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Hospice Care Week: ‘Hospicecare is…’ – Sarah’s words

How a patient at our IPU responded when we asked what hospice care meant to her…

This week, 5th-11th October, has been Hospice Care Week, and we have had the theme of ‘Hospicecare is…”, gathering words and phrases on what hospice care means to our supporters, our volunteers, and our staff.

To conclude the week, we wanted to share the words of Sarah, who is currently a patient at our Inpatient Unit in Dorchester.  She summed it up beautifully with the quote above, but she has so much more to say about the love and care that she have received since Weldmar stepped into her world four months ago.

“My Weldmar Community Nurse is Louise Worrall”, says Sarah, “and she flew in and immediately started to arrange things.  A suitable bed, a portable chair, and a care package.  There were suddenly flocks of people around.

“I suddenly felt held.”

Following a stay in hospital, Sarah is now with us at our IPU in Dorchester.  “I arrived two and a half weeks ago.  I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep and I was having panic attacks at night.

“Since arriving here, I’ve been supported by counsellors, the top doctors and nurses, and I have to mention the housekeepers who come in every morning and make sure the standards of cleanliness and hygiene are absolutely impeccable.

They’ve got me walking.  I can now walk to the bathroom.  I can now eat, thanks to the right medication and the correct diet.  I started on a soft, high protein diet, and everything is fresh, hand prepared, and if there’s something you want that’s not on the menu, they can source it for you.  I like to have a bowl of berries in the evening, and it’s presented absolutely beautifully.

I have been given breathing exercises, because I was getting into a panic and becoming breathless.  Those exercises are working.  I have seen an occupational therapist, a complementary therapist for aromatherapy  There is a team here, and everyone knows what the other is doing.  There isn’t a single cog in the wheel that’s missing.

“Everything is so full of love.

“This has been the most life changing time of my life.  I feel like I have a chance of living a little bit longer, although that is in God’s hands.  But to have this quality, even if it doesn’t mean quantity, it has shown me that such selfless service exists in the world.  It is phenomenal, and I am deeply humbled to be here.”

Our thanks to Sarah for sharing her views on what the care of Weldmar Hospicecare has meant to her.

Also during this week, we have been asking supporters, volunteers and staff to complete the sentence, ‘Hospicecare is…’, and we have used some of those words and phrases in this video:

We have also used Hospice Care Week to debunk some common myths and misconceptions about Weldmar’s care and services:

MYTH:The hospice is where the majority of your care is provided” – FACT: 83% of Weldmar’s care and support is actually given in the community, via our Day Services and our Weldmar Community Nurses

MYTH: Weldmar only cares for patients with cancer” – FACT: 20% of our patients have a non-cancer diagnosis, which can include patients with COPD, advanced heart failure or Motor Neurone Disease

MYTH: I’m not sure how much it costs to receive Weldmar’s care” – FACT: All of our care is provided completely free of charge – we don’t charge a penny for our services but we need to raise £8.94M every single year

MYTH: My local community nurse is not a Weldmar nurse” – FACT: All of our care is provided by our specialist team at Weldmar, including our community nurses. Many people think this service is provided by a national charity, but they are all employed and paid for by Weldmar Hospicecare

MYTH: Weldmar’s support is just available in and around Dorchester” – FACT: Weldmar Hospicecare is more than just our Inpatient Unit in Dorchester – our care is provided across the whole of north, west and south Dorset

MYTH: Weldmar is all about medical support” – FACT: We don’t just provide clinical care, but also Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Complementary therapies like massage and bereavement support for loved ones

MYTH: Weldmar is a national charity” – FACT: Weldmar Hospicecare is an independent charity, with our care exclusively available to our beautiful Dorset county and our dedicated community

MYTH: Weldmar is funded by the NHS” – FACT: As an independent charity we need to raise 79% of our income from our local community from your fundraising and our chain or charity stores – that’s £18,000 every single day!

MYTH: Weldmar is for the last days of someone’s life” – FACT: We are actually here to support patients through the last 12 months or so of their life, making sure they live as good a life as possible. We’re not just here for the last days, but can offer so much more before then.

MYTH: Weldmar’s services are for older people” – FACT: Our care is available to anyone over the age of 18 but we also support loved ones too, such as children who may be going through a bereavement and loss of a loved one.

MYTH: I’m not sure that I’m ready for Weldmar yet” – FACT: Remember, our specialist team can help you however you are comfortable. Whether you want over the phone support, some advice, a face to face chat, or hands on care – get in touch to see how we can help you.

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