Thank You Letter to a Hospice Caring for a Relative
Someone once described a hospice as a place of refuge on a difficult journey, and the skill, care and treatment that they offer to those who are nearing the last part of their voyage through life – and the reassurance they provide to friends and family – is second to none. Never the less, having a relative staying in a hospice is always going to be a unsettling and emotional experience to deal with, and a period of great personal upheaval for everyone involved – and at such moments, no matter how much we appreciate the efforts of the hospice staff, we often simply don’t feel able to say so at the time.
A well-worded thank you letter, written once the immediate emotional rawness has subsided a little, is a good way to ensure that everyone knows how much their efforts were appreciated, and just how much good they did. Remember, theirs is an arduous task, that few of us would relish doing – and such special people deserve our special thanks.
Content of a Thank You Letter to a Hospice Caring for a RelativeThe content of such a letter may depend on a range of factors, including the length of your relative’s stay at the hospice, the kind of care and treatment that he or she received while there, and the number of people involved. Everyone’s experience is a little different, and although we tend to think of hospices simply as a place where people go to see out their lives, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, for instance, patients will stay for a few days, before returning to their own homes for one last time – often with a support team visiting to make sure that they, their families, friends and carers are all coping – while other patients go to hospice-run day care centres. These sorts of details will inevitably influence the content of your thank you letter, and the result will be all the more personal and meaningful as a result.
Don’t be afraid to thank people for any special kindness they may have shown, but at the same time, don’t heap too much praise on any one individual (unless, of course, they really deserve it), particularly if there were many members of staff who looked after your relative. Thank you letters often get pinned up on communal notice boards, and while this is a great way for everyone to get to see how highly their work is valued, it can be upsetting if someone feels they’ve been overlooked – however unintentionally. As a general rule, unless there’s a good reason not to, either mention everyone, or name nobody at all. At least that way you leave everybody knowing how you feel without risking ruffling any feathers!
Format of a Thank You Letter to a Hospice Caring for a RelativeThe format for your letter to thank the hospice staff is largely dictated by the content you intend to include and how well you know the people involved – and how well they got to know you and your relative too, of course. As a general rule, hospices don’t tend to be stiff and formal places, so a fairly relaxed, informal style is ideal – perhaps written on a suitably chosen card or notelet. An appropriately selected, but cheery, picture will help brighten the notice board and bring a little moment of well deserved lightness to the serious work the staff do, day after day.
Sample of a Thank You Letter to a Hospice Caring for a RelativeYour Street Address
5th October, 2011
Mrs A. J. Osborne
Dear Mrs Osborne,
I just wanted to write a few words to say how grateful we all were for the wonderful way Aunt Jill was cared for during her last weeks.
It was an enormous comfort to all of the family to know that she was being looked after in such calm, tranquil surroundings and by such dedicated and caring people. Having been an Army nurse in her younger days, I know Jill herself would have been impressed by the dedicated professionalism and cheerfulness routinely shown by all of your staff. She certainly always spoke very highly about everyone there to all of us, particularly during the earlier days of her time with you.
I would really appreciate it if you could pass on the whole family’s gratitude to everyone on your team, as well as my own personal thanks, for making my favourite Aunt’s passing so peaceful.