This week is National Carers Week. At North London Hospice we value and work in partnership with carers and at the end of last year our social work team conducted some research with bereaved carers about what would have helped and supported them. This formed the basis of a series of new online sessions being planned for carers by the Hospice.
Our Social Work Manager, Patricia McCrossan explains.
Who is a Carer?
Son -Mother – Daughter – Father -Husband – Wife – Partner -Neighbour – Friend
A carer is anyone who is looking after another individual who, due to their illness, frailty or disability needs help and support with activities of daily living. This can include helping someone with personal care, medication, shopping or taking someone to appointments. Caring can be satisfying and rewarding but tiring and frustrating too. Staying as well and informed as you can helps the person you care for and that might mean doing something you have not done very often – saying “YES” to help. You are important to the person you care for which makes you important to us. We want to work in partnership with you both to provide any additional support you may require.
At the North London Hospice we value and work in partnership with carers.
At the end of last year our social work team consulted with current carers to find out what was important to them and how we could best support them. We also consulted with a small group of recently bereaved people to reflect on their role as a carer retrospectively, and tell us about what would have helped.
We planned to offer face to face group sessions relating to issues that carers identified as most helpful, which were:
- Cost of Caring – maximising income, accessing welfare benefits, disabled parking badges etc.
- Advance Care Planning
- Care of Self
- Nutrition – supporting cared for person
- Loss and bereavement
- Time to Talk – emotional support, assisting families to talk to each other
The COVID 19 pandemic meant we had to delay original plans and communicate virtually to decide how we might deliver the sessions online. We have been assessing the interest and capability of carers to join online sessions and this is generating some interest. We plan to make the sessions shorter and deliver 3 topic specific sessions a month, with a different topic each month, hopefully with the first one – Caring for Self, starting within the next few weeks.
If you provide care and support for someone known to a hospice service, please let us know if you would be interested in accessing online information sessions or individual telephone support, please contact Sarah Pitcher on 020 8343 6819 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place or appointment.
Newsletter – the first edition of our newsletter is also available. Please contact Sarah Pitcher (details above) if you would like a copy posted or emailed.