We met Elspeth in March this year. Elspeth had been receiving end-of-life care in a hospice but came to Promedica24 because she wanted to be at home in her final months of life. She didn’t want to be in hospital, a care home or anywhere else for however many months remained – and so her wishes were honoured when her family were introduced to live in care.
Elspeth lived in a serene rural village in the heart of Cheshire, surrounded by rolling fields and trees, peace and quiet. She was in her mid-60s, with a lifetime of memories but with more life to live. Her days were spent in the house she and her husband, Charlie, had made into their perfect home over 30 years, while raising their daughters. She loved taking time to sit and potter in her cherished garden, enjoying the companionship of her old girl cat, Audrey. Elspeth was living but dying with stage four bowel cancer, and these would be the final months she would get to make the most of a life she had loved.
When Elspeth found out she had terminal cancer, like many others, there was hope and a schedule of treatments that would be part of the drive to help her and her family fight this terrible disease. But this cancer is very unpredictable – so she decided to take control of her life and the decision about how and with whom she would spend the end of it.
Elspeth’s life took a significant and poignant turn when she was introduced to the concept of palliative live in care, courtesy of Promedica24. This care was more than just medical assistance; it was a beacon of hope, a source of solace, a lifeline for Elspeth and her family.
Live-in care, as it turned out, was a gift – a final ray of light. It wasn’t just about medical attention; it was about preserving Elspeth’s dignity, independence, happiness, and the sanctity her home gave her. It allowed her to stay in the place she held closest to her heart, surrounded by the familiarity of her own four walls, her family, and her community.
When carers become companions
The care team became an extension of her family, a comforting presence of warmth and compassion. This round-the-clock care meant that Elspeth could continue to do the things she loved, like tending to her garden, really taking in the beauty of her surroundings with the rolling fields round their house, and even visiting friends and people she had known for many years – a place she was very much a part of. It was where she could have all her home comforts and possessions around her, have control of her day-to-day routine and meals, where she could also have complete privacy when she needed it and have consistent care and friendship with her carers.
It was also a chance to enjoy her two grandchildren, Ted and Lottie, who were too young to understand what was going on with Grandma. This was as if life was giving her the chance to keep all the positivity around her alive, despite the inevitability of what was going to be.
And live in care was not only about Elspeth; it was a lifeline for her husband Charlie, who had been her prime carer for a good year or so and who had of course been her unwavering pillar of support. With the care team in place, he could relish precious moments with his wife without the heavy burden of being her primary caregiver. He became a husband again, not just a caretaker.
For Elspeth’s two grown-up daughters Olivia and Rosie, the home care was a solace to them, a real comfort. They were both only in their early and mid-30s and with young families of their own and welcomed the relief of knowing that Elspeth had excellent care in place at home. It meant they could visit Mum without the constant worry of providing medical or personal care, or supporting their Dad like they’d done before the cancer progressed and took its toll on them all. They could simply be daughters, chatting, sharing stories, creating more memories, and doing the more fun stuff we all seem to put off in life because we’re so busy.
Promedica24’s approach isn’t just about their team; it’s about collaboration and companionship. Carers work hand-in-hand with hospices, the NHS, and other healthcare providers to ensure that someone like Elspeth receives the best possible care. Having help with cooking, cleaning and personal care helps ease the day to day. And while administration can be a burden and a worry for people, it’s also taken care of. It’s a cycle of care that works with stakeholders – with the person who needs the care always held at the centre. In Elspeth’s case they liaised with the hospice and all the other healthcare professionals that were involved in her care, like The Hospice of the Good Shepherd as well as offering emotional support as and when it inevitably became hard to deal with.
Elspeth and her family got seven extra months together. Elspeth’s experience is a testament to the power of live in care. It’s a true story of resilience, compassion, companionship, and hope. Elspeth defied expectations, remaining in the comfort of her home for seven months longer than anyone anticipated. Everyone, including Elspeth herself, thought she’d only have weeks to be back at home – but live in care gave her much more than she and her family expected. It was a story that proved live in care wasn’t just a medical service; it was a lifeline allowing her to maintain her independence and grace.
As Elspeth’s story unfolded, it became clear that comprehensive live in care meant she didn’t have to keep bouncing in and out of the hospital. Instead, it provided her with an improved quality of life. It allowed her to make choices about her care and live her life on her terms. It was about comfort and dignity in the face of adversity.
Living with dignity
Elspeth’s journey, her love for her home, her family, her garden, where she lived, and her cat was made even more poignant by the care she received. Her story is a proof that live in care is not only kind but also a more accessible and cost-effective option than many might believe. It’s a lifeline that allows individuals like Elspeth to embrace their final moments with love and dignity, surrounded by the love of those they hold dear.
If this story resonates with you, we invite you to get in touch to have an informal chat:
People don’t choose to have cancer but choosing live-in care allows individuals to remain at home, surrounded by love and familiarity, making their final moments as meaningful and comfortable as possible.