Family thanks hospice for care given to their Mum
A Muslim family whose mum spent her last days in peace and comfort at St Catherine’s Hospice are sharing their experiences to help break down barriers to hospice care which often exist in Asian communities.
Fayyaz Ali is speaking out about the care his mother Zubeda received on the hospice in-patient unit to raise awareness of the difference St Catherine’s can make.
He said his mum found ‘comfort and peace’ from the cancer she was suffering with thanks to the nursing and medical care she received, and thanked staff for all they had done to look after not only her but also the extended family.
Fayyaz, of Southern Avenue, Preston, said: “There’s no words to describe how grateful we are for the fantastic care she received and the sympathetic support which was given to all her relatives and friends.
“We are so thankful those last few weeks were as painless and comfortable as possible, and very grateful for the precious time we were able to spend with her in her final days away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.”
But Fayyaz, a Business Analyst/DBA at UCLAN, said he believed many families in the local Asian community who might benefit from a referral to the hospice would turn it down – because they think it does not fit well with their culture and customs.
He explained: “When my mum said she didn’t want to go home after receiving the diagnosis her cancer was incurable, we were surprised.
“In the circumstances, some members of the family were adamant that if there was a place available for her at St Catherine’s, then she should take it – although other members of the family weren’t as easily convinced. In our culture, hospice care can be fitemned upon – because they think caring for each other should stay in the family. But it isn’t about that – it’s about making sure your loved one can receive the expert care they need.
“We have a large family, and relatives were coming from all over the country to visit and help out. So it wasn’t the case that there weren’t enough of us who were willing to look after our mum, it was about the fact she could be better cared for at St Catherine’s.”
Fayyaz also praised the friendly reception he and his family received and the flexibility they enjoyed – which was particularly important since Zubeda’s stay at St Catherine’s coincided with the month of Ramadan.
“There were always lots of people coming to visit – as is common in our culture – and staff were so welcoming to everyone,” he said.
“Because of Ramadan, we’d often be there later at night and visitors would be eating because that was the only time they were able to. It meant we didn’t have to miss out on time with our mother, and made it easier to observe our fast.
“Most importantly St Catherine’s Hospice gave us all what we really needed – time to say the things we needed to say, and spend time with our mother knowing she was comfortable and not in pain. This has helped give us closure as we move forward and take comfort in the fact she is now resting in peace.
“I hope by sharing a little of our experiences, other families – particularly those in Asian communities who might be sceptical or afraid of the hospice – will realise what a special place it is and what wonderful work goes on there.”
Jimmy Brash, Director of Care at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “I am pleased the Hospice was able to be of help to Zubeda and her family at this difficult time. We are always grateful for feedback from those who have used our services and would like to thank Fayyaz for sharing his kind comments.
“Hospice care is frequently misunderstood and this often leads to people not accessing its services. Our aim is to use our expertise, in the management of pain and other symptoms, to help patients and their families in a way that suits their needs. In other words, we work in partnership to help people achieve their own goals.
“Thank you again to Fayyaz and his family for sharing their experiences of St Catherine’s – I hope it will help others to understand the value of hospice care.”
St Catherine’s Hospice would like to thank Fayyaz and his family for sharing their experiences, which we have produced here with their permission.
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