I meant to mention, I did my drop-in last week and it was actually quite a good visit. I had been warned beforehand that there were lots of people on the ward who were receiving end-of-life care, and that it would probably be of limited worth. However when I turned up, there were certainly lots of very poorly people, but there were also some quite distraught relatives there, it was nice to chat to them and possibly offer some hope that there might be life afterwards. It never fails to surprise me how polite people are - mostly - in such an awful situation.
It highlights, I suppose, another difference between a volunteer and a staff member. The staff are very patient-centric, but I think it is important to connect with relatives too. I can't really offer much, but I can possibly shed some light on the changes that they might expect. I know the overall statistics are favourable, in terms just of survival, so I can quite easily apply a positive view on the fact that somebody's father or mother is lying there looking very sorry for themselves.
BEFORE YOU START: Please note that although I currently volunteer for both the Stroke Association and Age UK, the views expressed in this blog are strictly my own. I am not a spokesperson for either (or, indeed, for any) organisation, and I accept complete responsibility for the views expressed herein. I've tried to use the Glossary to explain any ambiguous terms, but if you think there is anything I've missed, please message me.