National healthcare charity Sue Ryder, which runs Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice in Reading, has this month launched an appeal asking people to help them fill families’ final days together with love.
The charity is asking people of Berkshire to support their ‘Room Full of Love’ campaign, so Sue Ryder Nurses and expert care teams can continue to go above and beyond, helping to give families a better goodbye.
Families like David’s.
They made it possible for our family to be together
David’s family were supported by the Sue Ryder Hospice at Home team, who ensured he was able to spend his final days in the comfort of his own home, surrounded by photos and memories, with his wife and daughter by his side.
David’s daughter, Joanna, said: “When we found out we had been allocated care from the Sue Ryder Hospice at Home team, I felt as though a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Where I live, the words “Sue Ryder” are synonymous with care, love, support and sanctuary. Knowing we would be supported by the team meant that Mum and I felt able to take the decision to care for Dad at home in the last weeks of his life.
Some of the care team brought humour – much needed at such a difficult time. Others connected with us on shared interests and experiences. In their first couple of visits, our carers took time to find out about Dad – where he used to work, what his interests were, and to look at old family photos. He wasn’t just a patient to them: he was a person.
It takes a very special person to carry out the work that the Hospice at Home team does, every day, for families like ours across the country. They made it possible for us to be together as a family in one of the most difficult times of our lives, and I will always, always be grateful and thankful for their love and care for us.”
Going above and beyond
“We often talk about the photos that people have around them and I really think patients like there to be a bit of normality”, shares Sue Ryder Nurse Melissa, who was one of the Sue Ryder care team who helped care for David and his family.
“I remember when we suggested it was time for David to have a hospital bed, the family all got together and rearranged the front room and it became a beautiful bedroom for him.
On the day David died we called their vicar for them and he came and I hope that gave them some comfort. David kept his Bible beside his bed, so we knew his faith was important to him.
When the family stepped out so we could perform the last offices we picked a rose from a bush in the garden and laid it on his pillow and placed his Bible under his hand. It’s a way for us to say that we have been privileged to look after your family.”
A room full of love
The past year has been difficult for everyone, with many families experiencing loss. Sue Ryder wants to take away some of the tough things that come with losing a loved one, helping to fill rooms with music, much-loved pets, or the people who mean the most, to help families have a better goodbye.
By supporting the appeal you can help Sue Ryder take the pain, stress, and uncertainty away through their medical expertise, emotional intelligence and practical support, leaving families like David’s free to focus on what’s really important – love.
To help Sue Ryder Nurses fill a room with love, click here