By Dr Russ Hargreaves, Head of Wellbeing, ellenor
Wellbeing is characterised by a state of good health, happiness and contentment and is not something we would ordinarily imagine going hand in hand with hospice care.On the contrary, most people imagine hospices to be all about death and dying and not something we can easily imagine involving squeezing the best out of every situation.
However, that’s exactly what we’re attempting to do at ellenor.In a radical new development, we are building new services which will help our patients, their carers and local residents to get the very best out of each and every day – after all, none of us ever know how long we have.
End-of-life care is never easy but is something that we need to get right, in exactly the same way we would try to ensure a good birth, a good death is something we can plan and prepare for.However, the time between diagnosis and death can be frightening, confusing and tiring for all involved.More and more people are living with life-limiting illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and neurological conditions. Others have chronic illnesses such as COPD and dementia.We believe that, with the right care, information and support, we can make the very best of this time.
Our Wellbeing Services will be open to anybody with a life-limiting illness, wherever they are on their journey.Our doors are also open to the people who use so much compassion and energy caring for them.We will be expanding our Financial Support Service, offering much needed help in claiming for the benefits we know people are entitled to.After all when you’re sick, money is the last thing you need to be worrying about.We will also make out Counselling and Complementary Therapies more widely accessible, caring for people’s emotional and psychological wellbeing.We are most excited about our new classes: from meditation to gardening, pilates to art therapy, poetry groups to choirs, we hope to meet the needs of all we work with.
We are working hard with the support of a wonderful team of volunteers and health professionals to make this happen.We have also joined forces with a great number of experienced organisations in the area, combining efforts and sharing resources – after all, the world has changed, money is tight and charitable services such as ours have to do everything they can to stretch their hard earned pennies and pounds.
It is our hope that ellenor will become a one-stop-shop for all our patient and carer wellbeing needs.People will stay for a coffee and a chat, explore our beautiful gardens and hopefully meet others in a similar position.In time, we hope to extend these services outside the hospice into local community centres or ‘hubs’.We are more than aware that many of us are lonely and isolated and living with a life-limiting illness exacerbates this.Whether it is working with adults or children, ellenor’s vision is to offer the best quality personalised care and support.
We believe our new Wellbeing model goes some way to achieving this.