Mum was sociable, fun-loving and caring. She had a wide circle of friends and a better social life than me! I am an only child and Dad died over ten years ago, so Mum and I were close.
Mum had lung cancer which spread to her brain and eventually she lost the use of her legs. She was in hospital and desperate to come home. Luckily, we were referred to Longfield. Mum was discharged in the afternoon and the Hospice at home team was on the doorstep that evening. They came three times a day and then overnight as well. Nothing was too much trouble.
We had a fantastic network of support. Our wonderful family and friends rallied around and the Longfield carers were beyond amazing. They did all of Mum’s personal care and spent time getting to know her, quickly becoming part of the family. They encouraged Mum to see her friends and keep doing the things she loved – including a glass of red wine with dinner.
For the first couple of weeks, it was just me caring for Mum during the night. She was often alert and anxious after midnight, and I spent a lot of time running up and down the stairs to reassure her. I felt exhausted during the day and struggled to keep up with work.
After one particularly sleepless night, I remember someone from Longfield calling to see how we were. I mentioned how tired I was. That was all I needed to say! From that night on, we had a night nurse. In a way, Longfield picked up the difficult, draining work and allowed us to really enjoy the time we had with Mum.
It was an honour to care for Mum at the end of her life and I’m so grateful I had Longfield by my side. Despite everything she was going through, Mum continued living her life, right up until the end of it. Don’t we all deserve that?