What price do we put on people's quality of life?

Terry Mears, Centre Director at Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre Lancashire discusses how our new Sponsor a Star appeal is helping to transform what is on offer to people living with life-limiting or life-changing conditions.

Image of artist's impression of Sue Ryder Neurological Centre Lancashire

We tend to take the simple things for granted these days. Some mornings I open my eyes and immediately start thinking about everything I have to do. I don’t notice that I’ve showered, dressed and walked down the stairs to make my first coffee of the day. 

For people living with illnesses such as Huntington’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s or Motor Neurone disease however, our simple, everyday tasks are completely beyond the realms of possibility. 

When people are diagnosed with a life limiting or life changing neurological conditions, over time they experience huge loss which paints a bleak picture for their future. The first loss comes fairly quickly after diagnosis when they can lose their careers and their circle of support. 

They then lose their interests and hobbies and then their primary relationships with their partners and families can start to break down. Then, they lose their home, as they enter institutionalised care. All of this in turn has a huge impact on their mental wellbeing.

How Sue Ryder's Sponsor a Star appeal is supporting neurological care in Lancashire

For us at Sue Ryder, it’s about asking what price do we put on people’s quality of life? The Health and Social Care system doesn’t provide funding for people to maintain their hobbies and interests. That’s not a criticism, there just isn’t enough money in the pot.  

This is why we have to start looking at technology and exploring how you make it easier for people to maintain their independence, cultivate their circles of support and enable them to continue to communicate effectively as their condition deteriorates. 

Our ‘Sponsor a Star’ appeal with support from the Lancashire Post aims to raise enough to buy items such as an anti-gravity treadmill, bespoke virtual reality headsets and hydrotherapy pool for our brand new neurological care centre in Lancashire, opening in Spring next year. 

The treadmill could allow someone with limited mobility to experience a form of running again using a hoist which creates a negative gravity so that they are weightless. It’s about how we create an opportunity, however limited it may sound, for that person to still have some fulfilment of their ambitions. 

The hydrotherapy pool will be extremely beneficial for usOften, people with neurological conditions are able to perform movements in the warm water that they are unable to do on dry land. The pool will help relax the muscles and take the pain out of their joints.

Despite people’s conditions they still want to enjoy what they were once able to. We’ve got one client who took part in the Commonwealth Games.  That ambition, that desire to compete doesn’t stop. 

Another of our clients was a really successful career woman who enjoyed an active lifestyle and had a golf handicap of 18 before her Multiple Sclerosis really took hold. Having access to an anti-gravity treadmill and hydrotherapy pool could really improve her standard of life and maybe even help her try out other sports. 

Our new centre - Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre Lancashire

We hope that our new neurological care centre will change things for an entire generation. It’s about transforming what’s on offer for people right across the UK with life-limiting neurological conditions.

The Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre Lancashire is a sign of our commitment to continuing to provide expert, specialist support as we work to modernise neurological care across the country.     

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Image of Terry Mears

Centre Director

Terry Mears

Terry Mears is Centre Director at Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre Lancashire.