after the patient dies. Knowing the patient’s treatment wishes when health deteriorates isoften a major comfort and support for the patient, family members and our staff. The social workers and staff are tasked with finding a way to approach an advanced directive with patients.
We often share Crossing the Creek, written by Michael Holmes, which describes the process of dying, with our patients. We have found that hearing the story in writing makes it more believable and real and gives the family and patient time to come to terms with this life transition process.
The bereavement team, under the co-ordination of an auxiliary social worker, makes 3-monthly contact and the family is invited to a remembrance service held during Hospice Week in May.Sally Appolis, bereavement co-ordinator, says: ‘It makes me feel proud to know that I am part of somebody’s life journey. It has changed my life and I am a different person to who I was and am different from my friends.
Seeing life differently can sometimes be lonely, but I am grateful that I can help others.I love my work’.