St Clare Hospice in Essex is launching a new group to provide information and skills to people caring for a loved one with a life-limiting condition. The hospice has announced news of the launch to coincide with Carers’ Week, which runs this week until June 16.
The Carers’ Group will be led by the hospice’s Day Therapy team, and will extend the support the hospice is able to give to the families of local people who receive hospice care.
Jane Iskander, Occupational Therapist and Day Therapy Manager at the hospice explains:
“There are many challenges to be faced when caring for a family member, friend or relative. Things like fatigue, stress and anxiety are common, as well as pressure on personal relationships and uncertainty around navigating the public care system.
“That’s why we’ve initiated this new Carers’ Group, so that carers have access to professional, specialist advice, guidance and coping strategies to help them care for someone close to them.”
The Carers’ Group follows a tailor-made six-week programme which is scheduled to run four times a year. With a focus on skill-based learning, as well as group discussion, and professional and peer support, participants will meet weekly throughout the duration of the course.
“The aim of our Carers’ Group is to educate and support carers on both how to offer the best care to their relatives, but also the importance of looking after themselves. Peer support will play a large role in the groups; caring for someone can feel very isolating, so knowing that you’re not experiencing these difficulties alone can bring comfort and support.”
“In fact, it’s very normal to struggle in such a challenging situation, and therefore it’s clear that support is needed. We hope that our Carers’ Group will fill that gap in education, and give people a safe and supportive space to learn, share and, ultimately, feel more in control.”
The sessions will also cover the practicalities of caring for a person who is living with a life-limiting illness, sharing recognised techniques and skills that carers can use themselves.
“There are lots of things to consider when someone has received a diagnosis of a life-limiting or terminal illness. Being prepared to face the future can restore hope and a sense of peace to people and families going through this journey together. Things like discussing Wills, Advanced Care Plans, power of attorney, finances and other practical considerations can be extremely difficult, so we want to offer support in how to have those conversations and what might need to be considered in the future.
“We’ll also be offering guidance and reassurance on things like how to offer personal care to someone who is ill, how to assist someone with limited mobility, diet and nutrition – or even offer a caring hand massage.”
St Clare Hospice’s Carer’s Group will launch on Friday 28 June 2019 and is open, by referral, to carers, families and relatives of those who receive care from the hospice. Carers can self-refer to the group, or they can request referral via a health, social care or hospice professional.
Commenting on the future provision of the Carers’ Group, Jane says:
“We’re really excited to be able to launch this care service. We, as a hospice, know how vital it is to offer support for the whole family when a person has been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness. We’ll be continuously looking to develop and improve this service over the next few months, and hopefully, by the end of 2019, we will be able to offer it to the wider community, too. Watch this space!”
For more information visit St Clare Hospice