"It's my goal to stay as independent as possible and Sue Ryder is helping me to achieve that"

We support local people with neurological conditions in the city of Aberdeen through a number of community services, both at home and at our Dee View Court Care Centre. Stanley McLean, who receives support to self-manage his multiple sclerosis (MS), tells us his experience of Sue Ryder – in his own words.

I was diagnosed with MS 12 years ago. It was my MS nurse at the hospital who first told me about Dee View and the 5Rs programme, which lasts ten weeks and helps local people with MS cope with their condition, meet new people, and try out all sorts of therapies and hobbies. She said it would be good for me and help me to stay well, so I enrolled.

I’d go along on a Tuesday and spend five hours doing activities like physiotherapy and drawing with others with MS; we’d usually spend a fair chunk of it just talking amongst ourselves, to be honest. We’d also hear from some great speakers who made a lot of sense and gave advice on coping with MS symptoms like fatigue.

Self management

After I finished the 5Rs, I was referred to Dee View’s new Self-Management at Home service for some longer-term support. It’s just like having a friend to do things with; my support worker Hazel and I go for walks together or down the shops.

I’ve always been fit and I don’t want to end up in a wheelchair if I can help it, so I’m determined to keep my legs moving.

She also helped me set up an appointment with my local Sue Ryder shop so I could start volunteering, which is fantastic and going really well. Hopefully I’ll meet some new people nearby and it will help me become even more independent.

Dee View Court: a welcoming place

I still like visiting Dee View Court because it’s such a warm and friendly place. You meet friends there; people who you can talk to about anything.

I realised I could really be myself and trust the people there as soon as I arrived that first time.

I’ve made good friends, like Liz, who is a resident at Dee View and has a similar type of MS to me. For me, personally, you don’t actually need a lot of people to socialise with – one or two’s enough. Quality not quantity, I say. We don’t meet up much in person because she gets tired, but we chat on the phone and she has a great sense of humour. People can’t tell when they first meet either of us that we have MS, but Liz’ll say: “I might look okay but I don’t feel that well”.

My goal: independence

It’s my goal to stay as independent as possible and keep doing things for myself, and Sue Ryder is helping me to achieve that.

A lot of people with MS have day-to-day help from a nurse or personal carers, but I don’t as yet and, hopefully, if I just take my time, as Hazel says, I can keep caring for myself.

More about Dee View Court Neurological Care Centre

Stanley opens up even further in this blog post