Today marks the start of Hospice Week 2017 – a week dedicated raising awareness and understanding about the importance and value of hospice care. It also celebrates the fantastic and invaluable work of hospice care staff and volunteers around the country.
Often, those with life-limiting or terminal illnesses simply want to live their final moments to the fullest, and this is what hospice care aims to deliver. Whether a patient needs pain relief, social support, or practical advice, hospice care is personalised and versatile, respecting the wishes and dignity of the patient.
Hospice care workers and volunteers often work around the clock to provide friendly, comforting, and much-needed support for patients and their families during their time of need, and Hospice Week is a chance to shine a light on the crucial work of hospices and their staff.
How many people benefit from hospice care?
Raising awareness and informing the wider public about the value of hospice care is one of the main focuses of Hospice Week. So, let’s take a closer look at just how far-reaching and paramount hospice care is.
There are over 220 hospices around the UK, and the care they provide can vary depending on the wishes of the patient. Hospice care can range from medical care, pain control, physical therapy, complementary therapies, to spiritual support, counselling, bereavement support, and family care.
The hospice care sector in the UK cares for around 200,000 people with terminal and life-limiting conditions, which only highlights the sheer importance of hospice care even further. We spoke to Robert Maltby from St Luke’s Hospice in Plymouth to find out more about their work.
“Last year we cared for almost three and a half thousand people, and made almost nine thousand home visits to patients. In terms of our care, we are now reaching more people than ever before.
“Most importantly, we’re reaching people wherever they want to be cared for.”
Where do people want to be cared for?
Over 80% of hospice care is provided in community-based settings such as outpatient services and day centres. While these play an important role in hospice care, a large percentage of patient care is actually carried out in patient’s own homes.
For St Luke’s Plymouth, almost half of their care is provided at home, allowing patients the comfort and relaxation of familiar surroundings. Not only do patients feel more at ease at home, but it means they can have access to round the clock support if they need it.
Did you know that hospices also provide support for families too?
Besides the thousands of patients receiving care and support from a hospice, it’s also their family members who are cared for too. Hospices have a hugely important role in supporting people’s families as well, especially in providing bereavement support. More than 40,000 people in the UK receive bereavement support from them each year.
Highland Hospice‘s Amanda Burt tells us a little bit more about the care they offer for family members.
“At Highland Hospice, the focus of our care is not limited to the individual who is unwell; we also offer support and advice to their family and those close to them. Our patient, family and carer support services are an important part of our commitment to the importance that these relationships play in life.
“As well as our chaplaincy and social services for family members, we also offer bereavement counselling. Many people prefer the support of those close to them, but this service is open to those who, for whatever reason, wish to speak with someone out of their social circle.
“We offer individual counselling in Inverness and in communities across the Highlands. We also offer the opportunity to work through your bereavement in a group environment.”
Support a hospice through Savoo this Hospice Week
With Britain’s older population set for a sharp increase in the next few years, hospices need our support more than ever. You can support a hospice for free this Hospice Week through Savoo.
To get started, check out the hospices you can support by clicking the ‘hospice’ category in our charity directory. When you’ve supported a hospice, we’ll donate half of our commission to them when you use a voucher or deal of ours, as well as a penny for every search made using our Microsoft-powered search engine.
We’ll be taking more of an in-depth look at some hospices and their work later in the week, so keep your eyes open. We’ve partnered with hospices from around the country this Hospice Week – don’t forget you can support any of them for free.