Hospice group will support carers with specialist advice

St Clare Hospice, in Hastingwood. Picture: ST CLARE

St Clare Hospice, in Hastingwood. Picture: ST CLARE - Credit: Archant

A hospice has launched a new support group for the relatives and carers of people who are being looked after by the charity.

The new Carers' Group initiative, led by St Clare Hospice, will provide information, skills and support to carers as they look after a loved one with a life-limiting illness.

St Clare Hospice, based in Hastingwood, provides palliative care for people across the west Essex and the east Hertfordshire border.

Jane Iskander, occupational therapist and day therapy manager at St Clare Hospice, said: "There are many challenges to be faced when caring for a family member, friend or relative. Things like fatigue, stress and anxiety are common, as well as pressure on personal relationships and uncertainty around navigating the public care system. "That's why we've initiated this new Carers' Group so that carers have access to professional, specialist advice, guidance and coping strategies to help them care for someone close to them."

The group will take part in a six-week programme, scheduled to run four times a year, with weekly meetings throughout.

The sessions will cover the practicalities of caring for a person who is living with a life-limiting illness, sharing recognised techniques and skills.

The initiative launched last month and is open, by referral, to carers, families and relatives of those who receive care from the hospice. Carers can self-refer to the group, or they can request referral via a health, social care or hospice professional.

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Ms Iskander said: "We're really excited to be able to launch this care service. We know how vital it is to offer support for the whole family when a person has been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness. We'll be continuously looking to develop and improve this service over the next few months, and hopefully, by the end of 2019, we will be able to offer it to the wider community, too."

For more information on St Clare Hospice's care services, visit stclarehospice.org.uk.

If you'd like to talk to someone about accessing hospice services at St Clare, or want to find out more about their new Carers' Group, call 01279 773700.