My sister went to spend a few hours at her local hospice this week, with a view to going regularly, as her illness progresses. It has a great reputation. It was sold to her by the hospice worker as a place to go and do a variety of therapies and activities, and where she could become familiar with the surroundings as she wants to go in the hospice if she is too ill to be nursed at home.
She came home very disappointed. She is only 62, but she said that there was little on offer, shortage of staff, and they said she could join in 'doing quizzes.' She can do that at home with her family, and we have lots of other things that we think up to keep her interested and active.
I asked if I could visit and sit with her for an hour or so when she goes, but it seems that's not allowed (eh?) I asked about the set-up and it seems carers have to drop off the patients at the front door and they don't go in. I imagine it's different when they're staying as an in-patient.
She has enough energy and spirit for her (and me) to see the lack of user-friendliness in this, and we joked about changing the regime, as this isn't our idea of offering some support to cancer patients, unless they are in bed, in which case why not stay in your own comfy bed? Perhaps the visit is just respite for the carer? Her husband certainly needs a break, which we try to help with, but not at the expense of her spending a day bored out of her head. She's going to give it another try next week, in case she caught them on an off day