Homecare – making a big difference

... even with the little things.

Homecare nurse reading a bedtime story

Homecare nurse Alison Pyle reads Tehyah a story at home.

The Homecare team are the first team from Francis House that families meet. Following acceptance of a referral to the hospice, the homecare team go to meet a family at home.

The first visit can often be quite difficult as the family is coming to terms with the fact that their child has a life-limiting or life-threatening condition.

Alison Pyle, Homecare Coordinator explains: “Once the family has been accepted to Francis House it is a time of mixed emotions, they have to acknowledge their child’s condition, but they also need support.

“We’ll do a home visit, talk to the family about their needs, tell them about all the ways that we can support them at Francis House and invite them to come and look around the hospice when they are ready.”

The whole family can benefit from a homecare visit, the parents get the opportunity to have a break, and the child can engage in a fun activity with a familiar face.

Visits can take place in-between respite stays, during hospital admissions or when the family are in a time of crisis. The homecare team of nurses and carers can offer support and provide the same level of care that they provide in Francis House.

Parents with child with disabilities

Aaron and Sam at home with Tehyah.

Homecare is a big help to parents Sam Solan and Aaron Clarke from Greenfield in Saddleworth. Their daughter Tehyah, 11, suffered a series of mini-strokes aged three-and-a-half and requires round the clock care.

Dad Aaron says: “Tehyah needs 24-hour care, through the night she’s on oxygen and can need suction. She’s fed through an nasogastric (NG) tube, which goes from her nose through to her stomach and she’s on seizure medication.

“When Tehyah first came home after being in hospital, she was given just two weeks to live. The homecare team came to see us and sit with Tehyah and talk with us, helping us through a very traumatic time.”

Tehyah has three other siblings – Aaliyah, Dantay and Tayon – and homecare has continued to help the family during times of crisis or to simply go out of the house for a few hours while Tehyah is being cared for.

Family in the cinema room at Francis House.

L-R Aaliyah, Sam, Tehyah, Dantay, Aaron and Tayon in 2019.

Aaron says: “With Francis House they check up on you quite often to see how you’re doing and if you need anything. They’ll check when you’re next in for respite and they communicate with other medical professions as well.

“It makes a big difference, even with little things that people take for granted like doing a weekly shop, or going to a doctor’s appointment – it’s a great help.”

Tehyah also benefits from the visits and although she cannot talk, mum Sam recognises an alertness in her facial expressions that shows she has enjoyed herself and the company of the care team.

Sam says: “You can’t leave her with someone who doesn’t know how to do her meds, give her oxygen or suction, and change her pad without causing her any pain. The homecare team as well as doing nice things with her, can do the medical side as well.

“If we didn’t have the homecare support from Francis House life would be a lot more stressful and difficult. To just do everyday things would be a lot more challenging. It’s hard enough as it is with the help, without the help I don’t know how we would cope.”


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