St Albans hospice not just for cancer patients

PUBLISHED: 11:57 21 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:56 06 May 2010

CANCER patients are not the only ones to benefit from services at Grove House. The hospice is also there for people with other life-limiting conditions and the vision for the future of the hospice is to be able to support even more such patients. Chief ex

CANCER patients are not the only ones to benefit from services at Grove House.

The hospice is also there for people with other life-limiting conditions and the vision for the future of the hospice is to be able to support even more such patients.

Chief executive Mark Lister said: "In partnership with local community health and social care professionals, we are committed to extending our services to support those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart and renal failure and neurological conditions such as motor neurone disease."

He continued: "Our philosophy places the emphasis on the patient and his or her individual needs rather than the disease. We believe that every patient has the right to the best possible quality of life and, when the time comes, the right to choose to die at home."

George Gibbons from St Albans, who suffers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, was recommended to contact Grove House. He lives alone and was suffering breathlessness and panic attacks. He recently attended the day hospice and it has made a huge difference to his life.

He said: "Before I came to Grove House I couldn't care whether I lived or died; it's really given me a whole new lease of life. The attention given was second to none. My life has changed dramatically for the better. I now like living."

Janet Gray, who lives in London Colney with her husband Ron, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease eight years ago. She is now confined to a wheelchair and has mobility and speech problems.

She currently attends the day hospice one day a week and is visited by a Grove House volunteer every fortnight. Ron said: "When a friend told us about Grove House, my first thoughts were, 'that's not for us, we're not ready for that yet.'

"How wrong I was. The quality of our lives has been vastly improved by staff and volunteers at Grove House. They have helped solve practical problems with day-to-day living arrangements.

"Janet enjoys her day out and it gives me the opportunity to get a few things done myself, then we both have something new to talk about in the evenings."

Ron added: "I'd always thought hospices were only for those with cancer and for those nearing the end of life but now I realise they cater for a very much wider audience. The work they do is really changing lives."

If you have been affected by a life-limiting illness or you know someone who has, phone Grove House on 01727 731000 or visit www.grove-house.org.uk


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