Support for carers and 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. See details about our Carers’ Drop-In sessions below, which are open to everyone.
What does the St Catherine’s Support Team help with?
The help provided by the St Catherine’s Support Team can include:
- Ensuring the social care needs of our patients and their loved ones are met. This could be putting systems in place to ensure 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 by working with patients and carers to put measures in place so that people can return home once their palliative care needs are met. This can involve making sure equipment is available, and arranging any care packages that might be needed to help people return home safely and comfortably
- 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 lifeline to carers, allowing them to take a much-needed break
- Co-ordinating spiritual support at the hospice. This can mean 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, 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
- Safeguarding adults and children, ensuring protection for vulnerable people who are under our care
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 1.30pm and 3pm. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01772 629171 for the latest updates if you would like to join.
It is open to everyone – regardless of whether you have a connection with the hospice or not. It provides the opportunity to chat with the Support Team; meet other carers to share experiences and advice; and to take some precious time for yourself.
What carers say about our drop-in sessions
“For me it’s about getting out of the house and making time for myself each month, because sometimes it’s hard to make that effort for yourself.”
“It’s a friendly group and I find it really makes a difference to me.”
“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 carers, please click here
09 Dec 2021
Looking after yourself when someone is dying
Caring for someone when they are dying can be very difficult. While it can feel hard to think of much else, it’s important to consider your own wellbeing too. From Hospice UK
09 Dec 2021
Juggling caring and work
Guidance from Hospice UK about flexible working, taking time off in an emergency, and financial support while you're working and caring
09 Dec 2021
Caring for someone at home
Caring for someone who is at the end of their life at home can be rewarding, but also very challenging - where to get support and how to take care of yourself
09 Dec 2021
What to do when you or someone else receives a terminal diagnosis
This step-by-step guide has advice for what you can do when you or someone close to you has been given a terminal diagnosis, and the ways you can access hospice care, from Hospice UK
17 Feb 2021
Living Well Hub drop-in
Anyone is welcome to attend this free monthly drop-in which covers issues such as finances, legal matters and wills, benefits and more
02 Feb 2021
Carer Support Sessions
Our monthly carer support sessions are open to all. They provide an opportunity to speak with our Support Team as well as people in similar circumstances to you, to share experiences and advice.
05 May 2020
What you can do to practically care for someone who is in their last days and hours of life
Information from the NHS about what to expect and how to make the experience as comfortable as possible