Because of you...

Linda could remain at home

Sometimes it can be the little things that make the difference between coping with a life-limiting illness and feeling overwhelmed.

When Linda Davis, who lives in Penhill, was caring for her partner she found the Carers Café at Prospect Hospice a lifeline.

“Caring for someone can be exhausting, and being able to sit down with a cup of tea and talk to other people in the same situation helped so much,” says Linda.

“You can’t moan about your partner to family or friends without feeling really guilty, but people who are also carers understand what you are going through. Your life becomes so swamped by looking after your partner that you find there’s nothing left of your own. Being able to have a moan, get things out of your system, and even have a laugh or a joke about what you are going through helps so much. And there were talks after each café session where you all learned more about the journey you’re all on, and you can ask questions, so that really helped too.”

But after the loss of her partner, Linda was to face more tough times. She fell and broke her hip badly and, while she was being treated, scans showed that she had lung cancer, and it was terminal.

“I’d been having bereavement counselling from Prospect Hospice, which helped so much, but now I had another reason to need support from them,” says Linda, who is 65-years-old.

“My daughter, Clare, her husband and their four children had moved in with me temporarily, and Clare became my carer. But there were practical problems – because of my broken hip I had to sleep downstairs in the utility room, and space is limited in there so I needed a short bed.

“Prospect Hospice was marvellous in sorting out the practical things I needed, and arranged for me to have a short hospital bed and a new wheelchair, fitted with special supports. That meant I could not only get out of bed, but also get comfortable in the wheelchair so I could sit in the front room and even go out to Coate Water with Clare.
“It has also meant that I can remain in my own home, which is what I want.”

Daughter Clare Baker says Prospect Hospice’s single point of contact system has freed her up from administrative tasks like chasing prescriptions or trying to get through to call centres, and allow her to get on with what she wants to do – give her mum the loving care she deserves.

“In the beginning I could spend hours on the phone, trying to get hold of medicines or physiotherapy or the surgery – I remember one call I made ended up in Portsmouth. It was so stressful and frustrating.

“But once Prospect Hospice got involved, everything was smooth. All I have to do is call them, and I know that whatever we need will be sorted quickly, often the same day.

“Now I can do what I want to do – focus on being a proper carer for my mum.”

Find out more about how you can support the work of the hospice with a regular gift here.