“I clearly remember the kindness and support that the newly-opened Hospice gave her.”

Page 4 rose and elaine

Over the years thousands of patients and families have been supported by the Hospice team as our services have grown and extended, thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

Elaine’s Nan, Maggie, was one of the first patients at the Hospice, and was very proud to present the flowers to the Duchess of Kent at its official opening on 16th October 1989.  She was a regular visitor for respite care through her illness – and was happy to visit the Hospice to take some of the care burden away from the family and to receive the clinical care she needed.

“She was a beautiful soul who never wanted anyone to have to help her.  She was aware that her symptoms were distressing for others to witness, and I think that’s why she was always willing and happy to attend.  I clearly remember the kindness and support that the newly opened Hospice gave her.”

Earlier this year Elaine’s family needed to call on the support of the Hospice team again, when her mum, Rose’s, cancer progressed. Elaine, her Dad, Tony, and her sisters Sandie and Kim, were caring for Rose at home by themselves until the GP suggested that they could benefit from some additional help and support from the FNH@Home team, a service launched in 2019 to care for patients in their final days and weeks at home.

“Mum and Dad had lived in the same house since 1968, where they had raised me, Sandie and Kim.  It was Mum’s wish to remain in the house during her illness and to finally die there.  She loved her home, and the wonderful memories it held comforted her in her end. From her initial diagnosis she was adamant that she did not want to die in hospital.

“Hearing that outside help was needed made my dad sad and he felt that he’d let her down because in his words ‘it was my responsibility to care for her’.”  But when the FNH@Home team visits started, we could see that Mum was feeling relieved.  The specialised bed and equipment that was supplied was perfect for her needs and Dad was also able to relax a little and at 85 years old he really needed it.  Every day we were all comforted knowing that the FNH carers were always either on their way or had been and were coming back later on in the day.

“At times when Mum’s pain caused her to become agitated, the nurses were just a phone call away and they would come immediately to ensure she was settled. This level of support made a huge difference to us all as our anxiety levels were reduced a little by knowing they were always there.  She was finally comfortable, relatively pain free and she had everything and everyone around her to ensure her death was as dignified, and as comfortable as possible. She was 89 years young when she passed away, her mind was still as sharp as a pin and she knew that she was at home with her life’s belongings surrounding her.”

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