Professor Mari Lloyd-Williams – What Goes on Inside
“MY GRANDMA WAS ILL, SHE WAS DISABLED SHE WAS OLD, BUT SHE WAS IMMENSELY VALUED AND SHE DID CONTRIBUTE AND I THINK THAT WE DISMISS OUR OLDER PEOPLE, WE DISMISS PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES ”
This week I talk to consultant in Palliative care Professor Mari Lloyd-Williams. It seems like Mari’s whole life has been about care. From her earliest days where her and her sister played a key role in looking after her grandmother she understood what it meant to be a to have someone with physical care needs in a loved family, what you give and importantly what you receive.
In her work as a doctor, Mari has led with this ethos in mind and her work since qualifying has consistently challenged the existing structures. Having trained in palliative care, she worked in psychiatry for a year. Combining the two areas of medicine, she has done extensive research into depression in people who have terminal illnesses. Mari has questioned not only how we treat the psychological impacts of terminal illness, but also whether the illness or loneliness from the illness are the biggest factors in depression in cancer patients. She has examined and researched how we think about volunteers and voluntary services, and their actual impact compared to paid services.
Alongside being a consultant and teaching, Mari has set up a volunteer led community centre in her own village which provides a support network for people who have all sorts of illnesses and needs, not just terminal prognoses.
Her clinical experience, her research and her community development work seem to hammer home the importance of an holistic care experience which looks at physical health, psychological health, and social health as one whole approach to medical care. She reminds us how important it is to ask people how they are doing, how much of a difference we can make by caring, and what a hugely positive impact that can have on our own lives.
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