Responding to the needs of the local communities in and around Seaton and Axminster, Hospiscare@Home provides 24/7 hands-on nursing support at home for people with a life-limiting illness in the final months or weeks of life. The service is provided by local charity Hospiscare and is generously supported by Seaton & District Hospital League of Friends and The League of Friends of Axminster Hospital.
Mrs Glenys O’Hara, aged 81 from Seaton and a Hospiscare@Home patient, explains why the service is so important.
“Before I had cancer my husband, Tom, and I had a very active social life. We were avid bowlers and went bowling all over the country. It was a very big part of our lives. We also went on coach trips once a month on Sundays to the seaside. We had a great crowd of friends and those were good times.
“But once I was diagnosed with cancer and the consultant said I could have treatment but would probably be too weak, everything changed. It felt very isolating to be in hospital and such a departure from my life before the cancer.
“I was in hospital for a long time and got very depressed. It’s very difficult sleeping with other patients around and you can’t relax in the same way you can at home. I think in some ways you feel more ill being in hospital than you probably are. It’s just a different atmosphere from being at home and you are not in your own routine. So I was desperate to get out and be back home.
“Hospiscare@Home made it possible for me to do this. I asked them if I could stay at home and be looked after there and asked, “Will you be with me?” They said, “Yes, don’t worry.” It must be such a blessing for people who live on their own to have access to this kind of service.
“They kitted out my home with everything I need including a hospital bed in my lounge so I can watch TV and see out the window. They’ve been a huge support to Tom, who is also my full time carer. Tom calls them day or night whenever he is worried about anything and they always advise him, or pop over.
“Being at home and if I can’t sleep at night, I have the freedom to watch TV, read or have a cup of tea and biscuits without disturbing anyone else. You can’t really do that in a hospital.
“The nurses that come in are excellent, very calming. They sit down and talk to me and it stops me from feeling so isolated. I look forward to seeing them. Some sing to me, we laugh and chat together, and it helps. They put me at the centre of everything. Nothing is too much trouble. I feel secure with them, I always have them there to talk to. The team work in such close co-ordination you get the same flow and the same caring all the time. It feels like they are my extended family. It’s wonderful, the whole Hospiscare@Home system as a package, you can’t fault it.
“I have six children and fifteen grandkids and they all come round to see me. You can do what you want at home, it stops you from being a hospital number. When the grandchildren come round to play it’s just lovely. They climb up onto the bed with their chubby arms and legs and I love it. My family is everything to me. To be at home and have them around means the world to me.”
Hospiscare@Home is provided by Hospiscare and funded by the following charities in their respective areas: Seaton & District Hospital League of Friends and The League of Friends of Axminster Hospital, Exmouth & Lympstone Hospiscare, and Budleigh Salterton & District Hospiscare.
These local charities work together ensuring the best use of the money you donate. To donate to Seaton & District Hospital League of Friends visit www.seatonlof.btck.co.uk ; to donate to The League of Friends of Axminster Hospital email email@example.com ; to donate to Exmouth & Lympstone Hospiscare visit www.exmouthhospiscare.org ; to donate to Budleigh Salterton & District visit www.hospiscarebudleigh.org ; or to donate to the provider of the service visit www.hospiscare.co.uk.