Treetops, based in Risley, had to close its doors to patients at the start of the Coronavirus lockdown but have continued to provide weekly ‘Cake and Care’ packages and regular wellbeing calls to their patients throughout the pandemic.
Treetops ‘Cake and Care’ packages have included practical food items, treats, activities and this week, a posy of flowers put together by local Sweet Williams Florist in Sawley, Long Eaton.
I miss it terribly. The people, the company, everything!
John had been going to Treetops for a couple of years until lockdown:
“I miss it terribly. The people, the company, everything! I’d known about Treetops for a long time and then heard about it again when I was having chemotherapy.
“We can’t go to the hospice anymore but they phone us up to see how we are and I look forward to the care parcels coming. I look forward to everything to do with Treetops.”
We’re not having any more treatment, we’re just having palliative care
John’s wife Mary, 74, explained more about his condition:
“John was diagnosed with bowel cancer twelve years ago. He was given the okay for years but then in 2015, he was sent for an X-ray because he had a wheeze and a cough and he had lung cancer.
“It was very slow growing. Then in February he started limping and they sent him for an X-ray thinking it was arthritis and he has bone cancer. He’s been very positive and very well until last few weeks.
“We aren’t going to hospital anymore. We’ve tried but especially now it’s gone into his bones, we’re not having any more treatment, we’re just having palliative care.”
It’s been nice to have people there at the end of the phone
Mary is also grateful for the support from the hospice:
“They’re so kind and John just loved it. He looked forward to going and it gave me a rest and a chance to do other things. He loves to chat and he could just go there and be himself.
“We both had complementary therapy when we first started going, we went to the drop-in Wellbeing Cafe and I used to attend the Carers meetings.
“Now we get regular phone calls to check if we’re okay and they’ve brought bags with goodies and treats and information leaflets on getting food if that’s been difficult.
“On VE Day we had a cream tea and on Wimbledon we had some Pimms. We’ve had books and quizzes – just things to cheer you up and look forward to. It means we still have the link with Treetops.
“It’s been nice to have people there at the end of the phone if we need them. Things crop up when you’re not very well and it’s been a good thing to have. John misses it terribly.”
John and Mary, who have three daughters, celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary during lockdown. John worked as an instrument technician for Courtaulds Engineering in Spondon, from age 16 to 62, when he took voluntary redundancy.
Our patients are still continuing to shield at home due to their terminal illness
Treetops Senior Staff Nurse, Ali Jordan, explained that ‘Cake and Care’ is a lifeline for Treetops patients:
“We’re very aware that as people return to work and children go back to school, there’s a sense of settling into a ‘new normal’ for many.
“But most of our patients are still continuing to shield at home due to their terminal illness. They are still unwell, very vulnerable and want to protect themselves as much as possible.”
We’re going to continue this for as long as our patients need us
Treetops has adapted its services accordingly, Ali continues:
“We’re responding to patients’ needs and bringing the care and support to them at home. We’re going to continue this for as long as our patients need us.
“As well as ‘Cake and Care’, some of our Wellbeing Services are restarting as online, virtual sessions and we’ve re-opened our Wellbeing Café, though people must pre-book rather than drop in.
“It’s the first time we have delivered flowers to our patients and we know they’ll brighten up their day and bring a smile to many faces. We’re very grateful to Ian Daykin from Sweet Williams Florists for the lovely arrangements and for helping us out.”
Treetops provides nursing care and emotional support for adults with life-limiting conditions such as cancer, motor neurone disease and heart and respiratory conditions.
Treetops is doing all it can to continue to support those in most need and the hospice is asking for donations to ensure they can continue to provide their services free of charge throughout the pandemic. Donations can be made online here.