Blogging therapy for hospice patient

A patient at St. Joseph’s Hospice in Thornton has taken to publishing two daily blogs in order to keep friends and family informed about his care and condition.

Frank Hodges (82), from Thornton, was admitted to the hospice last month following treatment for advanced prostate cancer at Aintree Hospital and took to blogging almost straight away.

Frank said: “I’m not a big social media user or writer but when I came to St. Joseph’s Hospice for palliative care, after my cancer had spread, I felt it would be tough on my wife, Dorothy, to have to keep updating everyone all the time on my health.”

Frank decided to gather the email addresses of his friends and family and started sending a daily email about how he was feeling and how treatment was going. This then turned in to a blog on Facebook as Frank felt it was an easier way of keeping more people informed.

“I try to send two updates per day but it just depends on how I’m feeling. I find it very therapeutic and it helps me to stay in touch with people from my hospice bed. It has also brought my friends and family together as it helps them to share things too. I now even have a new laptop which is very exciting as I find it hard typing on my tablet.”

Frank added: “St. Joseph’s Hospice is a wonderful place and I am receiving brilliant care. Everyone I have met here has been a true natural at their job and I enjoy telling everyone what it’s like here. It is also very close to my home. In fact, I used to walk in these beautiful woodlands regularly and when I had the opportunity to move to the hospice I was delighted as it almost feels like home.”

Mike Parr, Chief Executive of St. Joseph’s Hospice, said: “It is fantastic when modern technology is used in such a positive way to bring people together at a difficult time but also to educate people and Frank’s blog does just that.

“It has really helped to show others what life is like in a hospice and what wonderful care and compassion he receives every day from our dedicated team of nurses and healthcare professionals. But, most importantly, it helps people to understand the importance and value of excellent palliative care. I would like to thank Frank for sharing his story, including the highs and lows of his treatment, with others who will hopefully see what a positive environment a hospice is for patients living with a life-limiting condition.”