Team caring for Brigid holding her hand

Caring for Brigid – in the Hospice and at home

Brigid has been staying on our inpatient unit for symptom management and will soon be returning home, where our community team will continue to visit and offer support. She tells us about the different ways in which Martlets has cared for her.

“I’ve been staying on the inpatient unit for two weeks now and the care I’ve received has been absolutely wonderful. I’m here while they get my symptoms under control and then I’ll be going home.

I did have a fear about coming into a hospice because people often think of it as a place you go to die. And I thought, ‘I’m not going to die yet’! But it hasn’t felt like that sort of place at all because the staff are always smiling and they lift your spirits. They think of every little thing and have made me feel so at home. It’s 24-hour care and I can call on them day or night if I need anything. They even said I could have my pussycat brought in here to stay with me but she’s very nervous, so I don’t think she’d cope with the change. How lovely though that Martlets allows pets to visit as it can make such a difference to how you feel.

‘While I’m here they’ve been showing me exercises to do that will help me with my mobility when I get home.’

I was finding it difficult to get out of bed but now, thanks to the exercises the physiotherapist has shown me, I’m actually getting up and standing. Now I can walk to my chair and sit down which I couldn’t do before. That really is a miracle for me. When I go home, I’ll carry on doing what they’ve taught me here and she will come out and see me to make sure I’m staying mobile. There’s a staff member here at Martlets for everything; they each have a specialty. I can’t believe a place exists like this where the staff have time to care in so many different ways.

‘Rather than just treating me as a patient, everyone here has done what they can to bring something extra and it’s been a joy.’

The doctors are wonderful too – when they come round to see me, I always feel I can ask any questions I need to and that they will take the time to give me the answers I need. The food has been lovely, especially the soup, the chicken, and the lemon pudding. I’ve really looked forward to mealtimes. The staff are also making sure that I have everything I need in terms of care for when I return home – mobility aids and so on.

Sally Buche, a nursing sister on Martlets inpatient unit, helped care for Brigid:

“Brigid, like many of our patients, came into the Hospice for a couple of weeks, to review her symptoms and equip her for lots more valuable time back at home,” she explains. “During that time we can make changes to patients’ analgesics to better manage their pain; or tweak the medicines they have for nausea, or chat with them about what the future may have in store.

We can request the support of our physiotherapist to ensure as much independence as possible. Our rehab team can also enable adaptions to be made at home to help with mobility, and to give a patient’s carers a breather. Our family support team will also see each patient to see how they can assist. They offer advice about funerals, connect people with our chaplain for spiritual guidance, and provide a counselling service for patients and their loved ones. The team can also bring in valued complimentary therapists to offer therapies such as acupuncture for symptom management and to support wellbeing.”

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