Social care support
When someone is diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, everyone around them is affected, often in ways they don’t expect. Our Patient and Family Support team includes specialist palliative care social workers, family support workers and volunteers who can provide practical and emotional support.
During times of challenge relationships may come under pressure and support from outside your usual network can be useful to help everyone adjust to their new and changing situation. People often benefit from the opportunity to express and discuss how they are feeling with someone they don’t know personally.
In acknowledgement of the impact that social isolation has on our patients and carers, and with the aim of encouraging people to say ‘yes’ to help, we have developed a Compassionate Neighbours project.
Children and Young People/Kinship Care
Children and young people need to be included to help them understand what is happening and the changes they can recognise. Talking to them and answering their questions can be daunting, but it is something many adults want to be involved in. We can support you to feel more confident to achieve this, help facilitate discussions and provide information about other agencies that can become involved. We also have resources you can borrow or utilise.
When someone has a life threatening illness, or dies, relationships with adult care givers may change in response to need. Some adults find themselves providing a significant level of childcare, including having a child or young person living with them. Kinship care is often overlooked but here at North London Hospice we aim to support the kinship network around children before and after the death of one or both of their parents. The kinship network includes adult siblings, grandparents and other family members as well as friends.
Many people find their social and financial situations can also change significantly. We can provide information, or signpost you to relevant support agencies regarding:
- Welfare benefits
- Identifying, assessing and meeting your care and support needs
- Maximising your independence, choice and control
- Exploring options available to you
- Transport e.g. disabled parking badge
Instead of dealing with everything yourself, it can be useful to have someone to advocate and liaise on your behalf with other agencies e.g. Social Services and Benefit Agencies.
Advance Care Planning
Serious illness and aging bring challenges that many of us would rather not think about, but we might also be anxious about loss of control and decisions being made on our behalf. Thinking ahead, involving those close to you and recording your wishes can be very reassuring.
Writing down your preferences and choices helps make sure that you will always influence what happens to you.
Our patient and family support team can talk to you about advance care planning and help you liaise with the medical team.
Whilst we cannot provide legal advice, or prepare legal documents we can provide information and signpost you to appropriate service providers.
Preparing a memory box or writing letters and cards for people to read after our death can be an emotional but comforting and rewarding experience. We can provide resources and support you to prepare a memory box, letters or cards, as a personal gift to someone special.
Family and Carer Support
Knowing that those close to them are being support can offer great peace of mind to someone who is seriously ill.
Am I a Carer?
A carer is someone ‘of any age who provides unpaid support to family or friends who could not manage without this help’, for more information please visit www.carersuk.org.
Why is it important to recognise if you are a carer?
If you don’t, you usually won’t get the support you need and are entitled to. Trying to balance the role of carer with other responsibilities e.g. work and family, can affect your own quality of life and health.
The role of unpaid carer can be exhausting but satisfying and it is important that you remain well yourself. You might be entitled to have a Carer Assessment carried out by your local authority, or another appropriate agency, to assess and respond to your own needs, to enable you to continue providing valued care and support to someone close to you.
Our team can provide help, support and guidance.
For pre-bereavement and more information please click here