Staff at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough have been trialling a new Wellbeing Café to support patients to live as fully and actively as possible.
Physiotherapist Margretta Davies and Occupational Therapist Vicky Gibson came up with the idea to support patients being cared for on the inpatient unit by spending more time outside their rooms and exploring their potential in a safe and supported environment.
The hour-long sessions sees patients, their families and carers get together to enjoy refreshments, tailored educational talks and group activities to help with symptoms they may be experiencing.
Held in the hospice’s Sanctuary area, and run by Margretta and Vicky with the support of a hospice volunteer, the group sessions have been a resounding success, helping to promote wellbeing among patients.
Margretta explains: “In the first six weeks of opening our doors to the Wellbeing Café we had 21 patients and carers attend, with 100 per cent of them saying they found the café helpful and would come again.
“Many patients have told us they have not done anything like this before and that they really enjoyed the experience.”
Each week the Wellbeing Café sessions are directly tailored to the needs of patients in the group. “During the sessions we talk to patients about how they are doing, and as conversations flow we listen and build the day’s session around what is of most importance to them” Margretta adds.
“We have helped patients and families with a range of issues, sharing tips on how to promote wellbeing through eating as well as you can, staying hydrated, optimizing movement and relaxing. We also talk about focusing on what matters to each individual, and what brings them a sense of joy. During one session this led to the group participants all sharing photos of their pets with one another.”
The sessions have a social side too. “There is a lovely atmosphere. Lots of laughter and giggles. We play music and sometimes there’s a bit of singing too! Each week everyone can join in the movement for wellbeing and relaxation. It’s been wonderful to see patients come together and form new friendships, sharing their experiences and helping support each other.”
The Wellbeing Café has also helped prepare patients for life outside the hospice too. “Many people living with a terminal condition come into our inpatient unit to receive our specialist care to get their symptoms back under control so they can go home again. Our Wellbeing Café can help patients practice skills for home. For example one of our patients practiced making a cup of tea to help build confidence, and they ended up making teas and coffees to serve to the rest of the group too!”
The sessions are open to all patients being cared for in the hospice’s inpatient unit, their families or carers. Margretta adds, “If patients aren’t well enough to walk down to the café with aids or a wheelchair then we can wheel their bed down into the Sanctuary so they can join in.”
For more information visit Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice