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Experiences of a Hospice Healthcare Assistant
I’m Patsy, and I am a Hospice Healthcare Assistant.
My role is to provide holistic care at the end of life, meeting the spiritual needs as well as the physical needs of the person in our care.
I believe that providing holistic care makes the end-of-life process, including conversations around death and last wishes and the grieving process, easier for both the person we are providing care for and their loved ones. Knowing that death is close at hand can take a huge emotional toll on the patient and their loved ones.
We are there to reassure them that their feelings are normal and expected, which I believe gives them a better understanding which helps their ability to cope.
Everyone has their own likes and dislikes, their own spirituality. They know what is important to them. Our job is to recognise that and do the best we can to ensure these important things are respected.
We are there to enable people to make the choices they want and make their wishes known to anyone else dealing with their care.
The support we give enables loved ones and carers to provide what is needed to help people stay at home, which is where most people want to be when they are dying, surrounded by the people, pets and surroundings they love.
We provide those caring for them with education on personal care, how to move people in their beds, and we are also there for emotional support and to give advice on things that they may be worried about. We treat them in the same way we do our patients, as individuals.