Hospice Care Week (Oct 8 - 14) celebrates the amazing care provided by hospices across the UK and aims to encourage the public to support their local hospice in whatever way they can.
The care provided by Francis House Children's Hospice extends far beyond the hospice walls and into the homes of the hundreds of families it supports.
The outside of one apartment block in Chorlton, Manchester looks very much like any other. But inside one pristine home, lives a family whose courageous dedication to one another is remarkable.
For Asma and Amjid Yasin and their two grown-up daughters Zabiha and Maliha, visits by the hospice homecare team gives them the freedom to enjoy a few hours of independence each month.
Both sisters have a life-limiting neurological disorder leukodystrophy and require round the clock care and attention. Unable to walk and with limited hand movement, their dedicated parents are full-time carers.
In the daytime Maliha (21) attends a specialist education college. Having left college two years ago Zabiha (24) now spends the majority of her time at home.
"There is nowhere else that they can go and Francis House gives us homecare three or four times a month which is a huge help. Those hours between 3 and 7 pm are the best ever, as that's when Amjid and I have a break," explained Asma.
"Just being able to go out for a coffee or a meal and a change of scenery from being indoors. In the past when I was ill and struggling in the evenings we had some extra shifts. Even a couple of hours makes a big difference to us."
The family relies on Francis House for much needed respite care as well as homecare provided by a team of experienced registered nurses who also work on the hospice care team.
"There is nowhere else that they can go and Francis House gives us homecare three or four times a month which is a huge help."
"When the girls know the homecare team are coming they tell Amjid and I to get ready, they want us to go out and have a good time,
"Because of their condition the girls need to be given their medicines and any personal care. They are really comfortable with the Francis House team that they have known for years,
"They look forward to it and do art and crafts and love having their nails done. If they need a feed the team can do that. Zabiha takes a long time to eat and has a soft diet and is also tube fed."
The homecare team are the first team that families meet, as they go to the family's home to visit following acceptance of a referral.
As well as this initial visit they also provide support in a crisis, or during extended hospital stays.
Abi Reece, registered children's nurse and homecare team member said: "Homecare offers that extra support and it's great that we can come in and enable the parents to go out for a meal or do things that other parents take for granted,
"Some families may never go out for weeks between visits to Francis House. You can't leave some of our children and young people with just anybody because of their clinical needs,
"I love working at Francis House it's the best job. Being able to give the holistic care we provide at the hospice and bring it into the home of the family."
To find out more about ways to get involved with Francis House visit www.francishouse.org.uk
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