For most people, COVID-19 means Christmas is likely to look very different this year.
At LOROS Hospice, for patients who may be facing their last Christmas, being with loved ones couldn’t be more important.
That’s why donations to the LOROS Light Up a Life Christmas Appeal will be put towards supporting terminally ill patients over the festive period and ensuring that this Christmas is as special as possible.
At LOROS we always try so hard to make Christmas special. The nurses decorate the ward and fill Christmas stockings for the patients and their families.
Tracey Hinde, Ward Manager at LOROS, said “We all love to get together with friends and family during the festive season but for patients who are facing their last Christmas, making happy memories with family is even more important.
“At LOROS we always try so hard to make Christmas special. The nurses decorate the ward and fill Christmas stockings for the patients and their families. Carols are sung and there’s even a visit from Father Christmas.
“This year, due to COVID, it may have to be different, with fewer people and a lot more PPE.
“But I know the whole nursing team will be doing everything they can to make it as special as possible.
The current lockdown means nurses have already been finding clever ways to help patients feel even more cared for, using tech as well as more traditional techniques.
Odelle Watkins, Apprentice Healthcare Assistant, said, “I hold up an iPad so the patient’s family can talk to them. Similarly, I hold the phone to a patient’s ear, even if they are too ill to speak, so they can hear their relatives talking. The nurses say hearing is the last sense to go so I think they know they are there.”
With visiting restricted, Odelle trained in hand massage to offer comfort to patients.
“One woman said to me, ‘you can’t underestimate how much I’ve missed being touched.’ Even though I was wearing gloves, she could still feel the warmth from my hands and it felt so relaxing and comforting.”
Christmas at LOROS won’t look the same but the care will make up for it, says Tracey.
“The sentiment of Christmas, the kindness, the care, the love, that is what we’ll be focusing on. So even if we can’t pack the ward with carol singers as we would like to, we will be embracing the Hospice with the spirit of Christmas. And that’s the most important thing”, adds Tracey.
To support the appeal and add a light to LOROS’ virtual online Christmas tree in the name of your loved ones, visit loros.co.uk/LUAL. In addition, LOROS will also place a light on their Hospice Christmas Tree in memory of your loved ones to shine throughout the Christmas period. The LOROS tree lights will be switched on and unveiled as part of an extra special, virtual Light Up a Life Christmas service, streamed online on Sunday 6th December at 5pm, instead of the usual service in the Hospice grounds. All are welcome to join.