Jay didn’t know anything about hospice care until the Oncologist said that wife Brinda should not go home whilst she underwent chemotherapy, and recommended that we get in touch with Woking Hospice to discuss respite care. He talks about their experience as a family.
“Although I am speaking subjectively, I believe that by making the decision to go into the Hospice, Brinda lived for a year longer than she would have done. This allowed her to see her new granddaughter who is 7months old and gave us a year longer with our beloved mother, wife and grandmother.
Every aspect of the hospice service is commendable. Brinda was visited by the Hospice at Home team and was cared for in a way that is so unique to hospices. They gave her correct doses of pain control and they assessed her symptoms to ensure she was getting the right treatments. They were always on the other end of the phone to answer any questions or help out if her condition changed.
When she was finally admitted to the hospice for a second time, after year of being under their care and she was there for three weeks this time. It was wonderful to see the change in her. She was able to talk, listen, eat on her own and wear new outfits as the nurses changed her even when she was not able to get out of bed.
When she was at the hospital I had to cook and bring food into her every day but at the hospice, the food was amazing, they catered for her needs, such as vegetarian food and liquidising meals so that she could swallow them.
The family support was absolutely superb as well. The doctors explained everything that she was going through and gave me daily updates accommodation was provided so that I could stay with her overnight and they were so flexible with visiting, we could go in at any point. We are Hindu and she greatly appreciated the spiritual care she received. The ladies who work in this team would sit with her and pray or just hold her hands. It didn’t matter that they were not Hindu, we believe in one God and the hospice understood Brinda’s need to fulfil spiritual sacraments.
One of the things I remember most fondly was the atmosphere. We were able to enjoy our last days with Brinda. The whole family gathered and we had cake and tea and enjoyed ourselves and were stress free because we knew that she was being taken care of. I was able to spend more time with her than I could never have done if she wasn’t in a place surrounded by people who were helping us with the practical things. Even her little baby granddaughter was allowed to come into the hospice and play with her, which she had not been able to do whilst Brinda was in hospital.
In the country we came from, there are no such things as hospices. The attitude is completely opposite in every way. This moment doesn’t come again and you might as well do the best for the people you love, while you can. My message to people reading this would be that if you love your loved ones, this is the best place that one can be to say goodbye.”
Thanks to Jay and his family for the story and picture.