Archive for October, 2015
Founder of LauraLynn Children’s Hospice, Jane McKenna, who experienced the death of her two daughters within two years, will share her story of loss at a public bereavement evening in the Alexander Hotel, Fenian Street, Dublin 2 on November 5th. To coincide with the national month of remembrance, The Irish Hospice Foundation, with support from Fanagans Funeral Directors, is hosting ‘Living with Loss’ – a free information event. Every year 29,000 people in Ireland die, and on average ten people are directly affected by a death. This event aims to open up a discussion on bereavement and to inform members of the public of the range of supports available. Jane will discuss her own personal experience of loss at the event. Sixteen years ago Jane and her husband Brendan endured unimaginable tragedy when they received the news that their eldest daughter Lynn had Leukaemia; and just one day later Laura, their other daughter aged 4, died following heart surgery. Lynn died as a result of her illness just two years later. The couple managed to plough their grief into something positive and undertook a major fundraising campaign to develop the hospice in their daughters’ names. Jane’s book ‘Laura & Lynn’s story – Living in the shadow of their smiles’ was launched on October 22nd this year. This bereavement event begins at 5.30pm and a range of voluntary bereavement services will be available to talk to members of the public about the range of supports they offer. Clinical psychologist Dr Susan Delaney, Bereavement Services Manager at The Irish Hospice Foundation will also provide practical advice on coping with bereavement. Orla Keegan, Head of Education, Research and Bereavement Services with The Irish Hospice Foundation said: “November is traditionally a month where we remember those who have died. This event on November 5th allows people who are living with loss to come together in the act of remembering. We are delighted to have Jane McKenna as our guest speaker and thank her for so generously sharing with us. We hope that the evening will be both informative and a source of solace to those attending.” Tea and coffee will be served at the event which will close at 8.30pm. If you have any queries or would like further information please contact Iris Murray, Irish Hospice Foundation, 4th Floor, Morrison Chambers, 32 Nassau Street, Dublin 2, telephone: 01 6793188 Fax: 01 6730040, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Musician Christy Moore backs Ireland’s first National Bereaved Children’s Awareness Day – November 20th
Remembering Bereaved Children on Universal Children's DayMusician Christy Moore, whose father died when he was aged 11, is lending his support to the first National Bereaved Children’s Awareness Day on Friday, November 20th, which aims to raise awareness about the best way to support a grieving child. The day has been organised by the Irish Childhood Bereavement Network (IBCN) to coincide with Universal Children’s Day and will be highlighted throughout Ireland. The ICBN is a hub for those working with bereaved children, young people and their families in Ireland. It is funded by Tusla, the Child and family Centre and The Irish Hospice Foundation. Andy Moore was 41-years-old when he died in October 1956. Reflecting back on the death of his father, and the impact it had on his life, Christy said, “I was 11-years-old and the eldest of six children. I'm 70 now yet clearly remember the shock and trauma of that day. Each of the six of us carried that shock and trauma through our lives. No one ever spoke to us about his death. It was not in the culture of the times.” Adding his support to the first National Bereaved Children’s Awareness Day, Christy said children need to be properly supported to deal with their grief. “I believe that any child suffering such trauma would benefit greatly from supportive intervention,” he added. Every day in Ireland approximately 80 people die. Research has shown that by the age of nine, 2.2 per cent of children have lost a parent and 28 per cent have lost a grandparent. National Bereaved Children’s Awareness Day is aimed at those supporting bereaved children; their parents or carers, teachers, sports groups, faith communities or friends in their local communities. Brid Carroll, Chair of the ICBN said that the majority of bereaved children will process their grief if they have a strong support network of family, friends and their local community. However in order to support a bereaved child, that natural network needs the correct information to do so. This includes an understanding of how children grieve, how they understand death and loss, their developmental responses to loss and when to seek outside support. Offering advice she said, “To promote resilience in children following the death of a parent, sibling or other person significant in their life, it is important that parents provide time for the child to express their feelings and talk out the questions they may have about the loss. Open communication about the death is key. Parents know their children best and can support them by creating quiet moments to reflect and talk about the loss. “The death or loss of a parent can create insecurity for a child and leave them confused and unsure how life will be in the future. As adults we need to support them in ways that are appropriate to their age. This involves answering their questions; giving opportunities to remember the person who has died; reassuring that routine and activities can continue and allowing them to express their feelings about what has occurred. We should remember too that a parent may have their own grief and so will require support and understanding from other family members, friends and their own communities.” She said it is very important to give children the opportunity and choice to be involved in some of the rituals surrounding death. “Such inclusion can allow the child create memories and have open discussion around the loss that has occurred in their lives. It is important that the key adults in the child’s life can allow this to occur.” To mark this day ICBN will host the first National Bereaved Children's Awareness Day. Events include a free seminar on Supporting a Bereaved Child through Grief and Loss Location: The Ark (Cultural centre for children) in Temple Bar, Dublin 2 Date: Friday the 20th of November. Time: The event will commence at 7pm sharp - 9.30pm. Refreshments: Tea and Coffee Speaker: The speaker for the seminar will be Patsy Way who works with the Candle Project in St. Christopher’s Hospice, London. She works as a play therapist in supporting bereaved children. The seminar is open to anyone in the community who is concerned about supporting a bereaved child. This could be family members, sports clubs, scouts, music clubs, youth clubs and the general public. PLEASE NOTE: The event is free but booking is essential on our Eventbrite page. Early booking advised as spaces are limited.
