When someone becomes seriously ill, the whole family is affected. Usual routines and ways of doing things change. Our specialist team includes Palliative Care Social Workers, Family Support Workers and trained volunteers, can provide additional emotional and practical support to help you find a way forward together at a time when you might feel as if your illness has taken over everything.
If you have recently been diagnosed or your situation has changed you might feel overwhelmed and our team can advise you about what help is available to you and your family.
Emotional and psychological support for you and those close to you
Relationships may often come under pressure or you become concerned about the effect on someone you love. Support from outside the family can be beneficial to help everyone adjust to their new and changing situation. People often need the opportunity to express and discuss how they are feeling.
Our team of specialist workers and volunteers can meet with you at the hospice, or in your own home (North Brent and Harrow), on your own or with anyone you choose to be there. They can provide emotional and practical support, explore ways to help you cope, help build your confidence and identify and develop personal, professional and community support networks.
Find out more here
Welfare Benefits and Practical Support
Many families find their income is reduced when someone is seriously ill. We can provide practical help, information and advice regarding:
- Welfare benefits
- Care Packages
- Transport and mobility e.g. disabled parking badges
Instead of dealing with everything yourself, it can be useful to have someone to advocate and liaise on your behalf with other agencies and organisations e.g. Social Services and Benefit Agencies.
Advance Care Planning (ACP)
Serious illness and ageing can 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 may not be easy but 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 workers will be pleased to talk to you about anything relating to ACP and help you liaise with the medical team to discuss the way you wish to be treated in the future.
Reminiscence/Life story Books/Memory Boxes
Do you look back on life and consider all the things you have achieved that have become part of your family history? Many people like to create a lasting legacy by preparing their own life story book for their family and friends.
Talking to others and listening to their memories can be a great way of reminding yourself of things. We prepare reminiscence boards to prompt discussion and memories, topics include – childhood, schooldays and fashion.
Making a memory box can be an emotional but rewarding experience. You can fill the box with poems, CDs/tapes, letters, photographs, perfume and other small items that are precious to you. We can provide resources and support you to prepare a memory box as a personal gift to someone special.
We are always happy to talk to you about:
- Reminiscence groups
- Life story books
- Memory boxes
- Letter writing
Community Support Volunteers
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 Community Support Volunteer Service.
Our community support volunteers can meet with patients on a regular basis for companionship, to enjoy shared hobbies together, help with the occasional light household task and/or provide respite for carers.
The service is available exclusively to Harrow and North Brent patients and carers known to St Luke’s Hospice.
Find out more about the Community Support Volunteers
Time to Talk
If you live with a life limiting illness you can come to St Luke's for practical advice and signposting. Drop into the Woodgrange Centre at the Hospice between 1pm and 3pm on any of the dates below where a member of the team will be available to talk to you.
Dates for 2016:
7th and 30th June
5th and 28th July
2nd and 25th August
6th and 29th September
4th and 27th October
1st and 24th November
6th & 29th December