This morning at the Wednesday morning therapeutic drop-in at Alnwick Hospice I asked those who attend ‘why do you come?’ Amongst the chatter, laughter and cake eating, I was given the following responses:
At first I was afraid to come because of that word ‘Hospice’ but it is very different to what I expected. It is nothing like a hospital! The atmosphere is welcoming, informal, friendly, and relaxed.
The Hospice building is like a home and the day floor in particular where people gather for their chats and coffee is like a large living room with comfy seats and pleasing décor. The kettle is always on; there is an abundance of cake and biscuits and an entertaining wealth of conversation! If someone is needing quiet time and one to one support there is always a member of the clinical team and trained nurse available to talk to in a quieter area in the building. Some people prefer to have a specific appointment to have one to one counselling support to discuss any fears, worries and concerns or you can just ask the nurse when you ‘drop-in.’
Many people think that they need to feel ‘well’ to come to the ‘drop-in’, but often people will feel better once they have been! This may be because spending time with others offers a distraction from thoughts and feelings or speaking to one of the clinical team about any particular symptoms you may be having can be addressed as the trained nurse will contact your GP or other professional involved in your care, with your consent, as necessary.
I can say what I want to say without offending anyone.
The therapeutic drop-ins are for patients, carers and families so everyone who attends does so for their own needs and reasons. Everyone is treated as a unique individual and there is a mutual acceptance and understanding that no-one needs to say anything they don’t wish to say, but what is said is listened to with respect and consideration.
You can have hands-on therapies if you wish.
Trained and experienced complementary therapists offer their time freely as volunteers and provide a range of therapeutic complementary therapies such as reflexology, massage and reiki. You may be offered a treatment by the therapist when you attend the drop-in or alternatively book an appointment. These treatments are also available to carers and family members.
When I come to the Hospice I feel normal because I can get away from all of the equipment which surrounds me at home and no-one keeps asking all of the time ‘how are you?’ It’s like visiting family and having a good natter!
People can attend the drop-ins for as long or as little as they wish. There are no time limits or a need to attend regularly as people can attend the drop-ins for support when they feel they need it. However, we do get to know some people and their families for many years because once the door is open it never closes and as someone’s condition changes and deteriorates we take the Hospice into their home to continue providing the care and support needed.
The therapeutic drop-ins are also for those people and their families living with other illnesses, it is not all about cancer! People can attend who have heart failure, Motor Neurone Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and chronic breathing difficulties. People can be referred to the therapeutic drop-in by a District Nurse, GP, Macmillan Nurse or Social Services. Alternatively ring us on (01665) 606515 or ‘DROP-IN!’
Alnwick Therapeutic Drop-In is on Wednesday mornings, 10am-1pm.
Berwick Therapeutic Drop-In is on Monday mornings, 10am-1pm.
- Support from others in similar situations.
- Advice and guidance.
- Emotional support.
- Access to professional therapy and support.
- Spend time in a relaxed informal environment.
- Reduces social isolation.
- Offers nursing care - emotional and physical.
- Assists patients and carers in maintaining a
- sense of well-being and a better quality of life.
- Transport provided if necessary.
A programme of support will be added shortly.