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Family Support

The family support service exists to promote emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being

When someone is diagnosed with a serious illness, everybody in the family is affected.

We will try to meet you wherever you are in your journey; taking the opportunity to provide timely and appropriate support, to listen and to get the best possible outcome for you.

We work with patients and carers and the bereaved, individually and in groups. We support families too, both adults and children. If you are a patient of the Hospice or carer, you can refer yourself to our service by calling 01462 679540 and asking for Family Support. 

Emotional and spiritual care

Meeting the emotional and spiritual care of patients and family members is as important as the physical and practical care that we offer.

We can help by giving you space and time to reflect and make some sense of your situation, to talk through some of the questions raised, to sort things out and to restore a sense of balance and peace.

Some people will have specific requests relating to their religion or culture. For others, spirituality describes anything that gives value and meaning to their lives. All aspects can be covered within spiritual and emotional care. 

Counselling

Counselling will not give you advice but may help you better understand how you are feeling. Many people find that talking to someone other than family or friends can be helpful. Our flexible service includes extended counselling over a number of weeks or one-off appointments. 

Children and Young People's Service

We have a dedicated service providing advice and emotional support for families with children and young people. Parents and carers are usually best placed to help their children. We can help the adults in the family to support the children in their bereavement.

Our service can also provide individual support to children and young people when it is needed, enabling the young person to express themselves through talking, creative activities, play and storytelling. 

Social work

Our social worker is available to assist you with social and practical issues. This can include sourcing help at home, accessing other services, advice around benefits, help with housing and support with any family concerns.

Group activities and workshops

We have a number of group activities over the year. This includes workshops and short courses for patients and carers and support groups for the bereaved. 

Bereavement Support

Immediately after the death of someone we love we may feel shocked or numb and it sometimes takes a while to sink in. Alternatively, it can feel very difficult to cope at the beginning and we can worry about how we can ever feel any better.

The bereavement service for adults is for those who are bereaved of a loved one who was under the care of Garden House Hospice Care, or had been referred to us, at the time of their death. When you contact us for bereavement support, we will ask you to come for an assessment so we can get to know how we might help you. We can offer support in a number of ways:

  • Triage - An informal meeting to talk about how you are feeling and to help understand what is happening. Sometimes this is most appropriate in the early days.
  • Counselling - Counselling may be appropriate later on, usually anytime after the first three months and sometimes a year or more later. Our counselling is short term, usually 6 sessions and we have daytime and evening appointments available.
  • Therapeutic Groups and Activities - Some of these are just for bereaved people and sometimes for carers and patients too. The programme varies but might include things like relaxation or mindfulness, an evening bereavement group or writing workshop.
  • The Bereavement Coffee Morning - This is held monthly and is an informal opportunity to meet with and get support from other bereaved people. The coffee morning is a very special group, friendly, welcoming and understanding.

Remembrance events

Another way we can support bereaved people is by holding events which provide time and space to remember. People also find it can help them to feel less alone to be alongside others in the same position. We hold a number of events throughout the year including:

  • Time to Remember - This is a short service at the Hospice which is held to remember those who died at that time the year before. It is usually held monthly and next of kin are invited to bring themselves and any other family or friends who would like to attend.
  • Annual Thanksgiving Service - This is usually held in St. Pauls Church, Letchworth, in June. It is open to everyone but especially those who have lost a loved one in the past year.
  • Lights of Life - These are special services held in the community during the run up to Christmas and are open to anyone.

Further support can be found

For children:

http://stand-by-me.org.uk/

http://chums.uk.com/bedfordshire-services/

https://www.winstonswish.org/

And for bereaved adults:

https://www.cruse.org.uk/

If you'd like to speak to a member of the Family Support team or have any questions, please call 01462 679540.