St Catherine’s Hospice has launched an innovative advice hub to support members of the community affected by life-shortening conditions.
The new Living Well Hub aims to empower people with information and skills to help themselves and others to live well with a serious illness.
The monthly drop-in session, which is open to all, offers guidance from the charity’s support team, along with local healthcare, legal and financial experts.
Visitors can pick up St Catherine’s booklets and other materials to learn how to manage symptoms including fatigue, anxiety and breathlessness, and access top tips around a variety of topics, such as how to get the best out of clinical appointments and managing medication.
They can also access a legal clinic run by solicitors from Birchall Blackburn Law covering items such as making a will; receive information about how to protect and pass on a digital legacy courtesy of Wray Financial Advisors; and learn basic complementary therapy techniques to use at home.
Dr Andrew Fletcher, medical director at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “At St Catherine’s we specialise in end-of-life care, which is not limited to managing physical symptoms, but also focuses on offering emotional and practical support to enable our patients and their loved ones to achieve what is important to them. Our personalised care helps people to live well with comfort, independence and choice.
“We also aim to equip and empower our communities with the knowledge, skills and confidence to support one another if friends, relatives, neighbours and colleagues are facing a life-shortening illnesses or bereavement.
“We work hard to share the expertise of St Catherine’s with our communities in a range of ways, such as through hosting educational sessions and courses; the new Living Well Hub is part of this wider initiative to help local people and those close to them to live well and enjoy quality of life, to the end of life.”
Dr Fletcher explained: “For example, legal and financial matters can seem incredibly daunting and stressful, especially for those facing life-shortening illnesses when a lot of adjustments and plans might need to be made. Attending our Living Well Hub to learn about writing a will, appointing a lasting power of attorney, or seeking advice on housing and benefits issues can help ease those burdens for those living with serious conditions, as well as their carers and loved ones.
“Likewise, developing a digital legacy, or making funeral arrangements and discussing their wishes for how they would like to be remembered, can also offer great peace of mind to patients and their families. And teaching practical skills to help people to live more comfortably and independently can hopefully enable them to enjoy doing the things which are important to them, such as continuing a hobby and spending quality time with family and friends.”
The Living Well Hub is held on the first Wednesday of every month from 10.30am to 12.30pm upstairs at The Mill café and community hub in the grounds of St Catherine’s Hospice, St Catherine’s Park, Lostock Lane, Lostock Hall, Preston. The next one is on January 2.
Everyone is welcome to attend the free and informal drop-in session to meet with friendly advisors; there is no need to book, but people can call 01772 629171 for more information.
A range of paid-for study sessions are also being held between January and March at the hospice, also open to all. These include ‘How to Provide Care as a New Carer’ which includes emotional support and practical demonstrations, ‘Understanding Bereavement’, ‘Advance Care Planning for People with Dementia’, and ‘When You Don’t Know What To Say’, offering communication tips for opening up difficult but important conversations.
To find out more and to book a place on any of the courses, please click here.