Gail’s story

Posted: May 16, 2016 | A story.

Gail’s mum and daughter have both received care from Hospice at a critical time in their lives, and Gail is also a patient of Hospice.  She first came up to the inpatient unit for respite care…  “You should have heard the reaction when I told my kids!” she says.  “They were really upset, thinking that you only go to Hospice to die!  Even though I told them I was only going up there for rest and relaxation, they thought ‘that was it’ for me too!”

“There are so many people who have misconceptions about Hospice” Gail says. “Since that first time for respite, I have been up several times, for symptom management and for them to organise my meds, and then I come home again.  I have Hospice equipment at home too, including a special bed, which is great.”

“They are great clinicians” Gail says, “but they are also welcoming and warm.  They make you so comfortable.  They are great with my children.  It’s friendly and doesn’t feel clinical because they wear bright colours and you can have a laugh.  I really like that.  I feel cocooned there.”

“My mum was there for a week and my daughter was there too.  My mum died at Hospice, but Josie came home.  It felt natural and comfortable, like you belonged there.  I stayed up there, slept in Josie’s room.  They nurtured her – there were moments that she didn’t need me, but she needed what the nurses gave her.”

Gail says the one thing she feels strongly about is that the experiences she’s had have given her a greater acceptance of death.  “I found that really helpful.  I felt it was a natural progression and that it was ‘ok’.  Acceptable.”

For the way Hospice cared for her mum and her daughter, with respect and acceptance, Gail says she is so grateful.  “When Josie came home, the nurses would call in to visit and kept in touch by phone.  It just made it easier, you know.  Everything is different when it’s your kids.”

“And for me, they phone every week or so, or just pop in, and I know I can call them if I need anything.  It gives me a feeling of normality.”