Adrienne, Senior Healthcare Assistant, Hospice at Home team, nights
“I’m proud to be part of the Rowcroft team that delivers excellent care at home”
Adrienne is a member of Rowcroft’s Hospice at Home team that cares for patients at home in their last two weeks of life, helping families to make the most of last precious moments. Adrienne’s role involves providing compassionate care to patients through the night, and enabling exhausted loved ones to get desperately needed rest.
“In my role, I arrive at the patient’s home at 10pm, talk to the patient and the family about the best way to provide care, and I am with the patient through the night,” says Adrienne. “I attend to their needs so that the family can rest and go to bed feeling confident that their loved one is in good hands.
“My nights are driven by the patient’s needs. I help take care of personal care needs and I may help the patient to drink or get comfortable. And some patients may want to talk. When I visit a patient, I take with me some basic necessities including oral sponges, artificial saliva gel, barrier creams, cleansing wipes and various pads and incontinence supplies. That way I am sure to have everything I may need to make sure the patient is comfortable through the night without disturbing the family.
“Generally, as people become more poorly and the end is closer, they may spend most or all of their time asleep. In that case, it is my responsibility to make sure that they are repositioned regularly, every three to four hours throughout the night. If this doesn’t happen, they can quickly develop pressure damage which can be very painful, but with good care this can generally be avoided.
“For myself, I always take a hot water bottle with me (as sometimes it can be very cold during the night), some milk and teabags to keep me going, and my knitting. I usually spend quiet times knitting cat blankets for the RSPCA. The cats don’t mind if you make a mistake knitting in low light!
“I have access through the night to support from my team – who can come and assist me if needed, for example, if the patient is in pain, distressed or anxious, or requires further medication, or if the patient is too large for me to move them on my own.
“Should the patient’s condition worsen and the end looks in sight, I call the family members in case they wish to attend. Predicting the end isn’t always easy, but in most cases we are able to get families together as the end comes. If people are alone in life, then I provide compassionate care and I sit with them as they leave this world.
“I am proud to be part of the Rowcroft Team that delivers excellent care at home and that works well with other teams across our area to provide an integrated service for patients and the people that love and care for them.”