Nottinghamshire Hospice

Adding Life to Days

Hospice celebrates contribution of carers

This week Nottinghamshire Hospice is taking part in Carers Week, an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

This year the focus is on supporting the health and well-being of carers, so the hospice has invited carers in during the week to take part in arts activities, meet each other, enjoy the garden and have a soothing hand massage.

The hospice supports carers all year round by providing practical and emotional support as well as signposting to other services such as legal and benefits advice. We also provide counselling and support before and after bereavement.

Pauline Clarke (pictured) cared for her late husband Brian for several years after his diagnosis with Pulmonary Fibrosis. Nottinghamshire Hospice provided tailored support starting with Day Therapy then when Brian got more poorly they provided Hospice at Home care several nights a  week. Since his death in December Pauline has come to the hospice for bereavement counselling and complementary therapies.

Pauline says: “As our needs increased, they stepped up the care. At first I brought him to Day Therapy then he had a volunteer driver, then they sent a minibus. The staff on the minibus would help me get him into the house and get him into bed. They made sure he was safe and settled. It was invaluable.

“For the last six months before he died we had Hospice at Home nurses and I don’t know how I would have managed without them. They were absolutely brilliant. I hadn’t realised how exhausted I was. I lived from one visit to the next because they would offer me a good night’s sleep. They were sleepovers sent from Heaven!”

Around 6.5 million people in the UK are carers, looking after a parent, partner, child or friend. Caring can be a hugely rewarding experience but sometimes carers find it challenging to take care of their own well-being whilst caring.

Bereavement and Carer Support Manager Jen Watts says: “Being a carer can be exhausting and lonely and people sometimes find it challenging to take care of their own well-being while caring. We recognise the vital role that carers play in the lives of our patients so we provide support for them to help them care for themselves as well as those they care for.”