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Hospice Voices

Graham's story

After his diagnosis of COPD, Graham was referred to Hospice in the Weald. Graham is cared for by the Hospice in the Home team, and attends Hospice Day Service every week. He shares why he enjoys coming to Hospice Day Service so much:

“I started coming to Hospice Day Service about 16 months ago.  I’ve travelled a lot and done a lot of activities in my life, including building a house with my son. But now, Hospice Day Service is the highlight of my week.

When I come here I don’t have to ask for things, people always offer – it’s being pampered. The atmosphere is very welcoming. It’s hard to describe, but I haven’t met anybody at the Hospice that gives less than 100%. When you first come they get to know you straight away. All the staff and volunteers know me well, and all of the other patients too.

I come on a Friday which fits around my other commitments, such as playing cards with my friends.
By coming to Hospice Day Service, I know that someone is always keeping an eye on me and my health which is very reassuring. It’s about the companionship too, I’ve made friends and spent time with new people. Sometimes you just want to sit and chat, and it’s an opportunity to talk. I take part in the exercise group, as well as meditation. I also have reflexology treatments which I enjoy. But more importantly, we all have a laugh!

When I’ve been in hospital or been too unwell to come in, one of the nurses has visited me at home. When I felt unwell after coming out of Hospital, one of the nurses understood that I was too tired to speak so she just sat with me and held my hand. They always know what’s best for you.

Sometimes I get very short of breath and at night this can be incredibly scary. It feels like you can’t breathe. I know I can phone the Hospice to speak to someone at any time of the day or night, and I’ve done this before when I’ve been breathless. Last time I phoned in the early hours of the morning, they helped me to calm my breathing down, from uncontrollable to normal. The Hospice are always there for if or when I need them.

They care for your family too. My wife has visited the Hospice before on a Creative Family Saturday, and we have supported the Knit A Chick campaign to raise money for the Hospice. My wife knitted over 60 chicks and I made the beaks for them all.

It’s comforting to know that in the future, the Hospice will continue to care for me at home if I am unable to come to Hospice Day Service. Knowing I have the Hospice to support me is very important to me.”