Jeff has been coming to coffee club in Winsley since last year, with his partner, Sarah from Bath. They heard about the club through Jeff’s niece who previously worked at the hospice and were then referred by Jeff’s GP.
Jeff worked as a software engineer in London before moving to Bath but he now has Lewy Body Disease, which exhibits symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. Sarah is a retired nurse and cares for him at home, but she says coffee club has been a real lifeline. ‘We love the socialising and support we receive at Dorothy House. Everyone – staff, and other coffee club members – understand what we’re going through. It’s a shared experience because everyone is living with a life changing, life-limiting illness. And we love the routine – Monday is coffee club day!
‘Jeff has always been a very busy and fit person with a keen interest in cricket, cycling, swimming, and ceilidh dancing. Being able to use the gym at Dorothy House with help from the physios has been a fantastic support for Jeff as it has given him a sense of purpose and helped to keep his muscles strong. The gym also contributes to his psychological emotional well-being.’
Sarah adds: ‘We’re so lucky to be able to come here. It’s not easy to find genuine support in the community – our friends are often busy working and our family is far away. Coming here every Monday helps makes us feel we are part of a like-minded community. If you feel tired or low, coming through the doors here is great. The welcome you get really lifts your spirits.’
Dorothy House’s coffee clubs are unique as they offer open access to patients, carers and bereaved family members.