23rd Sep, 2020

Challenges of supporting loved ones in hospices take centre stage in Solihull

Sarah Mason 25th Sep, 2019 Updated: 25th Sep, 2019

AN AWARD-WINNING playwright will be raising awareness of the challenges to support a loved one with a terminal illness in his latest play.

Brian Daniels will be bringing a performance of Fighting For Life to Solihull’s Marie Curie hospice, on Marsh Lane on October 8 from 2.30pm.

It is based on the heartaches and good times experienced by the true story of Jim and Joan Findlay who have been married for 62 years.

Joan has dementia and, with their four adult children leading busy lives elsewhere, her principal carer is her husband, James.

When James is diagnosed with motor neurone disease, the family find themselves navigating a fractured health and social care system to get their parents the help they need and to keep them together to the end.

The inspiration for the play came from the Findlay Report (published in 2006), which was written with the support of the Findlay family after the death of their parents.

It is now 13 years since the Findlay family’s experience and yet the same challenges exist for people living with complex needs at the end of life.

Suzanne McArthur, allied healthcare professional and community engagement lead, said: “We are excited to be hosting such a thought-provoking play on a subject many of us are likely to face in our lifetime.

“The play highlights the struggles one family faces in dealing with the challenges of supporting a loved one who is terminally ill through its unique approach to story-telling.

“Here at the Marie Curie hospice we offer the reassurance of specialist care and support, in a friendly, welcoming environment, for people living with a terminal illness and their loved ones – whether someone is staying in the hospice, being supported at home or just dropping into one of our support groups or café.”

The free performance, which is open to the public as well as those using the hospice’s services, will be followed by afternoon tea and discussion lead by Dr Helen Findlay, one of James and Joan’s children who is a member of Marie Curie’s Expert Voice Panel about the play and end of life care.

To book tickets or more information email Suzanne on Suzanne.McArthur@mariecurie.org.uk.

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