We are delighted to announce that our next “Dine Out for The Irish Hospice Foundation” event will be held on Thursday 12th November, 7pm at Restaurant 1900 & The Black Door, Harcourt Street, Dublin 2. Kicking off with a bubbly reception, attendees will be treated to a 3 course dinner followed by live music at the piano bar. Tickets are available at €60 each (in tables of 8 or 10, but we try to be flexible). This event is the latest to be organised by our voluntary Special Events Group and demand for tickets will be high – be sure to buy early ! We are extremely grateful to all our members of the Special Events Group who work so hard to ensure we have fantastic events that raise much needed funds for our work for best care at end-of-life. We also thank our friends at 1900 & The Black Door for their support and to everyone that has donated raffle prizes too. For tickets and further details please call the Fundraising Team on 01 679 3188. To download event flyer, click HERE.
The Irish Hospice Foundation holding public meeting on need for urgent action to improve end of life care services in Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath
The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has called for “urgent” action at government and HSE level to provide adequate end of life care services in Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath. The region is currently an end of life care “blackspot” with no inpatient hospice unit and has the lowest level of investment in palliative care nationally, the IHF says. Launching a campaign to highlight the inequities and to bring the Midlands up to a par with other parts of Ireland the IHF CEO, Sharon Foley said: “The people of the Midlands deserve better. Without a hospice, and the resultant special palliative care services that comes with it, patients are being denied the best possible care on their final journey. The 300,000 plus people who live in the Midlands should have the same chance to live well until the end as those living in other parts of Ireland. The current situation is completely unacceptable.” Figures show that only €7.66 per head of the population is invested by the State in palliative are in the Midland counties compared with €30.68 per head in the Mid West. The fact that there is no inpatient (level III) hospice in the region means patients have no option but to be admitted to the acute hospital for care. As a result 41% of cancer patients in Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath die in an acute hospital compared to only 21% in the Mid-West.” According to Ms Foley there is a very high reliance on local hospice groups to raise money to sustain services including core palliative care services such as homecare nurses. The homecare teams do not have the dedicated support of a full multi-disciplinary team including social workers, occupational therapists and physiotherapists. The Report of the National Advisory Committee on Palliative Care, which was adopted as government policy in 2001, clearly states: ‘Each health board area should have a comprehensive specialist palliative care service to meet the needs of patients and families in the area. This service should support the patient wherever the patient may be - at home, in hospital, in residential care, or in a specialist palliative care unit.’ Commenting on this Ms Foley said, “Despite this 14 years on there is still no hospice in the Midlands, and the region has a poorly developed end-of-life care service. This is deeply disappointing.” A number of strategic plans have been drafted since 2001 to develop services in line with the aspirations held within national policy but were hampered by health cutbacks and a public service recruitment embargo. In 2013 the IHF funded a research project which looked at the needs within the Midlands for the development of end of life, hospice and palliative cares services. It identified critical gaps and pinpointed needs including the development of a specialist in patient unit (hospice) for palliative care and associated day services. It also called for a second palliative care consultant with supporting NCHDs, palliative care nurse specialists in acute hospitals and enhanced community/home care teams. Ms Foley said, “A full and very detailed implementation plan was drawn up by the regional committee on palliative care in 2014 to build services in all the settings where people die – hospital, the community, and hospice. Whilst the second consultant post is in planning stages, its seems little other progress has been made, particularly in relation to the inpatient unit.” The IHF is calling as a matter of urgency for:
- A regional inpatient level III hospice unit, as promised in 2001, to provide support for the sickest and most complex patients AND to be a hub for outreach and education activities.
- Immediate replacement of staff vacancies
- Provision of full range of specialist and generalist palliative care service in each of the Midlands counties including hospice homecare nurses and supporting nursing staff, medical support, physiotherapy and occupational therapy
- Extension of hospice homecare to allow for greater 7-day and out of hours coverage
- A specialist outreach hospice day care service one day a week in each county
- A regional programme of education and training in general and specialist palliative care.
