A MAN who lost his wife to cancer last year has praised the “fantastic” service which allowed her to receive hospice care in her own home before she died.
Norman Rayner’s wife, Julie, received Hospice at Home care from St Barnabas House staff.
The Titnore Lane-based hospice piloted the scheme last year as a way to give its patients more choice about where they spend their precious final moments. It is now being officially launched this year, to mark the charity’s 40th anniversary.
Julie had decided she did not want to stay at the hospice, and Norman, 55, of Halifax Drive, Worthing, explained they were relieved to hear a home-care option was available.
He said: “We only used the service in the last week or two of her life, but it was brilliant.
“Anything that we needed would be provided quickly, and a lady called Dot visited regularly, but our family found we could do most of the care between ourselves.”
One thing the family were especially grateful for was a massage service, which Julie enjoyed in her last moments.
Norman said: “She passed away on the Saturday and when they came round on the day, we said to them there wasn’t much they could do.
“They mentioned this personal massage service and I knew she used to like a massage so they gave her a hand and foot massage. Shortly after they left, she died.”
He added: “It was nice for her that they had done that.”
According to hospice figures, two-thirds of people would like the chance to die at home.
When the scheme was first trialled, nearly 200 patients were referred to the Hospice at Home team within the first six months.
Norman will be joined by family and friends for a sky dive, in aid of St Barnabas House, on Saturday.
They have already raised nearly £4,000, which included around £600 raised at a fund-raising event at the Mulberry pub, in Goring Road.
He said: “The help we got was fantastic so we are doing this sky dive to raise them some money.”
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/ourteam-skydive
To find out more about the services offered by the hospice, see www.stbarnabas-hospice.org.uk