HospiceCare,established in 1995, is the main provider of palliative care in North Northumberland, delivering care and support to adults, their families and carers, who have a life limiting illness such as Cancer, Heart Failure, Lung Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease and Parkinsons Disease. People can access care and support at any stage of their illness, not just at the very end of their life.
HospiceCare has a dedicated team of Nurses and Health Care Assistants who have the necessary skills and knowledge to care and support patients, carers and families in their own home, working in partnership with other health and social care providers. The timing of care and support delivered is tailored around the needs of the patient and family or carer.
Bereavement is something which we will all experience at some time in our lives and we all react to it in different ways. An individual’s loss is unique to them and how we cope as individuals often varies. However, many people go through a range of common reactions and emotions when someone they are close to dies.
Debbie Allan is our Lymphoedema Specialist Nurse. Her role is unique in our community as she is the only Lymphoedema Nurse Specialist in North Northumberland. Without Debbie’s support, patients would have to travel to Newcastle to receive their treatment.
Lymphoedema is a swelling, to any part of the body, caused by a problem with the lymphatic system. It can occur following treatments for cancer such as surgery and radiotherapy, and is often a symptom in advanced disease. It is not a curable condition but can be effectively managed using a range of treatment options including skin care, massage, exercise and compression bandaging or garments.
Lymphoedema treatment and support is offered for palliative lymphoedema, at one of our two Day Therapy centres in Alnwick and Berwick, or at home.
" I especially wanted to thank HospiceCare as they had treated me for Lymphoedema after lymph nodes were removed during my operation. The treatment and care I received was exceptional and I will continue to support and fundraise for a charity that any one of us, our family or friends may need if they are every diagnosed with cancer." Karen
Various complementary therapies, including massage, hypnotherapy, reflexology, acupuncture, reiki, Indian head massage and aromatherapy are available for all day therapy patients and carers.
You can either have your complementary therapy at the hospice Drop-in Clinics, or at home during the week. All the therapies are free of charge and you don't need a GP referral.
"The icing on the cake at the Hospice was the therapies on offer, from foot massages and yoga to nail painting. From the first visit it was my husband Dave who was prompting me each week to make sure I had the morning off work to go with him- his weekly trips became a highlight and something which he looked forward to immensely. For me they were equally welcoming.” Connie
When someone is diagnosed with a life limiting illness it affects not only the person with the illness but their husband or wife, partner and families. Lives are turned upside down as relationships change between loved ones and family members who soon find themselves in the caring role. The realisation that life will never be the same as it was can be difficult to come to terms with, particularly as caring can be bewildering, confusing, isolating and demanding.
HospiceCare is committed to providing care and support to carers as well as the person with the illness as carers’ own needs can often be suppressed when all of their attention and effort is placed on the person they are caring for. As well as physical tiredness, carers’ stress levels may be high affecting their own health and well being. Fear, sadness, shock, anger, loss and anxiety are some of the normal emotions carers may experience which is why HospiceCare places equal value and importance on helping carers’ general well being.
HospiceCare offers carers physical, social and emotional support in several ways. Respite at home can be offered and is essential in relieving the carer from their caring role even if only for a few hours. Alternatively, the person they are caring for can come to the Therapeutic Drop-In at the Hospice allowing the carer some time for themselves. Carers are also offered complementary therapies to aid relaxation and boost their general well being as well as having an opportunity to access a ‘listening ear’ to share and express their fears and concerns.The support is available for as long as the carer needs it and there is no need to wait for a professional to make the referral.