Hospice tower lit up in memory of much-loved Sutton grandfather

A Sutton family have helped launch a hospice’s Light up a Life appeal by lighting up its tower in memory of a lost loved one.

By Jon Ball
Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 9:42 am

The family of Ian Roper lit up the Nottinghamshire Hospice’s tower purple – his favourite colour – after the hospice helped Ian remain at home at the end of his life.

Ian was referred to the Nottingham-based hospice in July, as his wife Kathleen was having difficulty caring for him at home.

Ian, who had arthritis, heart problems and prostate cancer that had spread, lost the use of his legs and was confined to bed.

The family chose to light the tower purple as it was Ian's favourite colour.

The hospice helped with visits from the night support team, followed by overnight nursing shifts as his condition deteriorated.

Liz, Ian’s daughter, said: “Mum was struggling. My sister and I helped as much as we could, but when Mum was on her own she was fearful.

“Mum is a proud lady and initially didn’t want to admit she needed help, but when the hospice team came she said they were wonderful.

“It was so reassuring to have them there. They were lovely with my dad and skilled at making him comfortable. Mum realised they were not just there for him, but also there to support her.

Ian Roper died at home in Sutton in July, aged 86.

“The hospice care was instrumental in allowing him to stay at home, where he wanted to be.”

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Grieving process

Earlier in his illness, Ian had been taken to a nursing home, but was adamant he wanted to be at home.

Liz said: “Having Dad home at the end of his life was the right thing to do and it’s helped the grieving process, because we know we did our best to give him a peaceful end to his life.”

Ian passed away at home at the end of July, aged 86.

The hospice’s Light up a Life appeal aims ‘to bring light to the lives of terminally ill people, allowing them to be cared for in their own homes at the end of their lives’.

Supporters can dedicate a light on the hospice tree in memory of a loved one in return for a small donation, or for £350 – the cost of a night of care – they can light up the hospice tower for a night in a colour of their choice.

Gemma Taylor-Mahon, hospice fundraising and marketing manager, said: “Sponsoring a light on our tree or lighting up our tower is a special way of remembering a loved one.

“We associate the festive season with joyful family times, but for those we care for and their families it can be an especially difficult period, as our patients are coming to the end of their lives.

“By making a donation you will help us make a difference to patients, providing care so they can be at home for their last Christmas.”

Ian’s family raised £1,500 through funeral donations to help the hospice, and Liz, her sister Helen and their mum Kathleen visited the hospice this week to see the tower lit up in his memory.

Liz said: “We thought this would be a special way of remembering Dad. He liked the colour purple which is associated with Advent. Dad was an active member of his church community and a church warden for many years.”

To support the appeal, visit nottshospice.org/light

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