Life in a Hospice: reflections on caring for the dying by Ann Richardson

The joys and challenges of working in end-of-life care, as told by 31 nurses, doctors and others in their own words

Life in a hospice: reflections on caring for the dying

You’ve heard of hospice care, but you prefer not to think about it. Dying is such an uncomfortable topic, we all avoid it. In ignorance, we fear the worst.

This book will change your view. Taking you behind the scenes of end-of-life care, you will see the enormous efforts of nurses, doctors, chaplains and others – even a thoughtful cook – to provide the calm that we all hope for.

Perhaps you are looking for end-of-life care for someone you love. Perhaps you are wondering if this is the job for you. Or you just feel like being inspired by humanity at its best. This book will be for you.

Foreword by Tony Benn

Genre: FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Death, Grief, Bereavement

Secondary Genre: HEALTH & FITNESS / Diseases / General

Language: English

Keywords: palliative care, end-of-life care, hospice, death, dying, bereavement, nurses, doctors, chaplains, cancer, interviews, testimonies, personal stories, patients

Word Count: 64,800

Sales info:

The book sells surprisingly well for a book about death and dying.  It sold about 600 copies when first published ten years ago, it sold about 400 copies in 2017 and has sold another 500 in 2018 following a promotion. It tends to be #1 under 'hospice' at Amazon.

Sample text:

The work of hospices

Perhaps the best place to start is with assumptions about hospices. Most people think that hospices are places where people go to die. This is only partially the case. First, life is unpredictable:

"I met a patient this morning who has been coming to the day centre for two years. I always ask him how he is. I said ‘you are looking well’ and he said ‘I am well – they told me two years ago I had five days, and I have proved them wrong’. I said ‘good for you, carry on proving them wrong’. The doctors are brilliant, but many people have come in here and been told they have got months – and a couple of years later they are still going." Healthcare assistant 1

"They don’t all come here to die. They do go home. We had a man who came in on a stretcher, very, very poorly – and he walked out. That was great. He had everybody in tears saying goodbye to him. And he hasn’t come back." Healthcare assistant 2

Second, hospices do more than care for dying people:

"Nowadays, a hospice is here for terminal care, TLC, pain control, families wanting to go on holidays and leave a patient with us. We are here for all different reasons – we have got a day centre, we have got everything. You could die at home or you can die in the hospice, whatever you choose." Nurse 1

"A lot of people think ‘this is where I’m going to die’ – but it’s not necessarily the case. They can be in and out of the hospice having treatment, getting stabilised, or getting their symptoms sorted. Some hospices don’t take people till the end stage, but we often know them through the day centre or the community team, so there is a link fairly early on." Head of hospice 1

Book translation status:

The book is available for translation into any language except those listed below:

Already translated. Translated by Christine Biloré
Author review:
Anyone who gets Christine Bilore as a translator is very lucky! She is a professional translator in every meaning of the term. Her translated material is first rate and she is a delight to work with. I put a lot of extra demands on her as, in addition to the translation itself, we worked to obtain (successfully) an eminent doctor to write a foreword to my book. She is very active in marketing books she works on. Snap her up!!
Already translated. Translated by Elvira Sousa
Author review:
Elvira Sousa is a delight to work with. She is very quick and met every deadline. More importantly, my Portuguese-speaking advisor said she had a real 'feel' for the material, so the text reads engagingly and well. We went down some unusual alleys, including finding someone in palliative care to write a Foreword and she was very active and helpful in this. And she is very responsive to all communication. She is ready to undertake some marketing. If there were six stars, I would give them to her.

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