Elaine’s Story

Living with Motor Neurone Disease

Elaine, 62, is living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) at her home Westwood Lodge Care Home in Poolstock.

Elaine, a mum of two and grandma of four, was diagnosed with MND in October 2019. After spending some time in sheltered accommodation, she and her family decided she needed additional care and Elaine moved into Westwood Lodge in July 2022.

Our Practice Development Team offers free training and support in palliative and end of life care to all care settings across Wigan Borough. The team has had a relationship with Westwood Lodge since 2015 when the team was known as Hospice in your Care Home.


Westwood Lodge

When Elaine went to Westwood Lodge the staff contacted our team for support in meeting Elaine’s needs.

Debbie Jones, Practice Development Lead, said: “The staff were concerned so I visited Elaine to meet her and discuss her wishes for her future care.

“We then started weekly support visits and, as a team, organised an urgent meeting with everyone involved in Elaine’s care to make sure she got funding for the care she needed. The multidisciplinary team meeting that the hospice team facilitated resulted in securing funding for one-to-one care 24 hours a day for Elaine and, as a result, her anxiety levels have reduced dramatically.”

Marie or Michelle from the Practice Development Team now visit Elaine every week to support the staff caring for her and to monitor Elaine’s wellbeing.

Elaine said: “Now I have got that one-to-one care I have got somebody with me all the time. I know if I need a drink I can get one and I’m not as anxious as I was.”



Former administrator Elaine first knew something wasn’t quite right when she had several falls.

She said: “I kept having little falls and my leg gave way so I went to my GP. I had physiotherapy at first then I had some tests done. When they examined me and were looking at my back and I knew they thought I had MND.”

Debbie also completed an Advance Care Plan with Elaine so that her wishes for her future care are known and respected.

Elaine said: “It was helpful to do the plan but it was hard letting my son know what I wanted.”

Home Manager of Westwood Lodge Care Home, Lorraine Young said: “Having the expertise of the staff, the support, the reassurance and the training are fantastic. The team is there as a back up to everything we are providing and helping us have the best package of care for a person approaching the end of life. As soon as you ask for help they are there – they are really amazing.”

Catherine Haycock, Area Director at HC-One which operates Westwood Lodge said: “I have worked in a lot of different areas and elsewhere they simply don’t have access to this kind of training. The relationship we have with the team is key: the staff here know that if they need someone, there will always be a friendly face and they can ask them anything.”


Need support caring for someone?

The Practice Development Team is the team behind the Wigan Borough Palliative and End of Life Care Learning Hub.
The hub is based at the hospice Hindley and provides a wide variety of education and training opportunities free of charge to health and social care professionals from Wigan Borough.

The facilities include a dedicated clinical skills room and training spaces where staff can learn about the fundamental components of good palliative and end of life care.

Carers who are not health or social care professionals may also access support from the team.

To find out more contact the team on: pdt@wlh.org.uk / 01942 525566

This story was published February 2023