Treetops Hospice Care - along with other charitable hospices across the UK - is encouraging the local community to show their support in whatever way they can - whether by donating, volunteering or showing they care on social media - during Hospice Care Week.

The theme for this year’s Hospice Care Week – which takes place from 8-14 October and is led by national hospice and palliative care charity Hospice UK – is ‘Heart my Hospice’.

Treetops provides nursing care and emotional support for adults with life-limiting conditions with illnesses such as cancer, motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis, living in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Last year, the hospice supported over 1,700 adults, their families and carers.

Treetops has several plans in place to mark the week:

  • On Monday 8 October, from 7am to 10am, Treetops is taking over the Erewash Sound breakfast show on 96.8fm and online. Katharine Lightbown, Treetops marketing executive and Mary Rose, Treetops community fundraiser will be hosting the show, rather than the regular show’s presenter, Paul Stacey
  • Treetops patients, staff, volunteers and visitors to the hospice are being asked to record their reasons why they love Treetops in a video booth based onsite at Risley
  • All sixteen Treetops charity shops based across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire will be transforming their front windows and shop interiors with Hospice Care Week promotional materials

In addition, Ashbourne Radio is also featuring interviews with Treetops Hospice at Home nurse, Liz Docker, and June Holden, from Ashbourne, whose husband, Jeff, received Hospice at Home care in 2016.

Looking after somebody’s who’s very ill, it’s extremely difficult – very wearing, extremely stressful and really tiring

June explained more:

Hospice at Home nurse, Liz Docker with June Holden

“As a carer, looking after somebody’s who’s very ill, it’s extremely difficult at home – very wearing, extremely stressful and really tiring. In my husband’s case, I’d been in the caring role for over three years.

“I reached a point where I really couldn’t manage anymore and really, really struggled. The district nurses recognised this and called in the community team – and Treetops Hospice Care.

Jeff had always wanted to die at home

Jeff Holden

“Jeff had always wanted to die at home – it was his extreme wish – and with Treetops help, we managed to achieve this. The nurses would come in and stay in my home overnight and would look after him, do his medication, care for him and also talk to, and reassure me. They would stay awake all night and keep a watchful eye on Jeff and be on hand when he became distressed or needed help to move and get comfortable.

Excellent care and they supported me all the way through

“They would come in at ten o’clock at night and would leave in the morning. It meant that during the night I’d get a decent night’s sleep and I felt able to cope more with the next day. We had excellent care and they supported me all the way through until Jeff actually died – and his wishes were met. I could not have done that without Treetops.

“To invite someone into your home you don’t know was a bit strange and I was rather wary at first but I was so desperate for support. And by the time you’ve chatted for half an hour to the nurse- they’re so friendly, calming and reassuring – I was settled and I could go to sleep.

“I would really, really encourage people –  if they are caring at home on their own, with no support – to contact Treetops and get some support at night or in the day time. They can be of immense help to you.

“The night service is superb and it makes such a difference. It was lovely to have somebody else there in the house with me, sharing the care of my husband.”

The family can go and get a good night’s sleep

Liz Docker added:

“The Hospice at Home service at Treetops is the largest service we offer, giving one to one care to people overnight or during the day at home, in their last few months and weeks of life.

“Nights can be more difficult for carers – nobody can keep caring 24 hours a day. The nurses arrive at the house and get to know the patient, get to know the family – and then the family can go and get a good night’s sleep and we do everything that’s needed during the night.”

Treetops is also asking supporters to share a series of Hospice Care Week social media posts through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn using the hashtag #HeartMyHospice and share their own reasons why they love the hospice.

Treetops has a special place in people’s hearts

George Cameron, Treetops chief executive said:

“Treetops has a special place in people’s hearts, especially for those who have seen first-hand the incredible care we provide to loved ones.

“We hope that during Hospice Care Week the public will take up the opportunity to show their affection for Treetops and other hospices whole-heartedly and demonstrate their support in practical ways whether donating, volunteering or spreading the word about hospice care on social media.”

Treetops services include Support and Information, a Day Care Unit, Hospice at Home nurses and Therapeutic Services including counselling, art therapy and complementary therapy.