A patient who attended Kilbryde Hospice for carers support, who was originally reluctant to attend our Carers Cuppa group, kindly shared his experience of the group and how it has helped him with his role as a carer:
“Wild Horses wouldn’t get me to a Carers Cuppa meeting”. This was my first thought when nursing team member Lizanne suggested it to me at Kilbryde Hospice.
My first thought! Maybe because I’m a male from the West of Scotland, and thinking I don’t need help (forgive the West of Scotland reference!). And maybe it’s because it’s at a hospice, a place that – at the time – meant only one thing to me.
But I did go, and without the wild horses.
So, what was my first experience?
Well, before I’d even been to try it, I’d made up my mind that it wasn’t for me. I didn’t really want to go, and anyway, I couldn’t afford the time away. But as Lizanne had been so helpful, I’d said I would come along if I could make the time.
I have to admit to arriving at my first Cuppa apprehensive and more than a bit stressed. So it was a big relief to see Lizanne sitting with the group – at least I would know someone. I needn’t have worried though, nor felt apprehensive, as I was made to feel very welcome that first visit.
Sometimes I just need to be amongst others for a while to bring me back to normality. And the cuppa is good for that. I’m not a great talker and I’ve learnt that you don’t have to be to come along to the cuppa. Everyone there shares the experience of caring for loved ones. I learned there is an unsaid understanding among everyone, and listening ears if needed. That aside, there is lots of friendly banter and chat.
With so much happening every day, I sometimes feel like I have a pinball machine living in my head. When I come to the Cuppa I can switch it off for an hour.
So I’m pleased to say my first Cuppa experience was a good one, and I now try and make time to go each week. The staff are great and very supportive. And “Hospice” means something very different to me now. It means living a life, not the end of life.
Anonymous, Strathaven District.
If you care for someone with a life-limiting illness and would like to join us on a Tuesday afternoon for our Carers Cuppa, please call 01355 202020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.