It can be diﬃcult to talk about illness and the strong emotions that accompany it. The family support team provide a listening ear to patients, their families and carers. They can help you to explore the thoughts and feelings associated with illness and the changes it brings. You may want to make plans for the future. Some people ﬁnd talking to someone outside the family can help. You may also want to put some of those plans down in writing. We have the skills necessary to assist you in doing this. When someone is ill, everyone in the family can be aﬀected and it can also impact on your ﬁnances.
We can guide and advise you with practical and ﬁnancial support. We can look at maximising your income, and advise you on claiming any beneﬁt entitlements. We can also advise if any grants are available, and help guide you with housing issues and debt. Our aim is try to relieve some of the stress that ﬁnancial worries may bring during a diﬃcult time. We can also signpost you to other support services and speak on your behalf with other agencies, such as housing, employers and equipment providers, to help you meet your needs.
The Hospice of the Valleys support people to live their life to the full, whatever that means to them. Have you ever considered what would happen if you couldn’t make decisions anymore? What would be important to you?
Advance Care Planning (ACP) is a voluntary, structured discussion with patients and their families or carers about their wishes and thoughts for the future. Through our experience, we have found that planning ahead, discussing, sharing and sometimes documenting those important decisions and preferences, allows your choices to be heard when you can no longer voice them.
ACP is an opportunity for people to feel empowered and that their preferences are considered and respected. With regular reviews and clear communication between everybody involved, ACP helps us to plan and provide your care in the best way we can.
Advance Care Plans may include all or any of the three below:
• An Advance Statement: a way for you to write down what matters most to you so that people know about your wishes and choices.
• An Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment (ADRT): a formal way for you to write down and share any decisions you make about treatments that you do not want in the future.
• Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA): a person/people nominated by you to speak on your behalf. There are two types; ‘Health and Welfare’ (speaks for you only if you cannot speak for yourself at the time) and ‘Property and Affairs’ (speaks for you from whenever you authorise them to so do).
If you live or work in our community and would like to know more about why it is important to plan ahead please contact us to discuss how we can support you.
ACTivate your Life
At the Hospice of the Valleys we facilitate the delivery of an ACTivate your life course, which supports many Hospice patients, family members and bereaved relatives with the principles that the course encourages people to consider and adopt.
ACTivate Your Life is a psychology course based on a new approach to therapy – “ACT” (that stands for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). We believe that everyone can benefit from this course – that includes people with emotional problems, mental health issues, physical health conditions, and even people who have “no problems at all” (although this is a rare condition!).
ACTivate Your Life offers help to people with emotional issues including anxiety, depression, stress, worrying, low self-confidence, unwelcome thoughts, panic, lack of motivation, unwanted habits, addictions, etc. etc. It can also be helpful for people with physical health conditions that are painful, disabling or very worrying.
Of course, during a pandemic, face-to-face work has been a challenge, to say the least, and any group work currently remains impossible. We are pleased to see that Neil Frude, who developed the course, has provided a series of videos that will act as a compromise and alternative until we can spend time together again.
In the meantime, anyone who would like to learn how to take less notice of thoughts that trouble them to have a look at the links which contains 4 videos, each lasting approximately 45 minutes, and accompanying written synopses and Activity Sheets as well as some guided Mindfulness audios. Here are the links to the courses in English andWelsh
Hospice Information Support Point (HISP)
(This service is currently on pause due to Covid-19. If you have any questions please call the Hospice of 01495 717277)
There is still a lot of stigma regarding the word Hospice; what it is and what it can offer and we continue to attempt to challenge that stigma.
One of the ways that we are looking to address this is by launching with our Hospice Information and Support Point (H.I.S.P.) in Ebbw Vale Library every Friday morning, 10:00am – 12:00pm.
The presence in the library on a weekly basis will allow people to pop in and gain advice, information and how referrals can be made to our service.
Alongside this we hope that having a community presence will help raise the profile of the charity locally and also start to break down the stigma associated with Hospice services.
We are grateful to Aneurin Leisure for supporting us in such a great local venue.
We want to create every opportunity to share knowledge of our service, to ensure that our community receives the support that they require, when they need it most.