Overcoming anxiety to use the hospice 

By Abigail, mother supported by Very Special Kids

Letting your child stay overnight for the first time somewhere is a big deal.
Letting your 3-year-old is even harder.
But letting your 3-year-old who has a life-threatening, complex medical condition stay overnight without you is almost unfathomable!

We had been recommended to do this. We hadn’t had a break in years and finding people that would take Matthew’s complications and needs in their stride while still getting to know the little boy he is, was completely foreign to us.

The Very Special Kids Hospice did that for us.

We had previously attended the open day where we were shown around the hospice facilities, we heard wonderful stories and we met some great families. We saw the family accommodation and said to ourselves that we would definitely come as a family and stay some day with our other children.

When we finally did get there the hospice staff had actually called us, asking if Matthew wanted to come stay for a few days, due to a booking being cancelled. It took me over 4 hours to get his stuff ready that day and we were so nervous that they would miss some subtle sign our non-verbal, developmentally delayed little boy was trying to communicate, or that he wouldn’t enjoy being left.

That was not the case at all though. They did such a brilliant job with him and I got a call from our family support practitioner that visited, saying she went past while he was having music therapy and told us he was dancing and singing!

The next time Matthew visited, we rolled him into the foyer area there and he started dancing and getting excited in his chair.

It brings tears to my eyes now remembering the first time we saw recognition and excitement in Matthew, it was clear that he loved the hospice and was excited to be there again.

What more could I ask for? I say – if you’re considering it, do it!

Yes it is a daunting process, but it will get better, and your child will have the best qualified and caring staff watching over them, and have an absolute blast at the same time.