Marlene was cared for on the In-Patient Unit at the Hospice in 2016.
Last year, our nurses cared for 326 patients on the In-Patient Unit. When Marlene came into the Hospice, her daughter Beverley knew she was in safe hands. She was in the very room where Beverley’s husband had spent his final days just five years earlier. Beverley’s daughter, Ellie, tells of the role the Hospice has played in their lives.
“I was so impressed by the counselling we received when my father was in the Hospice. I received a lot of help and my younger sister who was just 10 then benefited enormously from the counsellors’ continuing support.”
For Ellie, who was just 16 when her father passed away, this inspired her to decide on a career as a nurse. Now studying at King’s College London to be a paediatric nurse, she says: “I can hardly remember a time when involvement with nurses did not feature in our family life. Growing up in a house where medical care was a regular event has very much influenced my choice of career. I learned how important caring was for patients.
For Beverley, the two experiences of the Hospice have been very different. Her husband Sean had no contact until he was brought in for end-of-life care while her mother has been treated for pain management and symptom control.
“Although my husband did not use the service, I came into the Hospice for carers’ meetings once a week. That was how I got to know just how much the Hospice could offer. My husband had been ill for six years and the meetings were a welcome break from the isolation of being a carer. It was a safe, peaceful setting where you could be yourself – laugh, cry, bring out all your emotions with people who were supportive. It was so good to mix with others who could share your emotions.”
“Things have been very different with my mother who has had regular contact with the Hospice. Her stay has been so beneficial, getting back things in her life that we thought were not accessible any more.
“For example, she could not climb the stairs at home so she had not been able to have a proper bath for a year, having to use the downstairs bathroom to shower and wash. At the Hospice, she has been able to sink into the Jacuzzi which she just loves – being helped into the warm water with the music and lighting and then being wrapped in fluffy towels, she says it has been like paradise for her.
Everyone here is so kind and gentle. We knew when she came into the Hospice, she would be safe. It is very reassuring.” Sadly, Marlene died on our In-Patient Unit earlier this year.