The demands for the services provided by Hospice of the Valleys have not gone away during the current pandemic. Patients and carers still need support and for those feeling even more isolated the needs are even greater now.

We are fortunate to have a flexible and adaptable team who are working to see how we can continue to deliver support to the local community. One of this team is Sarah Harries who works in our Dementia Service (CARIAD) which we run with the Alzheimer’s Society.

“Here at the Hospice we are currently sailing in uncharted waters at a time of high anxiety and stress for all the people we support. As a Social Worker in our CARIAD (Dementia) Service I am very aware that the risk of crisis heightens as other services are cancelled and the demand on carers increase. I am incredibly proud that we are still able to support our families at this time. Jemma our Health Care Assistant is still able to visit and spend time with a number of families who currently have the greatest need. Our Dementia Support Worker and I are in regular telephone contact with everyone who is registered with our service. We want people to know that we are still here if they need us and will continue to be here throughout this terrible time”

After visiting one of her priority families, Jemma shared the story of how amongst all the chaos going on in the outside world, she spent the afternoon building with blocks, colouring and dancing!!

“When I visited George today his wife, Betty, told me they had both had a bad night, neither of them had slept much due to George’s dementia and the tiredness had led to him sustaining a small injury. My visit enabled Betty to have a break from her role as a carer, so she could go and pick up essential shopping and also have a rest.

When George is tired, he is more unsettled but when we do activities together such as colouring and dancing it helps him relax. It’s a rewarding role for me personally knowing that I can help families cope better with the effects of living with a dementia diagnosis.

Due to the current crisis and many other services being withdrawn, Betty is worried how she will manage, today Betty said to me

“I honestly don’t know what I would do without the service it helps me so much”

“We would like reassure the community we will do all we can to continue to be there for them during the current pandemic. We are looking at how we can use technology better to maintain contact with those in need of support. I would also like to thank the local community for their continued support for our work during what are unprecedented times for us all.“