It can be devastating to hear that someone you love has a life-limiting illness. We understand journeying with them through one of the most difficult times of life is hugely challenging for families and carers of the person who has become ill.
Our team provides specialist advice, care and support for everyone affected, whether your loved one is at home, in the hospice or other places of care, for the duration of the illness and beyond.
You may or may not be familiar with some of the terminology used surrounding the diagnosis of a life-limiting illness. Please see our What does that mean guide which gives a description of terms or phrases you might come across.
The team consists of social workers, a Chaplain, a bereavement counsellor and support services, and Community Friends.
The Patient and Family Support service is available to everyone: the patient and the family, carers and friends of a patient already known to St Clare through any of our services.
Whatever you are finding most difficult, we will tailor our support and care for your individual needs.
What can a social worker help me with?
Our social workers can help you, your relatives and friends with practical and emotional support.
Care planning, housing, finance advice and benefits, and supporting you to talk to your children, if relevant to you, are some of the areas that we can help with. Our aim is to help you resolve any issue that concerns you so that you can live your life as free as possible from any practical concern. We can signpost you to specialists, where appropriate.
Being diagnosed with a life-limiting illness may require an adjustment in the way that you think about your life now and in the future. You may experience a range of emotions, as will your family, children and friends. We can offer you emotional support to help you express, and come to terms with, your anxieties and concerns, allowing you to make sense of your personal journey.
Our Chaplain provides spiritual and emotional support to all patients and carers, relatives and friends, irrespective of people having a particular religious belief or none at all.
Support for carers, relatives and friends
Our care also extends to your family and friends. We understand your loved ones will play a huge role in what is happening to you. This may be difficult for them and they may need support as they find how best to manage their feelings.
St Clare Community Friends
Our Community Friends are a group of specially trained volunteers who offer short term support to people who would otherwise be socially isolated. Their role is to provide befriending, companionship and practical assistance.
Befriending often provides people, through self empowerment, a new direction in life, opening up a range of activities and leading to increased self esteem and self confidence.
As a Community Friend within our Hospice at Home service, Margaret offers an extra pair of hands, companionship and practical help, visiting the same lady every Monday afternoon for the past eight months, keeping her company while her husband pops out.
“The lady I visit is in bed at home, and they both wanted her to have a visitor so she wouldn’t be alone all day. She is an interesting lady and we have lots of interests in common. She, like me, loves animals and gardening so we always have lots to talk about. She is a brilliant artist and I felt so honoured recently when she showed me her portfolio of work.”
Read more about Margaret’s experience as a Community Friend.
Support group and drop in sessions for carers.
Six week half day course
The group aims to give carers the support they need to cope with the challenges they face. It allows carers the time to explore their emotions and concerns in a safe, confidential environment.
Topics covered include medication management, finance, planning for the future and basic nursing skills.
All carers will have an assessment as part of the patient’s holistic assessment. Support will be offered to all carers on an individual basis.