Caring for a loved one can be very rewarding but it can also be a very demanding, lonely and tiring role. At St David’s Hospice we understand the emotional demands and responsibilities that you, as a carer, face.
We believe that support to family and friends is as important as the care we offer to our patients. As a carer you will be involved in the patient’s care plan, every step of the way.
During your loved ones stay at the Hospice, you may have questions about the person’s illness or treatment that you want to ask. A member of our multi-disciplinary team will be happy to answer these, providing we have the patient’s consent to discuss these matters with you. Our aim is that both the patient and their family members are cared for and informed every step of the way.
SERVICES FOR YOU
As a carer, there are a number of services available to you, free of charge.
Short respite stays are available for patients, allowing you, as a carer, a break. These stays need to be booked in advance.
At St David’s Hospice we have a carers support group who meet regularly throughout the year. New members are always welcome and the aim of the group is to enjoy talks from visiting speakers, afternoon tea, share experiences and offer feedback about the services at St David’s.
Therapies include massage and aromatherapy and are provided by qualified therapists. They have been shown to improve anxiety levels, reduce stress and thus aiding relaxation for the both the patient and carer.
The multi-faith chapel and the quiet room is available to you as a carer, for times of reflection.
We offer support to anyone whose relative or friend was cared for by St David’s Hospice before they died. Approximately six weeks afterwards, the bereaved will receive a call from the Hospice to see how they are coping and to offer counselling services if the need is there. Many members of the team at St David’s have counselling qualifications and these can be accessed at any time during the patients stay at the Hospice or afterwards. At St David’s we work closely with a number of outside agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, where carers can gain information about benefits and many other matters.
There are a number of relative beds at the Hospice for family use when the patient is gravely ill, or unable to settle. Please ask a member of staff for details.
There is no restriction on visiting, but we do ask that visitors are considerate to other hospice users and we aim to protect patient’s privacy during meal times and ask that visitors respect patient’s own time when they are tired. As a carer, please also ensure that you allow yourself to have a break and relax.
Relatives/friends are not able to phone patients directly but if you call the nurses number the call will be transferred to the patient if they are available. There is a phone at the bedside for patient use.
We ask that visitors do not bring perishable foods and produce into the Hospice as we cannot guarantee their storage. There is an on-site café for carers and relatives use. There is also a small staff canteen which relatives staying with an ill inpatient can use when use short term and the café (Café Dewi) thereafter. Please be reassured that all patient’s meals are provided free of charge during their time at St David’s Hospice.
The Hospice has a strict no smoking policy and we kindly ask that patients, families and staff observe this.
If you wish to discuss any facilities on offer at the Hospice, please call 01492 879058.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What defines a carer?
If you look after a friend or family member who is unable to look after themselves, you are a carer. Caring for somebody can last for a few weeks, or several years. It can occupy a few hours each week, or 24 hours a day. Tasks can include washing and dressing them, to taking them shopping or accompanying them for outings. A carer can be a wife, husband, child or friend
How much will the services at St David's cost?
All of the services we provide to patients and carers are provided completely free of charge. St David’s Hospice is a registered charity and relies heavily on donations to carry out its work. Because of people’s generosity, it is possible to offer services, such as bereavement support, to our Hospice users.
Can I be actively involved in the care of my relative/friend?
Close family and friends are most welcome to participate in the care of patients and it is important that they continue to feel included. However, whilst a patient is staying at the Hospice, you may also wish to have some rest and relaxation and we have complementary therapies on offer if you wish.
What if I have a comment or complaint to make about my care?
St David’s Hospice hopes to create an atmosphere where people are not afraid to voice their concerns and to complain if necessary. It has been shown that the sooner issues of concern are discussed; the sooner they can be addressed. It is helpful to everyone if complaints are made at the time of the incident when memories are fresh, or as soon as possible.
It is our policy to investigate all complaints thoroughly. Please speak to a member of staff for further guidance on St David’s Hospice complaints procedure.
ADVICE FOR CARERS
The responsibilities and demands of being a carer can often mean that you overlook your own health and wellbeing. You will be dealing with hard work, added stress and confusing information and changes.
Carers need good sources of help, support and information as you will often, and understandably, be focused with the health and wellbeing of the person you care for.
Ensure that you are looking after your general health. St David’s Hospice allows family and friends to spend quality time with their loved ones, while they reside as a patient here. You are part of a care team and your health is important to us and to your loved one. Please take advantage of the therapies and counselling services on offer at St David’s.
There are many national and local organisations that offer different kinds of help and advice to carers. Please ask a member of St David’s clinical staff for more information about these.