Alice Toseland, aged 80 from Nottinghamshire, was given just a few weeks to live when she learnt that her kidney cancer had spread.
She was keen to get home from hospital and Nottinghamshire Hospice stepped in to help which meant she was able to be discharged earlier than expected.
The hospice staff were a constant help not only to my mum but also me, especially at times when I was there on my own at night.
Lynda, Alice's daughter
Alice had been living on her own, with carers visiting three times a day. To enable her to return home, the Nottinghamshire Hospice Night Support service stepped in to ensure there was emotional and practical support available at all hours of the day and night. It eased the burden on Alice's family and ensured she could be where she wanted to be: at home.
Her daughter Lynda, said: "It was such a relief when the hospice stepped in. They pulled out all the stops. Mum was desperate to get home and it meant she could come home a lot quicker than she would otherwise have done. I’d recommend this service. They are absolutely superb."
Support from the hospice meant Alice was able to make arrangements for end of life care: planning her funeral and even choosing a dress to wear to be buried in.
Because Alice had been given just a few weeks to live, her family celebrated Christmas with her early. In the event, Alice outlived that prognosis.
In December, Alice became very poorly again and went into Hayward House, the hospital-based palliative care unit, but was determined to be home before Christmas, so the Hospice Night Support Team once again enabled her to come home.
She was home with family throughout the Christmas period and died early in January 2019.
Lynda said: "She insisted on coming home two days before Christmas, and the night service helped us all through Christmas and new year. It was important that she was at home surrounded by family.
"I cannot thank your team enough for your constant help with my mum especially towards the end. The hospice staff were a constant help not only to my mum but also me, especially at times when I was there on my own at night.
"It’s terrible to watch someone you love struggling to breathe at the end of their life but thanks to the hospice support it was as nice as it could be in an awful situation. Your help and support has been beyond words."
Alice’s family followed her carefully planned arrangements for the funeral and, in line with her wishes, held a collection for Nottinghamshire Hospice, raising more than £200 through donations.
"We made sure she had everything she wanted for her funeral," Lynda added. “She wore the dress she had chosen to be buried in and she looked beautiful."
About Hospice Care Week
Hospice Care Week is a chance to join with hospices nationwide to celebrate the hard work, achievements and commitment of our hospice sector. At Hospice UK, we believe that everyone, no matter who they are, where they are or why they are ill, should receive the best possible care at the end of their life.