St Catherine’s Hospice is hosting a number of free courses for members of the public, to share advice and information about hospice care and services, and sensitive subjects such as bereavement.
The charity’s Knowledge Exchange Team wants to encourage local people to understand more about how hospices help patients and their families, and share tips and advice to empower people to help their own friends, relatives, colleagues and neighbours who may be going through a difficult time.
It’s all part of the hospice’s wider work around developing a compassionate community whereby everyone feels confident and ready to support family and friends at the end of life.
The first session, ‘An Introduction to Hospice Care’, will be held at 1.30pm on Friday, January 12, and will cover topics such as how people are referred to St Catherine’s, the different types of care the hospice provides, how the charity is funded, and current volunteering and employment opportunities.
February’s course, titled ‘When you don’t know what to say’, aims to equip people with skills to open up difficult conversations around sensitive subjects, such as life-shortening illnesses, death, and bereavement. It takes place from 9.30am until 12.30pm on February 23.
On April 24 from 1.30pm, families and carers of people with dementia are invited to gain a better understanding of the condition and the changes that can happen in those living with it. The session ‘Advance Care Planning for Families and Carers of People with Dementia’ aims to help carers, relatives and friends to plan the future their loved one would want, if they were able to tell them.
Lynn Kelly, Director of Knowledge Exchange Services at St Catherine’s, explained: “We host a number of study sessions at the hospice throughout the year for healthcare professionals, and our team goes out into the community – such as visiting colleges, GP surgeries and care homes – to further share our skills and experience in end-of-life care across Central Lancashire.
“Now, we want to open our doors and invite members of the public to discover more about what we do and how St Catherine’s supports patients and their families, and to offer guidance and tips so that our communities feel empowered to help one another.
“For example, with our ‘When you don’t know what to say’ course, we want to help people to have effective, productive conversations, whilst recognising the emotions that are involved in talking about upsetting topics. By offering some prompts and guidance, we hope it will help people to support those close to them who may be going through a difficult time.”
She added: “Hospice care is about so much more than treating the physical symptoms of life-shortening illnesses like cancer and motor neurone disease; it’s about helping people to live well, supporting patients and their loved ones emotionally; and being there for our communities when it matters most.”
The courses are free to attend and are open to all, but must be booked in advance. Call 01772 629171 or visit www.stcatherines.co.uk to reserve a place.