospice and has stayed in our Respite Ward for a two week break. At the moment he is managing his health quite well.
What support do you receive from St Joseph’s Hospice?
"I go to the Heart Failure group and I’m also part of the Wednesday Day Hospice group, where I enjoy socialising with other patients. The Day Hospice group do lots of activities like bingo and art and they often have themed parties which are sometimes organised by some of their corporate partners. They’re usually really good fun. I also attend a group exercise class and have physiotherapy sessions when I can.
The Heart Failure group not only helps people like me learn to manage my condition but it also gives you a chance to make lots of new friends as we share so many of the same issues. I couldn’t do without it now."
How is this support helping you?
"Unfortunately I broke my hip recently and after spending four weeks in hospital after surgery I was sent to rehab for a further four weeks. I have previously spent some time on St Anne’s Ward for respite care and the nurses at St Joseph’s Hospice know me really well. They asked me if I wanted to come in for a short stay, to get a bit of a break from being at home on my own and to see if they could do anything to help me to recover from my hip operation.
It’s such a tonic coming here, I love all the staff and they all love me.
I'm making slow improvements now, with the help of complementary therapies and physiotherapy, massage and acupuncture."
What surprised you about St Joseph’s Hospice?
"There’s so much here for me to do. I sing in the choir on a Thursday and they’re really pleased to have me back in full voice after my hip operation."
What would you say to someone who is nervous about coming here?
“I don’t know what I would do without St Joseph’s Hospice now. They’re so good to me here, and I’m so used to coming. Everyone here loves me and really looks after me. It’s great to have so many people to talk to. It helps keep me alive. Without it I don’t know what I’d do.”