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HELLO, I HAVE ASKED 111 AND 119 AND THEY SAID THEY CANNOT HELP. I HAVE A 89 YEARS FRIEND WITH TERMINAL CANCER. I AM 73. IF I TOOK A CORONA VIRUS TEST AND I WAS ALL CLEAR, CAN I GO AND SEE MY FRIEND AND STAY FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS.
Thank you for taking the time to contact the Macmillan Online Community. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. This sounds like a very difficult time for you both, and I can appreciate that you would want to spend time with them. How are they doing just now, Mrs Taylor? Could you tell me a little more about your friend’s circumstances just now, so that we can try to guide you in the right way?
I’m afraid that the only information we have to go from just now are the government guidelines available to the public here. The guidelines don’t cover all circumstances, which can make it difficult to know what to do for the best for the people you love. However, they do state that if you can visit someone at home “to provide care or to help a vulnerable person”. Can I ask if your friend has support in place day-to-day, where needed, such as carers, Mrs Taylor? If not, we’d be happy to point you in the right direction to help them to access services, such as carers or having food or prescriptions delivered.
Marie Curie has also tried to interpret the current guidance for those who may be nearing the end of life. I’m unsure if this will be appropriate, as it depends at what stage your friend currently is, but you can find their full guidance here. It does say that “NHS guidance says that everyone who is approaching the end of life should be asked about having a visitor and that this should be supported where possible”.
The Marie Curie information pages go into more depth around what you may want to consider if you do visit your friend, however, it would be a very good idea if they could speak with their GP, hospital team or district nurse about this first, so that they can help you to make a judgement on this, and take the relevant precautions. Do they have a nurse coming in to see them regularly, or do you feel they could call their GP to ask about this? Your friend may also have a palliative care nurse in charge of monitoring and managing their pain and symptoms, who may be able to help you to arrange a visit, if this is possible.
It’s incredibly difficult to say what to do for the best just now, Mrs Taylor, as you understandably want to be there to offer support to your friend, while also considering the risks it may pose to you both. While we can’t tell you what to do, I can appreciate how hard it is for you to know that they are going through this. I wanted to check in with you too, and ask how you are coping with this just now, too?
Know that we’re here to support you both through this, whether you have any further questions or just need someone to talk to.
Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.
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