“The Herriot Hospice Homecare healthcare assistants felt like trusted friends.” – Josh and Judith share their memories of Joan

When great-grandmother and retired primary school teacher Joan Sidney was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and complications including a loss of balance and severe shingles caused her health to suddenly decline last year, she was referred to Herriot Hospice Homecare. Our team of healthcare assistants cared for Joan, including in the last weeks of her life before she died, at home in Northallerton, in February 2024.

Here, her grandson Josh shares his memories of Joan and experiences of our care:

“Being proudly independent, despite many challenges, and having lived in her house for sixty years, it meant so much to Grandma to be able to remain at home. When we met the Herriot Hospice Homecare team, we felt greatly reassured. 

“Grandma was a lively, spirited and capable person and the Herriot team really understood and appreciated her. Their professional, compassionate approach to administering care helped Grandma to retain a sense of dignity, despite the overwhelming circumstances. As we all got to know the team, they came to feel like trusted friends. 

“We felt a great sense of relief that we could trust them to give Grandma the best possible and most respectful care.

“The team’s visits allowed Grandma to spend Christmas Day at home, surrounded by family, which was priceless. We were all happy to welcome the Herriot team when they stopped by during the festive period.”

Outside of our care at home, Joan and her family also accessed support from our Wellbeing Network, which offers physical, practical, emotional, social and spiritual support. Josh added: “The wellbeing service helped us to better understand how the funding system for end of life care at home works. The wider Herriot team we chatted to were very kind and supportive.”

Joan’s daughter, Judith, also shares her memories: 

“Mum was an extraordinary person, which was understood by the Herriot team. 

“She had overcome so many obstacles in life – deafness from childhood, being widowed aged 51, suffering a traumatic lawnmower accident aged 79 – but was always such a positive, active, vital force.  She was a real ‘people person’ and always out and about, engaged with life.  So becoming restricted to her bed was an awful trial for her. 

“Herriot Hospice Homecare were so experienced and warm in their approach.  They gave the greatest and most sensitive of care to her. 

“After Mum died, two of the team still came to wash her and prepare her for the funeral care service.  They said that it was the least they could do for her, and we will forever appreciate the care that they provided.”

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(L-R) Josh, Judith and Joan

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