"I was so overwhelmed, and I just didn’t know where to turn or what to do"

When Victoria’s father’s health began to deteriorate, a fall resulted in him being admitted to hospital. While regularly visiting him in hospital, Victoria was also caring for her mother, who has dementia, and working full time. It was a lot to take on.

Once her father returned home, he required support from carers four times a day and, when the carers couldn’t be there, it fell on Victoria to look after her father. Overnight, she went from being an office worker to a care assistant.

Sadly, after two months, her father’s health took a turn for the worse and he knew he didn’t have long left. He wanted to be around the people he loved and was adamant he did not want to go back to hospital.

"I just didn't know where to turn or what to do," Victoria recalls. She wanted to do her best to make her father comfortable, but instead she felt in chaos and overwhelmed.

Our 24/7 support helpline

Fortunately for Victoria, her local Sue Ryder hospice runs a 24/7 telephone support helpline.

Day or night, there were a team of expert nurses on hand to answer questions, and to provide practical and emotional support.

This was essential for Victoria, who stresses: "I couldn’t have coped without them. It was so reassuring to know I wasn’t alone."

When you're supporting others, it's easy to forget about yourself

Victoria called the Sue Ryder team many times and found that their knowledge got her through a very difficult time.

As Victoria found, when you’re so focused on supporting others, it’s easy to forget about yourself.

"I think that, without the Sue Ryder team, I would have ended up in hospital myself," she says. "My only regret is that I didn't call Sue Ryder earlier as, had I done so, I strongly believe that the stress of the last days of my father's life would have been avoided."

Victoria’s father passed away peacefully on a calm, quiet day surrounded by his wife and daughter.

More about our 24/7 support services