Following our recent stay at Bear Cottage, Anthony was asked why parents would choose a hospice over home for their child’s end-of-life care. It’s obviously a very personal decision but for us, our hope would be that Aidan’s final days will be spent at Bear Cottage and here’s why:
1. Anthony and I get to be parents and spend quality time with Aidan without having to worry about making and administering medications.
2. Unlike our dark house, Bear Cottage is light, bright and airy – it’s as close to heaven as we can get on earth.
3. There is no housework to worry about or meals to prepare, freeing us up to focus on Aidan, Ollie and ourselves.
4. We have three well rounded meals available to us to ensure we maintain our strength and health.
5. Nursing and medical staff are available around the clock should we need assistance and advice.
6. A social worker is available to help us navigate this unfamiliar territory.
7. Visitors can be limited to short periods during set times and, since it’s not our house, we don’t need to worry about providing refreshments, making sure the bathroom is clean and all the other little things that come with entertaining guests.
8. There are lots of things to do to distract our niece, nephews and friends’ children who will likely find the experience overwhelming.
9. We don’t have to worry about finding a GP to write a death certificate.
10. We can stay with Aidan as long as we need after his death, days if we like, until we are ready to say goodbye.
While the nature of Aidan’s disease may mean that his death is sudden, we still hold hope that his last moments with us will be peaceful and calm and by some little miracle we get our wish to say goodbye at Bear Cottage.