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Day Hospice Delights – Ann’s experience of the Hospice

Ann is a patient who visits the Day Hospice. Here, she reflects on her experience of the Hospice…

When I first heard about St Columba’s Hospice I wondered why my GP, consultant and nurses thought I should go as a day patient. I looked up hospices online and was horrified to read it was a place for the terminally ill. “Hey! Wait a minute Jimmy, I’m not dead yet,” I thought.

I was indignant about the whole thing and only agreed to meet someone from the Hospice because a friend persuaded me. I did not want to be written off, with everyone feeling sorry for me.

When I became ill, and started coming to the Hospice, my friends started talking more gently and kindly; they did the ironing; cut the grass; and said, ‘sit down let me do that’. This was an alien world to me: I have lived on my own since 1969 and always done my own thing or employed someone to do things for me.

“I would not miss it for the world now”

After my first visit to the Hospice, I realised how wrong we all were in our ideas of what the Hospice would be like – my experience of the Hospice has shown me that this is a wonderful place.

Experience of the Hospice

Ann, pictured right with volunteer Ruth and Yassie the therapet

On my first visits to the day hospice, I brought a book with me. After a couple of visits I began talking to other patients and I quickly discovered that I could get used to coming in to the day hospice each week. Now, I am glad to meet the lovely volunteers, patients and staff who work there and I look forward to going.

I have only missed one day since I began coming in – and would not miss it for the world now. Who would have thought?

I was delighted to be asked to take part in a new film about the Hospice, and to write this article. When I was asked, my first reaction was – I want to give something back to make up for the kindness and help I have encountered at St Columba’s Hospice.

Ann’s tips for other patients

I also wanted to give some advice to other people who might be reading this, so here are my top tips:

  1. Enjoy a shower every day if you can – one of the best things I’ve done in years was to take out the bath and have a wet-room fitted. Have a shower every morning and let the warm water soothe your body. Never feel guilty about it. Use a gentle soap – take your time to find a soap you like and that agrees with your skin. After a good wash you will feel better – don’t forget about brushing your teeth and use a soft toothbrush.
  2. Drink lots of water – have a bottle of water and a glass near where you sit. If you have
    an ileostomy you must drink a lot of water. Try to buy the small water bottles, or when your friends ask what to bring you – ask for 12 small bottles of water. Let them put them in the fridge for you, and don’t feel bad about it. They will be pleased to buy you something that is going to help you. Tea and coffee does not count, it has to be water. Wine or any other booze doesn’t count and anything with caffeine is a no-no.

You can watch Ann talk about her experience of the Hospice by clicking on the video below. 

Read more about what our patients think about the Hospice here.