Dying Matters Awareness Week 2021
Helping your loved one to be in a good place to die is an incredibly difficult time, filled with difficult conversations - but this Dying Matters week we are touched to be able to share this story from a patient's husband, and his experience of the care our Hospice at Home team provided to his wife in the last months of her life.
"A terminal diagnosis is devastating and can be immensely tough to process, equally challenging can be those difficult conversations with loved ones about dying. Where someone will die, is one topic that can often be easier to avoid broaching. However I now realise it is a massively important discussion and decision, to choose how a person is cared for, is after all, sometimes the only control that we have left.
My wife died after a 3 year battle with a brain tumour, the last 3 months of her life she was unable to articulate her thoughts however I look back at that period now and I find comfort that she was at peace. My wife was well cared for and the heartbreak was eased slightly due to fantastic support that was in place. It was though, frightening and upsetting when she initially started to deteriorate, the overwhelming priority became about her care and wellbeing.
I was so grateful for help which came from Macmillan and Bolton Hospice. I was prompted to have a conversation with my wife about where she would want to die and she surprised me when she was quite adamant she wanted to remain at home. I had seen the wonderful care that my mum had received within Bolton Hospice a year earlier and had assumed that couldn’t be matched elsewhere. I didn’t even know Hospice at Home was an option, however an operation of co-ordinated support suddenly sprang into action. The level of care offered was amazing, ranging from equipment, physical help with my wife and mental support for the family. Daily organised visits covered essential medicine being administered, personal hygiene care, pain relief and above all…maximising quality of life. Advice and a friendly face was a constant, this provided both respite and allowed her children to be with her as well as her mum and sisters.
The support was immense and made such a difference. The main comfort though, was that my wife seemed contented within familiar surroundings, in what was the most difficult of times, her wishes had been granted and I will forever be thankful for that."