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How to support a good death

Palliative care
Hospice at Home nurse Julie Bateman talks to Kathy Oxtoby about her work supporting end of life patients and families, the qualities her role demands, and the rewards it brings

Julie Bateman feels special being a Hospice at Home nurse. And she helps to make her patients’ final moments special too. ‘I carry out their last offices. I give them a little wash, dress them in their favourite nightclothes, and spray on their favourite perfume or aftershave. If they have a particular soft toy that they love, I place it with them.

‘I care very deeply about doing these last things for them. When I leave their room, they look just like they’re asleep. When I leave their house, leaving their families to spend those last moments with them before the funeral director arrives, I feel fulfilled – that I have achieved something very special for all of them.’

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