It’s Hospice Care Week!

 

Organised and co-ordinated by Hospice UK, Hospice Care Week is held every October to raise the profile of hospice care and change people’s perceptions of what it really means.

 

This year, Hospice Care Week runs from 8th – 14th October and follows the theme ‘Heart My Hospice’, focusing on the extraordinary work that hospices do in the heart of their communities.  Local Hospice Care charity Phyllis Tuckwell, which provides supportive and end of life care for patients and families who are living with an advanced or terminal illness, such as cancer, in West Surrey and North East Hampshire, is at the heart of its community and is keen to help raise awareness and change perceptions of what Hospice Care is.

 

“When they hear the word ‘hospice’, many people imagine a sad and gloomy room, full of rows of beds,” says Tony Carpenter, Director of Marketing & Communications at Phyllis Tuckwell. “But in reality, our care isn’t like that at all!”

 

Much of the care which Phyllis Tuckwell offers to its patients and their families is given through its Living Well service, which supports patients who need help coping with everyday life and offers rehabilitative groups, emotional support and complementary therapy, as well as symptom monitoring and medical advice. Patients who don’t want to or are unable to get to the Hospice are visited at home by the charity’s Care at Home team, who provide medical, nursing, therapeutic, emotional, spiritual and practical support. And while Phyllis Tuckwell does have an In-Patient Unit (IPU) where it cares for many who are in the last stages of illness, it is far from gloomy! Bright and airy, the IPU offers 24 hour care and support, and some patients who are admitted are able to return home once their pain and other symptoms have been brought under control.

 

“The first time we walked in it was like a big cuddle,” said one relative when remembering the Hospice, while another said that it was full of “incredible, loving, caring people”. “I was so very grateful to the wonderful care team who enabled my husband to have his last wish of being able to pass away at home,” said a third. “You are truly angels in my mind.”