Life can be isolating for young people living with terminal illness. Making the transition to adulthood is difficult enough as it is, but gaining independence is virtually impossible when you rely heavily on carers, hospital staff and parents. For the young adults who come to us, social interaction with other young people facing similar experiences can make a huge difference.
Douglas House is a welcoming space where terminally ill young people can make their own choices and experience new things, while still having access to the specialist care and support they need. Surrounded by peaceful grounds, yet a stone’s throw from the lively Cowley Road, Douglas House has so much to offer.
‘It is lovely to have somewhere to come to without my mum and dad and know that I will be properly looked after. It is my special place. (…) I get all the help I need and my mum is confident that all my feeds and medicines are given to me correctly. I’m not worried about having a seizure at Douglas House as there is always someone close by and they have a listening system in the rooms.’ – Elysia
Take a look around Douglas House
Opened in 2004, Douglas House is a hospice for young adults aged between 16 and 35. It’s designed to meet all the medical and social needs of our patients, helping them to pursue their own interests and goals and live life to the full, even when that life is short.
“It is very valuable to have a place to go where you feel at home and can have some space from the family. The older you get with a disability, the more you realise how dependent on others you are for all physical movement and support. You never stop wanting your independence, but you know it is just not possible.” – Richard
Douglas House is a friendly place where you’ll find colourful corridors and peaceful spaces to unwind in, from art and music rooms to a relaxing sensory room and hydrotherapy pool . There’s a sociable atmosphere, particularly when patients sit together over a meal in the dining room or tv/games room. Social events such as quiz nights and live music are a great way for our young patients to make new friends and experience the things other people their own age experience.
At the same time, parents can relax knowing that their child’s medical needs are fully supported by our specialist staff. Douglas House is geared towards helping patients to enjoy some independence, but their families are warmly welcomed. Family and friends can even stay in one of the upstairs flats while a patient is with us for emergency care or assessment.
From Helen House to Douglas House
“I felt I had outgrown Helen House. It was quite good moving from Helen House to Douglas House because I was coming over here while I was still at Helen House and getting to know everyone so that made it much easier. I think my mum only stayed the first day and I stay on my own now.” Dylan
Some of the young people staying with us at Douglas House previously stayed at Helen House, and moved across as they made the transition from children’s services to adult services. This can be a particularly difficult time, and being able to stay in a familiar place with people they know can make all the difference.