It’s been ten months since we launched our Hospice at Home Appeal to raise funds to expand our end-of-life care across South Devon, and thanks to our amazing community and their incredible support, we are doing just that! With new nurses now recruited, we’re delighted to be caring for hundreds more patients and their families each year. Here, two of our new Hospice at Home nurses – Megan and Angelina – explain what their roles mean for them and how they’re able to make such a difference every day to families across the region.
“I believe the biggest difference our work makes to a patient and family is giving them the confidence to care for their loved one at home – supporting patients who worry deeply about being a burden to their families but who desperately do not want to be separated from them when they only have a limited time left. We help create the best and most peaceful memories for the loved ones who are left behind.
“The most rewarding feedback for me is seeing a patient sleeping with no frown (when previously they have been in pain.) The smile, the peaceful sigh, the squeeze of the hand, a hug of gratitude, are all immediate feedback from patients and families. The words of gratitude spoken to the team are both humbling and deeply satisfying: ‘We would never have coped without you’; ‘How will we ever be able to thank you?’; ‘The kindness, compassion and professionalism of the Hospice at Home team is second to none’; ‘You made the unbearable bearable and as a family we will never forget the respect, dignity and care shown to our dad.’
“There have been so many special moments: such as supporting a family to bring their loved one downstairs into the lounge where we set up the bed so they could see their beautiful garden one last time; or helping a daughter to dress her mum in her favourite dress and shoes, ensuring that she had her lipstick on before leaving home to go into the care of the funeral directors because “Mum never left the house without her lippy on!”
“To care for an individual at the end of their life’s journey is a privilege and brings a great deal of reward and job satisfaction. Knowing you really can make a difference is why I choose to work for Hospice at Home. I can honestly say that this is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. I am proud to be part of a team that is passionate about making a difference for every patient and family that we care for. The 24-hour care provided by the Rowcroft team ensures that patients and families do not feel alone at this difficult and stressful time in their life journey.”
“The biggest impact our service makes on patients and their loved ones is that it empowers and enables patients to remain at home at the end of their lives. We provide support, knowledge, care and understanding, which in turn means patients feel more confident to be in their own homes if desired. One of the most rewarding things with our job is witnessing a patient pass away peacefully, void of pain or discomfort. This is the greatest feedback we can receive, as without our care the patient may have been uncomfortable, in pain or unsettled.
“Working for Hospice at Home has been the most rewarding and positive job I have ever had, and I’m very excited to have just been promoted to the new Hospice at Home Sister! In my role, I go out into the community, providing expert palliative knowledge and support. I spend time with grieving families, offering advice and support. I also provide personal care to patients, ensuring they are comfortable and clean. I liaise with the community healthcare professionals, such as GPs and district nurses, ensuring patients have access to medications as needed. We ensure patients are settled at home and that their loved ones are supported also, acknowledging how difficult this can be for all involved.
“Every day I feel I have achieved amazing things for my patients and their loved ones. It’s so rewarding to be part of a team that is passionate, knowledgeable, and kind; and it’s a privilege and an honour to provide gold standard care for patients and their loved ones in their own environments. I’m pleased that I can help patients and families not to be scared or worried about being at home to die, and we hopefully help make a difficult journey a little more bearable.”
Rowcroft is so grateful to our amazing Hospice at Home nurses who go above and beyond every day for our patients and families. We also extend our deepest thanks to our local community for supporting our Hospice at Home Appeal. It is because of this incredible generosity that we have been able to expand our service to care for more patients and families across South Devon. To find out more about our Hospice at Home Appeal, or to make a donation, please visit: www.rowcrofthospice.org.uk/home