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Making Caring Visible
When Eve and her husband Jim were referred to the Carers Service at St Joseph's Hospice, Eve was feeling very low as she had been spending most of her time at home. Eve’s diagnosis of a chronic respiratory disease had badly affected her breathing, and left her prone to panic attacks. She no longer felt able to go out on her own in case she felt breathless, and she would feel frightened every time her husband went out. Eve was frightened that if she became breathless when she was alone, she would not be able to get to the phone to call for help if needed. Every time Jim went out, Eve would sit and watch the clock, anxiously waiting for him to come home.
The Carers Service matched Eve with volunteer Bernie who could visit Eve at home for a few hours a week, to sit with her and keep her company while Eve’s husband went out shopping. This meant that her husband could go to the shops knowing Eve was safe and there was someone with her.
Eve said “It had such a good impact, it’s a brilliant idea to have someone come round to the house. When you’re stuck in these four walls, it’s having someone to talk to who listens, and we have such a lot in common.”
During their time together, Eve and Bernie formed a very special bond. Bernie said “There was a connection the first time we met, and as time went on I learned a lot from her. She has trusted me with personal things, which has meant a lot to me. I’m so glad I met her, I just love her to bits!”
After having six respite visits at home with Bernie, Eve is now looking forward to coming to the Day Hospice at St Joseph’s. However, the special bond she has formed with Bernie will stay with her. Eve said “If there were more genuine people like Bernie, the world would be a better place! She has been such a great help and an inspiration.”
If you think the Carers Service could benefit you please contact Jo Bedford, firstname.lastname@example.org.