A service provided by local charity Hospiscare and funded by Seaton & District Hospital League of Friends and The League of Friends of Axminster Hospital, it has revolutionised end of life care for the local community.
Hospiscare@Home patient, Charles Harris, 81 from Colyton, explains why:
“I was leading a normal life when in the spring of 2018 I started to experience a very sudden shortness of breath. I didn’t feel too bad but got checked out and was told I had lung cancer, and that it was asbestos related. At my age I decided that chemotherapy wouldn’t be a very comfortable treatment. It would only give me an extra three months or so. On that basis I thought it better to enjoy life and opted for palliative care instead.
“Since my wife died I have lived alone, I have a very active social life but no one around to help with my deteriorating health. My wife and I had four sons together. Sadly one of my boys got cancer in 2002 and he died. My other three sons don’t live locally but are very supportive and they visit with the grandchildren whenever they can.
“My condition requires regular treatment. I need to get one and a half litres of fluid drained from my stomach every day so the nurses come and do this at home. They fit in with my social life and it saves me from having to go to the hospital every day for this procedure. Not having to worry about driving and parking is such a bonus. It gives me more time to go to coffee mornings, see friends and do my shopping.
“I want to live as long as I can and do as much as I can, I don’t even think about the cancer. The illness has slowed me down and there are things I can’t do, but the nursing team are really supportive and work out ways for me to do the things I can. For example I wanted to go on a caravanning holiday in Wales. The Hospiscare@Home team made it happen. They organised for me to have daily treatment at a health centre down the road from the caravan park. They packed up the equipment I would need, booked all the appointments with the health centre, and I was away!
“Back at home they have set me up with everything I need to be comfortable. I really can’t praise them enough, they are excellent and so willing to help. They do the specialist medical care but also have access to other services which they hook me up with. Since I’m alone they sorted me out with a personal alarm. They moved my bed to a better position so I can see out of the window and they control my pain.
“It’s all the little things that make such a big difference and give a better quality of life.
“When it comes to it, they will be here for me and I can die at home in my own bed. We are so lucky to have this service in our area – it’s personalised care which allows you to make the most of life while you still can. I don’t know what I would have done without them. I wouldn’t be able to live out the end of my days like this.”
Hospiscare@Home is provided by Hospiscare and funded by the following charities in their respective areas: Seaton & District Hospital League of Friends and The League of Friends of Axminster Hospital, Exmouth & Lympstone Hospiscare, and Budleigh Salterton & District Hospiscare.
These local charities work together ensuring the best use of the money you donate. To donate to Seaton & District Hospital League of Friends visit www.seatonlof.btck.co.uk; to donate to The League of Friends of Axminster Hospital email firstname.lastname@example.org; to donate to Exmouth & Lympstone Hospiscare visit www.exmouthhospiscare.org; to donate to Budleigh Salterton & District visit www.hospiscarebudleigh.org; or to donate to the provider of the service visit www.hospiscare.co.uk/donate.