Palliative care for young adults in England

Categories: Care.

The care is available to all young adults aged 16-40 who are registered with an Essex GP and is provided in their own homes.

At the J’s Hospice we work in partnership with multi-disciplinary teams and collaboratively with in-patient hospices and other palliative care providers to achieve a seamless service for our patients and their families.

The service was established in October 2009 and has since cared for 152 patients and families. They are currently caring for 85 patients and their families and approximately 20 bereaved families.

At 18 years old, patients with lifelimiting and life-threatening illnesses leave children’s services and this can be a worrying time for families. Due to improved medicine and science, patients are living longer than expected. The J’s aim to provide specialist advice, support and advocacy, helping young people to find their way when transitioning from children’s services.

Practical nursing care, symptom control and pain management along with end of life care at home are key components of care, as is bereavement support. The J’s runs groups for young people and addresses their physical, social, psychological and spiritual needs.

A J’s Hospice patient said: “Young adult hospices are about living, laughter, fun and generally being young adults. My team from The J’s pulls together my care, quality of life is the utmost importance as you want to be able to live the life you have left!”

At The J’s they aim to empower young adults so their voices are heard, support them in terms of independence and life choices, and improve their quality of life, as well as putting things in place for the end-of-life and supporting them and their families in their end-of-life care choices.

This article was first published as a case study in the report: Hidden Lives, Hidden Patients, commissioned for World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2015. The report can be found on the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance website and will be officially launched on 10 October 2015 as part of the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day celebrations. To find out more or to register an event for the Day, please visit the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day webpage

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