Carers & family
We know that life-shortening conditions affect not only the person who has been diagnosed, but those close to them too.
Everyone at St Catherine’s is committed to supporting relatives and friends alongside their care of the patient. We also have a dedicated Support Team which is here to help carers and loved ones in a range of practical and emotional ways. They also support carers in the community who don’t have to be connected with the hospice.
The team is made up three qualified social workers who work with patients and loved ones on our in-patient unit and in the community.
Their role is extremely diverse and includes:
- Ensuring the social care needs of our patients and their loved ones are met. This could be putting systems in place to ensure relatively simple things like shopping and housework are managed, to dealing with more complex issues such as advising on benefits or housing issues
- Facilitating safe and timely discharges from the hospice in-patient unit by working with patients and carers to put measures – e.g. suitable equipment – in place, and arranging any care packages that might be needed to help people return home safely and comfortably
- Safeguarding adults and children, ensuring protection for vulnerable people who are under our care
- Supporting carers in their vital role and ensuring their own needs aren’t overlooked. The team does this through a monthly carers’ drop-in support session and by managing our volunteer-led Befriending Service which provides a life-line to carers, allowing them to take a much-needed break
- Co-ordinating spiritual support at the hospice. This can means lots of different things to different people, with the team providing support in various ways – from arranging for local faith leaders to visit the hospice in-patient unit, to organising services in our multi-faith chapel, helping with the creation of memory boxes, or simply having a chat with someone about how they are feeling.
What is a carer?
A carer is someone who provides unpaid, regular and substantial support to a friend, relative, partner or other person who cannot manage without help because of a physical or mental illness, disability or dependency.
Support may include personal care such as washing and dressing; practical care such as feeding and helping with medication; and emotional support such as providing a friendly face and someone to socialise with.
Carers’ support drop-in
The Support Team at the hospice runs an informal drop-in session at the hospice on the first Tuesday of the month between 1pm and 3pm.
It is open to everyone – regardless of whether they have a connection with the hospice or not.It provides the opportunity to chat with the Support Team; meet other carers to share experiences; enjoy a complementary therapy and access information about local carer support services. Demonstrations and presentations about everything from first aid to flower arranging are often also included.
What carers say about our drop-in sessions
“For me it’s about getting out of the house and making two hours for myself each month, because sometimes it’s hard to make that effort for yourself.”
“It’s a friendly group and there’s always something different to do, whether that’s just sitting and having a chat or having a therapy; I find it really makes a difference to me.”
“The hospice is very welcoming and warm, so I think it’s a great place to come.”
“It makes you feel valued as a carer, because you’re always putting someone else first, so the fact that you’re making time for you is important.”
“I think exchanging notes, sharing ideas and being able to share your own experiences which can benefit somebody else is very important.”
“All of our situations are different, and I think the diverse range of experiences people have within the group is really useful.”
To see more useful resources for patients and families, please click here
30 May 2019
Drop-in support sessions
St Catherine's and The Mill cafè and community hub host various sessions to help people affected by serious illness or bereavement with information, advice and support.