Julie’s mother had PH and spent two weeks at her local hospice for symptom management.

“After a couple of months of having home visits from hospice staff, Mum had a two-week stay in the Inpatient Unit while she adjusted to new drugs. She had been prescribed morphine which helped her breathing but had nasty side effects, so they wanted her to go in and be monitored closely while they tried something else.

She was very scared about going in at first and didn’t want to leave her cat, but she came around to it. We could all see her anxiety was at an all-time high, as well as her physical symptoms being bad, and she needed a break. She was very tired.

When she first went in she was like a rabbit in headlights, but as the days went on, she started to relax. The staff were all so cheerful and had Mum laughing and joking with them. After two weeks, she came home and was so much better. She was so relaxed, and they had sorted her medication out, which gave her a much better quality of life. I’m so glad she had that help.

I was mum’s main carer and although I didn’t live with her, I was there most days to help her, fitting it around my busy job. Her stay provided some respite for me too.

The nurse specialist at the hospice would ring me regularly, just to see how I was getting on. Mum died at home, and I was offered bereavement support. It felt very much like they cared for me too.

I wanted my Mum to access hospice care sooner as I had seen how much it helped my dad six years ago when he had cancer. I always thought a hospice was just a place you went to die, but it’s so very different.”