For some families, this will be the last Christmas they spend together.
We care for terminally-ill people all year round, but especially at Christmas, every single day matters. Will you help make someone's last Christmas a precious one?
In many ways Christmas is like any other day at the Hospice. The nurses and doctors will be caring for patients, listening to their wants and needs and doing all they can to make people comfortable. The Christmas holidays emphasise the importance of living life and enjoying time with families and friends and so we do all we can to make lasting memories for families to treasure.
Some patients want to return home to spend Christmas Day with their families. This can be difficult as the medical needs of our patients can be tricky to manage, such as making sure they can remain free from pain if sitting for long periods of time. However the whole team works together to try and make this happen if it is the patient’s Christmas wish. Last year, Colin was someone we worked hard with to make sure he could have his last Christmas at home. Click here to read more about Colin's last Christmas with his family.
Some patients are too poorly to go home for Christmas and so we make sure the Hospice is happy, homely and as peaceful as possible for everyone who will be with us over the festive period. For the nurses too, it’s a really special time and we look forward to putting up the Christmas tree and decorating the ward.
On Christmas Eve, we finish putting up the decorations and local choirs come along to sing carols. Family pets are always welcome, and on Christmas Day one of our volunteers brings in her dog, Eric, because he lifts the spirits of our patients and their visitors. Later, the nurses who are on shift that night wrap up the patients’ presents which are then placed by their bedsides for when they wake up.
As always, we focus on the needs of the individual patient and his or her family. So if someone wants a small, intimate Christmas Day meal by the bedside, we arrange that. For large families, we can organize Christmas parties in our day hospice next to the ward. As you can imagine, it is a busy day for our team in the kitchen. Sometimes we have patients who have no visitors and so we make sure they are included and often other families invite them to share their celebrations – it is such a warm, friendly atmosphere.
If you would like to help to support Hospiscare please give what you can below. Your donations help to make a massive difference to our patients and their families.