Kilkenny native tackling 1,378km coastal cycle followed by Dublin City Marathon for The Irish Hospice Foundation
Kilkenny native Brian Carroll has his wheels firmly in motion as he tackles a 1,378km cycle around the Irish coast followed by the Dublin City Marathon, in a quest to raise €10,000 for The Irish Hospice Foundation. Brian set off from Dublin last Friday and is now midway through his mammoth Cycle2Run challenge, having taken in Waterford, Wicklow, Wexford, Cork, Tralee, Galway and Westport. The father of two from Crosspatrick is now making his way up North and will bring his ten day cycle to an end by the joining participants in the Dublin City Marathon on October 26th. Since June the 35-year-old has clocked up over 4,000 miles on his bike and has run over 400 miles in preparation for his test of endurance. He has also raised over €7,000 for the Irish Hospice Foundation and is hoping to reach his target of €10,000 by the end of his challenge. The Irish Hospice Foundation is a national charity dedicated to all matters relating to dying, death and bereavement in Ireland. The IHF receives no core funding from the state and therefore relies on the generosity of donations to fund many services, including:
- Funding four of the eight Children’s Outreach Nurses, which means very ill children can be cared for at home surrounded by the family
- Nurses for Night Care, which provides 1,800 hours of vital care and support annually to patients with life limiting illnesses other than cancer
- Training 3,000 people every year in providing bereavement support
- Improving the environment in hospitals in which people die through the Hospice Friendly Hospitals programme
Quality Care - where it's needed, when it's neededAccording to a recent study by the All Ireland Institute of Hospice & Palliative Care (AIIHPC) 68% of people with an incurable illness want to plan for their future care. Palliative Care Week which takes place from Oct 25 - 31 will highlight the benefit of a palliative approach in health and community care settings. It will focus on the delivery of palliative care where it's needed and in the way it is needed for both patient and family. The core messages for the week will outline how Palliative Care;
- Can be provided in many different settings; at home, in a nursing home, in hospital, or in a hospice, depending on a person’s needs and preferences
- Aims to achieve the best possible quality of life for people with serious illness
- Is beneficial for anyone with a non-curable illness, regardless of age or condition
- May be delivered for a number of years, not just the weeks and days at the end of life
- Supports family, friends and carers both during an illness and afterwards
Find Out MoreThe week will be coordinated by AIIHPC and more information is available HERE You can also follow the conversation about Palliative Care Week on the hashtag #pallcareweek
Over the weekend there have been a number of tragic deaths, including the deaths of five adults and five children in a fire in Carrickmines and the very sad loss of life in Co. Louth. Our heartfelt condolences go to the families of the deceased at this extremely difficult time. Death, unexpected or otherwise, can be very hard to cope with. If you need support visit www.bereaved.ie We are holding our annual free public bereavement information evening in the Alexander Hotel, Fenian Street, Dublin 2 on November 5th. Jane McKenna, who experienced the death of her two daughters within two years, and then went on to found LauraLynn Hospice, will discuss Living with Loss. for full informaiton see here - November Public Event Flyer
Inequities in specialist palliative care services need to be addressed to ensure best end of life care for all
In advance of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) and Irish Association for Palliative Care (IAPC) are calling for equity of service for all people in need of specialist palliative care. World Hospice and Palliative Care Day takes place on Saturday, October 10th and is a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world. The theme for World Day 2015 is "Hidden Lives/Hidden Patients", which puts the spotlight on patients that can struggle to access palliative care. Despite Ireland ranking 4th in the 2015 Quality of Death Index, the IHF (a national charity dedicated to all matters related to dying death and bereavement) and the IAPC (the collective and expert voice for those working in Palliative Care), are highlighting the difficulties some patients in Ireland continue to have to access palliative care. Sharon Foley, CEO of the IHF said, “In Ireland we have an ageing population and we need to respond to this need and ensure that not only are we living well, but we are dying well. We only get one chance at a good death and a person’s geographical location should have no bearing on this. While it is welcome to see Ireland rank so high in the Index, there are currently unacceptable gaps in existence in the availability of specialist palliative care services in the country. The fact that there is no inpatient Level III hospice in the Midlands and North East regions means patients have no option but to be admitted to an acute hospital for care – where the majority do not want to be. Homecare teams do not have the dedicated support of a full multi-disciplinary team including social workers, occupational therapists and physiotherapists. This is unacceptable and we are calling on the Government to prioritise the development of firm actions plans for these regions as a matter of urgency.” Ms Foley added, “Palliative care is a human right. As part of World Day we are calling for the best care at end of life for all people, regardless of what illness they suffer from or where they live. Everyone deserves the best possible care on their final journey.” The IAPC has also echoed these comments from The IHF stating: “The expertise delivered by a multi-disciplinary specialist palliative care team should be available to all who require it, 24/7, on the basis of need alone. Yet some patients are unable to access this expertise because of constrained resources that results in access being limited on the basis of age, diagnosis, post-code or due to lack of services out of hours and weekends. Patients are disadvantaged as a consequence and this is inexcusable. The Government should ensure that resources prescribed for palliative care are applied for the purposes intended and that they are distributed in a manner that eliminates the inequities that currently exist.” The Irish Hospice Foundation is holding a public meeting in Mullingar Park Hotel on Wednesday, October 21st at 7.30pm to highlight the urgent need for investment in palliative care services in the Midlands region and the lack of development to date.