Dying Matters Awareness Week at Heart of Kent Hospice, 6 – 12 May 2024

At Heart of Kent Hospice (HOKH), we understand that terminal illness can turn lives upside-down; not only the life of the person who is ill but also the lives of all those who care about them.

During Dying Matters Awareness Week, the team at HOKH will be encouraging communities to get talking about death and dying including conversations between healthcare professionals and patients, their carers and their families. They believe that honest, timely conversations about death and dying are essential to good end of life care to overcome the barriers, including lack of confidence and taboos around discussing death.

At Heart of Kent Hospice, the fabulous team of professionals include health care assistants like Michaela who has been providing care at the Aylesford Hospice for six years. Here Michaela and the ward team who work on the Inpatient Unit share some of their stories:
“On the ward we often play a patient’s favourite music and sometimes even sing and dance to help make patients happy and relaxed. The Gin trolly is a favourite and we offer patients Mocktails or Cocktails! If a patient enjoys classical music the nurses will sometimes organise for a string quartet to come and play inside the inpatient unit.”
“There are presently two bird watchers on our ward and they are currently having a competition to see how many birds they can photograph on their smart phones!”
“The ward has regular parties and we decorate rooms for special anniversaries and birthdays. Patients are also able to enjoy Chinese takeaways, cinema rooms for movie nights and there is a cuddle bed for all the family to enjoy.”
“We had an ice cream man visit and when he himself needed hospice care with us, his friends took over when he died and they now provide free ice creams to patients at the Hospice.”

The ward team aim to give families a better bereavement experience by creating laughter and making a difference to make dying better for patients and their families.

Last year the Hospice cared for over 1,800 patients and their families in their own homes or at our Aylesford-based Hospice. They need to raise £6 million to deliver all the Hospices services.

Tickets are now available from www.hokh.org/support-us/events/moonlit-walk-2023/

For more information about the Hospice call 01622 790195 or visit www.hokh.org