Opinion: Why we need to support Strathcarron all we can
It’s only a few weeks since many in the community joined in the celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of Strathcarron Hospice first opening its doors to patients.
Over the last four decades it has been a much-needed and valuable facility for many people suffering from cancer and other life-limiting conditions.
However, it doesn’t just provide support for those who are ill, but also their families and loved ones, whether it be at home or in the hospice setting as a day or inpatient.
Six years ago we had a glimpse inside the hospice when it was featured in the documentary Seven Songs for a Long Life. As you might expect there were a few tears, but there was far more laughter as we were given an insight into what goes on within the Denny building, much of it carried out with humour and song.
It was an uplifting experience to watch and also to acknowledge how lucky the people of Forth Valley are to have this facility.
Sadly, they cannot help everyone who needs their care.
They only have a certain number of beds and unfortunately, demand is often greater than the space available.
I know because over four years ago when my father was terminally ill we hoped that he would be able to spend his last days in Strathcarron because we already knew the high standard of care provided.
But there were no beds and instead we were persuaded the best place for him to be cared for was in Falkirk Community Hospital.
Watching someone die is never a good experience but when you feel that the level of care and the surroundings are not what you would want for them in their final days it is an added burden.
I accept that what we went through was not experienced by everyone and hopefully no longer occurs.
I’ve always felt guilty that I didn’t ask for him to remain within the excellent care at Forth Valley Royal until a hospice bed became available.
After his death I’ll admit that I sometimes struggled to visit the hospice and see others who were more fortunate to receive their special kind of care.
But by continuing to support Strathcarron as much as we can we will ensure that as many of those in need can be supported when they require it.
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