Jacky Smith is 49 and living with MND. Ellie is her beloved cat. Jacky writes about her hospice care.
Day hospice is my extended family, being there to comfort, console but also allow me to enjoy my time there and have a laugh with the staff, volunteers and other patients.
Most are brought into hospice by the volunteer transport. We have a morning briefing and sing happy birthday with a cake to anyone celebrating that week. It really is all about the very thoughtful touches. There is complementary therapy, counselling, hand care, chaplaincy, creative therapy, physiotherapist and occupational therapists, having a bath, hair dressing, papers to read, games to play or just enjoy each other’s company.
I don’t have lunch but it always looks and smells delicious and certainly there are many compliments to the chef.
The nursing staff see each individual to check on how they have been and to monitor symptoms. The doctor is on hand to give advice, signpost or treat.
I’ve also experienced the In-patient Unit for symptom control. I was allowed to have my beloved cat to come and visit. That helped me so much as I was missing the little critter. The care was second to none. I was sorted out and able to continue doing the things I could.
The hospice has care and compassion embedded in its ethos. In either department nothing is too much trouble and if they can help they will. The best example I have is the clinical nurse specialist that understood my conditions and therefore my needs now and in the future and arranged for the most appropriate care package at home. I wouldn’t have known where to start with it.
It seems that fixing worries and concerns so you can get on with living is their speciality.
An experimentation with water colour, made into a gift for a relative.