Finding out that someone you love has been referred to us can be frightening and confusing. We are here to care for you as well as your loved one.
We can help with advice and guidance, counselling, complementary therapies and bereavement support for as long as you need us. We understand that the illness of a relative can be a difficult and costly time. Our Welfare Rights Advisor and Social Worker can assist you by providing information and assistance with grants and benefit entitlement, employment rights and access to Social Services support for respite services, community groups and other support services.
How we can help:
Our bereavement services are available for families of our patients, to help them cope with their feelings of grief and loss. These services include face to face counselling with qualified counsellors or for those who just need to talk. We run bereavement groups at our Hospice Centre where families can share their experiences and support one another. We know groups don’t suit everyone, and so if you need somebody to listen, we have a team of counsellors who are at the end of the phone.
If you don’t want or need regular support, you can come along to our Coffee Mornings. There is a service available throughout the year and is held the second Wednesday each month.
Our Welfare Rights Advisor, Katie, can also help and advise on entitlement to bereavement benefits.
Children’s Bereavement Services
When someone they love dies, children can find it difficult to cope. They often have confusing emotions and struggle to talk about how they are feeling. Without the right support, children can become withdrawn and develop problems like bed wetting and anxiety. City Hospice offers a free bereavement service for children affected by the death of a parent or grandparent, who has been under our care. We can help prepare them for the death before it happens and support them to come to terms with their feelings afterwards.
Lily, aged 10, attends our Children’s Bereavement group. With our support she is learning to cope with her mum’s death. She said:
“Since coming to the group I no longer feel scared and I’ve learned to be happy.”
Caring for someone you love can take its toll. It’s important that you have time and space to unwind and look after yourself. We offer Reflexology to patients and their carers to help them do just that. Reflexology appointments take place at the hospice centre and you can ask the Clinical Nurse Specialist looking after your loved one, or your City Hospice Counsellor to refer you.
Family Counselling Service
Our counselling services offer patients and families the opportunity to talk about their situation and diagnosis and their emotions surrounding it. Often the sessions will take place individually but it is possible to meet with our Counsellors as a family, ensuring that everyone can share their feelings, be heard and understood and support each other through this very difficult time.
Help with finances and employment
Because you are a carer you may be entitled to Carers Allowance. This allows a carer to continue to work but also have the flexibility to fulfil their caring role. You may also be entitled to a range of means tested benefits. Our Welfare Rights Advisor can support you with these claims.
Your employment rights as a carer are: the right to request flexible working, time off for dependants, unpaid parental leave and annual leave and pay. Our Welfare Rights Advisor can advise you on your employment rights and help you access appropriate support if you need it.
Support from the Local Authority
We refer carers to the local authority for a Carers Assessment to ensure they are accessing the correct support. This may result in a support plan being put in place to help you by providing services directly to you, the person you are caring for, or a combination of both.
The local authority can provide services themselves, or arrange services through another organisation. Alternatively you or the person you are looking after can request Direct Payments which are payments which enable you to buy services to meet your eligible needs.
What help is available for carers?
Some examples of the kind of help that could be available directly to you as a carer:
- Help getting around: taxi fares, driving lessons, repairs and insurance, costs for a car where transport was crucial
- Technology to support you: mobile phone, computer where it is not possible to access computer services from a local library
- Help with housework or gardening
- Help to relieve stress, improve health and promote wellbeing such as a gym membership
- Help for the person you are looking after
- Some examples of the kind of help that could be available to the person you are looking after:
- Changes to the person’s home to make it more suitable
- Equipment such as a hoist or grab rail
- A care worker to help provide personal care at home
- A temporary stay in residential care / respite care
- Meals delivered to the home
- A place at a day centre
- Assistance with travel, for example to get to a day centre
- Laundry services
- Replacement care so you can have a break
- Carer’s emergency card
- Community alarm
If you would like further information on any of these points, please speak with your Clinical nurse specialist, they will refer you to our Welfare Rights Officer or Social Worker, who will be happy to offer advice.