Hospice Care – living life to the fullest

Barbara Eden with Inpatient Volunteer Alan Grant

Hospice care comes with a stigma. Most think of it as a place to die.

But for many, hospice care is actually helping them live life to the fullest. At St David’s Hospice in Llandudno, living is at the heart of everything they do.

Barbara Eden, 77, from Rhos on Sea was diagnosed with cancer of the chest wall and has been an inpatient for the past four weeks. The overwhelming care and attention received at her local adult hospice, has driven her to speak out.

Barbara, a retired Beauty Therapist at Llandrillo College said: “Whilst in hospital, my family thought I was going to die. I was very unwell with fluid on my lungs. When told I was being referred to a hospice, the first thing that went through my mind was ‘Hospice means death’.

“I was completely wrong.  The care has been wonderful. They have put me back together again. They’ve repaired me, I am back to being me.”

“My family could not believe that within 24 hours of being at St David’s I was a completely different person.”

With a beaming smile, widower Barbara said: “I have privacy in my own en-suite bedroom, although there is always someone there at the end of the bell. The food is wonderful, little manageable portions giving me the strength I need. The bubble baths and aromatherapy massages are wonderfully relaxing and help my circulation.

“Volunteers supporting the staff on the ward play such an important role at the Hospice.  Such caring people, they bring my lunch and drinks to me throughout the day, even a sherry just before lunch.

“I urge people to give a couple of hours a week, like them. Please support the great work the Hospice does, my care has been superb.”

St David’s Hospice is a specialist hospice with highly trained doctors and nurses providing end of life care. The charity needs to raise over £2 million every year. With 16% of the total income funded by NHS contribution, the fundraising support from the local community is vital.

For further information go to www.stdavidshospice.org.uk