Ashgate Hospice will be joining forces with more than 100 other hospices across the UK to help raise public awareness about the diversity of hospice care and highlight that it is available in many different settings beyond hospice buildings.
The theme of this year’s Hospice Care Week, from October 6-12, is Hospice care, everywhere.
Hospice care is expert care provided by a diverse team of professional staff and volunteers. It is not only provided in hospice buildings, in fact, the vast majority of hospice care is provided in people’s own homes.
Last year alone, Ashgate Hospice nurses made more than 3,000 home visits, up by 73per cent on the previous year, and that figure is rising.
Hospices also play an important role in supporting and educating staff and volunteers working in other settings beyond hospices, including care homes and hospitals.
Ashgate Hospice also has four nurses based at Chesterfield Royal Hospital who as well as having over 4,000 face to face contacts with patients each year, also provide training and education to other health care professionals at the hospital.
The hospice is inviting people to join them on social media to celebrate Hospice Care Week and help increase awareness about the range of hospice care available in different settings.
Rebecca Littlewood, Ashgate Hospice’s Marketing and Communications Manager, said: “We are delighted to support this national awareness-raising drive. We will be encouraging our supporters to share their stories and memories of hospice care, especially through our social media pages and using hash tag #HospiceCareWeek, to help spread the word that hospice care is not only available in a hospice building.
“We hope people will realise that hospice care is more diverse than they might first think and will become more aware of where else it is available, especially the support hospices offer to people with life limiting illnesses in their own homes.”
Antonia Bunnin, Director of Hospice Support and Development at national hospice care charity Help the Hospices, said: “Hospice care is delivered by diverse teams of people who share a strong culture of compassionate care which focuses on the dignity and wellbeing of each individual, wherever they are cared for.
“We hope that Hospice Care Week will raise awareness about the diversity of hospice care on offer and how this meets the needs and preferences of terminally ill people and their families in many different ways.“
Hospice care is personalised, comprehensive care for adults and children with terminal or life-limiting conditions that supports their physical, emotional, social, practical and spiritual needs and also supports their families.
The demand for hospice care is growing. The number of people aged 85 and over in the UK is expected to double in the next 20 years, with more people living for longer with chronic and often complex health conditions.
Ashgate Hospice patient Judith Waring, 55, of North Wingfield, is one of many patients who was surprised at the extent of care provided by the hospice.
After being diagnosed with bone cancer in July 2013 and finding out the primary source was breast cancer, Judith was referred to see Ashgate Hospice’s Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Dr Parnacott, in October 2013.
Unfortunately, Judith then developed a fracture in her right femur which after surgery left her very weak.
As she started to build her strength up again, she then developed a problem with her spine, which affected her mobility.
Judith was then admitted to Ashgate’s In-Patient Unit for continued pain management and physiotherapy to help her get back on her feet again.
Judith said, “It makes me very humble and privileged that everybody’s doing all these things for me – I just feel honoured, I do really. I can’t put it into words to be honest; it makes me
quite choked because they’re just amazing.”
Judith has since been discharged home and now attends the Hospice’s Day Unit once a week for regular physiotherapy and pain management.