We had known about the Hospice for some time and Mum had seen its work first hand. She had been the primary carer for her partner and he had died at the Hospice. So, Mum knew it was an incredible place however it was still hard for her to come to terms with going from being the carer to being the patient.
Having mum in the Hospice took a huge mental load of myself and the family. We knew she was comfortable and well cared for. Mum was reluctant to go into the Hospice in the beginning, however in the end it was where she felt the most comfortable. She wanted to be at home, however she was scared about not being able to breathe and so the Hospice provided the best of both worlds. It came to be like a home away from home for her and she knew she had the medical staff right there if she needed them too. It took away the fear for her in her last days and that is such a huge gift.
In the midst of coordinating all of Mum’s treatments and dealing with the family grief and processing of the situation, the incredible staff really went above and beyond in their care of Mum, and also the whole family.
We managed to get Mum’s dogs in to spend time with her and in the last week, my wife and I were sleeping there overnight, so we were able to always be there with her. We also ended up with extended family coming down from Perth and the staff let us use a spare room and found an extra fold out bed to accommodate them too.
In the hospice Mum had access to not just nurses and doctors but also her psychiatrist and social workers which made the process so much easier for her.
The staff also played an incredible role in “umpiring” all the extended family and friends. There were so many people who wanted to see Mum and the staff made sure everyone had a turn, while also making sure Mum wasn’t getting too tired and was always looked after. We couldn’t have managed without these incredible people. They did it so diplomatically and so professionally. We wouldn’t have been able to do this, if we’d been at home on our own.
The Hospice Volunteers were also incredible and it really felt like they were family coming to visit.