Give the gift of relaxation as part of 30th anniversary appeal
A service introduced by St Catherine’s Hospice which allows carers to access complementary therapies in the comfort of their own homes has been such a success that the charity wants to extend it so that patients can benefit too.
The scheme, funded through a Lancashire County Council grant, allows carers of those with a life-shortening condition to receive treatments such as reflexology, massage and Reiki at home.
Benefits of such therapies include helping with relaxation and disturbed sleep patterns, easing tension and strained muscles, and generally improving well-being.
Now, as part of their 30th anniversary Give A Gift appeal, St Catherine’s wants to extend the service so that patients can access treatments in this way too.
The appeal highlights 30 different ways individuals, schools and businesses can show their support during the hospice’s 30th anniversary year in 2015. One of the ‘gifts’ asks for £2,000 to fund a pilot complementary therapies at home scheme targeting patients.
Complementary therapies are currently available for patients accessing day therapy or staying on the in-patient unit at the hospice, but the service does not reach out to those being cared for in the community by the St Catherine’s Clinical Nurse Specialist team.
Irene Davies, who cares for her husband Tom who has fibrosis of the lungs, says she looks forward to her weekly reflexology session.
Sharing her experiences as part of this year’s Carers’ Week, Irene, from Clayton-le-Woods said: “The sessions are fantastic – they really help me to relax.
“I am up and down and in and out all day long – this is the only day of the week that I sit still in my living room for an hour. It really winds me down – I’ve even been known to drop off!
“Caring for someone is a 24/7 job – and 24/7 is a long time. The complementary therapy sessions are time out for me, we have a nice chat together and I feel better afterwards than I did before. I really look forward to them each week.
“I think it’s a great idea to extend the scheme to patients being cared for at home – not only will it help with relaxation and perhaps ease some of their symptoms, but it also helps takes your mind off the illness and everything else that is going on.”
Irene also highlighted how the hospice’s Befriending service was supporting her and Tom. Each week their volunteer befriender visits to spend a couple of hours with Tom, giving Irene a much-needed break.
She added: “I often go out for a coffee with my daughter or pop to the shops – it’s a bit of time out which really helps. We have actually known the lady who comes for years which was a quite a coincidence! My mind is at ease knowing that she is here, and Tom really enjoys the company too.”
Linda Gregory, Community Services Manager at St Catherine’s, said: “We have seen the benefits that the complementary therapies at home project has brought for carers and we are excited about the potential it holds for our community patients too.
“We’d be delighted if a business, club or group decided to take on the challenge of fundraising for this special gift for our 30th anniversary. We know it will make a real difference to their quality of life, promoting comfort and well-being at home.”
If you are interested in supporting the Give A Gift appeal email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01772 695290.
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