The loving care and support we provide at the Hospice for our patients and their loved ones comes in many forms. Once a month we run a special support group for full-time carers of our Day Hospice and Hospice at Home patients. The group was first set up in 2010 and aims to provide support and advice for those caring for a loved one at home.
At the meetings there is regular input from our multi-disciplinary team offering advice and support. It also gives carers the opportunity to meet other people in the same situation and talk openly about their experiences.
Steve Jepson from Telford has been attending our carers group each month since his wife Jill started visiting our Day Hospice in Telford.
“My very limited impression of hospices throughout my life had been they were a place where people went to pass away. Nothing really happened to change that impression until the first time I came here and I discovered it was something entirely different,” says Steve.
“From the moment you drive through the gates and see the beautiful gardens you know it’s a special place. The volunteer gardeners work so hard to maintain the grounds for everyone to enjoy, there is always something to look at. The warm welcome continues when you walk in the building where you are greeted by staff and volunteers, each time it’s such a genuine heart-felt welcome. The facilities at the Hospice are fantastic; you can see that it was built with the needs of the patients in mind.”
Steve reveals how the carers group has helped make a difference to him by introducing him to others who are in a similar situation.
“Since I’ve been coming to the carers group I certainly have learnt a lot. I have met people who are in a similar situation. Sometimes I get to know them then they stop coming and I know that someone has passed on for them. That’s the way it is in all walks of life and not just at the Hospice. It’s still good to meet them and get to know them, to share experiences with them and to enjoy the support we can all give to each other. From time to time we get new people join the group; you can tell that they are nervous and still finding their way a bit. It’s great to meet new people and help them; we all pull together as a group. It’s like we’re one big family that’s there for each other, which is good.”
There are a number of issues that people can experience when caring for a loved one. At our carers group we try to provide advice to support carers when they are at home. This can range from how to be creative with food supplements to information on others services available to carers outside of the Hospice.
“The activities I have been involved in are great and I’m always learning something new. Today we have been making Christmas decorations out of a pine cones. There have been other occasions when people have come in and given a talk on their particular area of expertise, including the chaplain and social workers. All the time you are learning something new that fits within the services that are available to the group. It’s enjoyable and there’s something to look forward to every time,” says Steve.
“I think the Hospice is a great place and I’m glad I came. Obviously I’m not happy about the reason why I had to come but the support which I have found here, and my wife’s experiences as a day patient, have been invaluable. I think it deserves all the support anyone could possibly give.”