The World Health Organisation define Palliative Care as an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness. However it also has negative connotations – patients often see it as end of life care.
This is what my wife sees – and who is to blame her – no one wants to go around a hospice and see people with similar illnesses to you. But there is a positive element to this care that she doesn’t see- they are not just there to help the patient, but also to get to know and care for the family and close relatives.
My wife wont have anything to do with the hospice that we have been put in touch with. She doesn’t want to meet the nurse, counsellors, and go and visit. I have been to look round, I’ve seen the rooms, the nurses stations and met with a few. I have also been to talk to a counsellor there.
This has been a great way to try and come to terms with the events of the last few years. Talking through with a professional, and understanding that the feelings and thoughts you are thinking are normal is amazingly helpful. I don’t know if it is something that will help everyone, but it can assist.
End of life is something that we do have to address – hopefully further away and not soon. And to do that we need help – no one knows what to expect, or how to handle what will come. Talking to someone before that time will allow for some understanding that someone with experience is there and knows your personal situation. As the saying – goes prior planning prevents poor performance.
I keep in contact with the hospice – more through the hard times, less when things are going well, and know that there is a trained person who I can call. At the end of the day, that is all you can hope for.