Linked-up Herts hospices team up in bid to spread the word about what they do during national awareness week
- Credit: Archant
Hospices across Herts have linked up to spread the word about what they do, with a new website that spells out what help is available.
The move comes in National Hospice Week, which runs until Sunday, with the six organisations involved – including the Letchworth-based Garden House Hospice – teaming up to promote the work they do.
Every week, hundreds of individuals and their families across the county are being supported – more than 14,000 people in Herts had the benefit of hospice care last year.
And the mission of the hospices is to make people more aware that – as well as providing care and support to patients in their final days – nearly 75 per cent of services in an average week are dedicated to helping patients live as well as possible after their diagnosis.
They’re also keen to focus on how hospices provide support for the whole family to help them cope both during a terminal illness affecting a loved one and with bereavement when it comes.
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Jackie Tritton, director of patient services at Watford’s Peace Hospice, said: “Hospices have evolved and adapted their care over the years to reflect the fact that people are now living much longer after being diagnosed with life-limiting illnesses.
“A lot of what hospices now do is helping to control symptoms, manage illness and build coping strategies so that patients and their families can enjoy life as fully as possible.”
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Those developments in care mean that complementary and alternative therapies – ranging from art and music to reflexology and hydrotherapy – are now part of the package, with more than 5,000 people in Herts alone benefiting from sessions last year.
Other activities included more than 500 visits to in-patient units from much-loved family pets, along with 442 haircuts and 260 hand massages from volunteer beauticians.
All the county’s hospices also offer support and care for patients in their own homes, with more than 41,000 home visits – nearly 800 a week – to patients.
Vital to the running of the hospices are the many volunteers who offer their time for free.
Last year almost one million hours were volunteered to Hertfordshire’s hospices.
Roles ranged from driving vulnerable people to and from social outings, providing care at home, working in charity shops, giving support for fundraising events and much more.
To find out more about Garden House and other hospices operating in the county, visit www.hertshospices.org.uk.