Michelle and her family on a visit to Center Parcs just 2 weeks before she passed away
When Carly’s Mum, Michelle came into the Cynthia Spencer Hospice inpatient unit in April 2019, not only did she receive wonderful care but the whole family discovered first hand what hospice care truly involves.
Carly said: “As soon as Mum arrived the staff were lovely and made sure she was OK and settled. The staff are all so friendly and still manage to have a joke with patients and family. Our perception of what a hospice is has definitely changed. The décor at Cynthia Spencer is also lovely, so bright and cheerful. It is not a dark and morbid place at all. “
Though Michelle was only in the inpatient for a few days the family said how much they felt at home and supported by the care team: “We were able to stay overnight in Mum’s room and having the kitchen and family room there to use made it so much easier for us to be close to her. The first Christmas after Mum passed away myself and my sister came up to the hospice with a hamper of food for the kitchen as we were so grateful of it at the time, being able to sort ourselves out with drinks and food. We also gave the nurses a tin of chocolates and they were so grateful and very caring to us, asking how we were doing”
When Michelle passed away the hospice helped the family by providing bereavement support to both her husband and grandchildren. Carly recalls: “Mum’s youngest grandson was given a cuddle bear and my own children were so pleased to receive comfort quilts from the Palliative Care Family Worker. Initially they went everywhere around the house with them and now have them on their beds at night.”
Recalling how much the care meant to her family, Carly said: “We definitely felt Mum’s wishes upon her death were achieved and we were able to spend as much time with her as we wanted to while friends and family were also able to visit. One of the healthcare assistants gave my mum a goodnight kiss and sat with her when she was scared which we thought really showed how much the staff care about their patients.
“We’d say to anyone who is frightened of coming to the hospice, you’ll be in the best possible place” Carly concluded.