Patient and Family Support
Saint Catherine’s offers a range of services for patients and families aimed at providing emotional, psychological, and pastoral care support.
Specialist Palliative Care Social Workers assess the social, practical and emotional needs of patients, families and carers, and then arrange appropriate support and care.
We work on the In-patient Unit, often assisting with discharge planning; offering individual appointments in the Wellbeing Centre outpatients clinics on a Monday morning, as well as seeing patients during the full day sessions on Wednesdays and Thursdays and supporting the community nursing teams.
We can help with many practical issues, such as finding resources in the community – including personal care at home, residential and nursing home placements, and with housing problems, advocacy, financial or legal issues, and support for carers. We can also provide emotional support to patients and carers, and assist in helping families to communicate more effectively.
Our Pastoral Care Coordinator offers support to patients and their families recognising that in times of major illness life can be both stressful and challenging – not only for our patients but also for the people close to them.
Recognising that not everyone is religious, pastoral care integrates spiritual support in being alongside people who are striving to cope with all kinds of losses. It incorporates celebrating life and it has a part in identifying purpose and meaning in life.
Our Pastoral Care Coordinator is supported by volunteers, and connections with local faith leaders. She leads the regular Pause for Thought services at the hospice, as well as the annual Service of Remembrance and Light up a Life services in the community.
Our Specialist Palliative Care Counsellors are available to support patients, family members and carers with any of the challenges and difficulties that arise whether a patient is still receiving treatment (such as from Oncology or Neurology) or just being supported with palliative care, or end-of-life care.
What we offer
Our counsellors provide opportunity and support for having sometimes uncomfortable conversations about difficult issues. They can also help by suggesting strategies for coping – such as how to respond to powerful emotions, and making sense of one’s experience. Most importantly, our counsellors can help companion patients, families and carers through their difficulties and challenges, offering experienced and compassionate support.
Mindfulness and Meditation
Our counselling service may offer opportunities for nurturing meditation and mindfulness practices that can be very helpful not only in achieving calm and managing anxiety, but also in: managing difficult thoughts, living more fully in the present moment (rather than being preoccupied with a fearful future), finding meaning that can counteract fear, and feeling less alone and isolated.
If you would like to try meditation at home, our team has produced a ‘meditation toolbox’, which can help guide you through the process, with different meditations to try depending on your needs.
You can access the meditation toolbox here
If you would prefer to listen to short audio recordings that accompany the meditation toolbox, you can do so here.
We have three longer mindfulness audio recordings that you can listen to here on our website, we have a 15 minute clip on short breathing meditation, a 25 minute clip on stillness and inner refuge meditation and a 28 minute clip on guided visualisation.
This ‘Meditation Toolbox’ has been written and recorded by Barbara Payman. While none of the meditations are original – they come from a variety of sources which we gratefully acknowledge – many have been developed/ adapted for current purposes.
Advance Care Planning
An important part of our work is helping people look ahead at what the future may hold, and make plans based on what they want. There are a number of tools available to help with this and we have included a couple of them here. If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of these issues further please speak with one of our staff and we will help you.
Click here to view a quick video on Advance Care Planning
Prefer to read? Take a read through ‘Planning for your future care‘
Helpful listening or counselling
Our experienced Bereavement Support staff and counsellors are available to help you talk about and make sense of your experience. They recognise that each person’s grief experience is unique, just as every individual’s personal history and life’s journey are unique.
Help with children who are grieving
We provide support for parents of grieving children, and, when needed, individual support for children aged five years or older.
Bereavement Drop-in Group
Family and carers are contacted two months after their bereavement with details of this group. The group meets once each month and provides an opportunity for participants to speak openly with others who have experienced a similar loss; it also provides emotional support and useful practical information. People can join the group as an alternative to counselling or after some initial counselling sessions; whatever best suits the needs of the individual.
Whether you’d like to ask us a question, need to raise a point or would like to leave us feedback, we’d love to hear from you! You can find our details at the top of every page or by visiting our contact page.