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Leave your gift for the future, leave a legacy

Posted on: October 29th, 2017

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This My Legacy Week, The Irish Hospice Foundation ask you to continue to support us by leaving a legacy gift in your will, after you have taken care of your family and loved ones.  Large or small, it is a special and personal way to make an impact on causes you cherish most for the future.

We are part of My Legacy, an umbrella group of over 50 Irish charities who work together to highlight how important it is for everybody to have a will and to ask people to remember a charity they care about, once all other important personal decisions have been made.   Many Irish people put off making a will even though it is not a daunting experience and can give you peace of mind. A solicitor has a checklist of all the things to be decided upon and once that is done, you can add whatever legacy gift you feel is right and possible.  Most of us have been touched by the amazing work charities do in our lives and communities. Three simple steps is all it takes to remember those you care about in your will.

You can learn more about leaving a legacy gift to charity and find a local solicitor to help you make your will at www.mylegacy.ie

   

Have you sent your completed CHY3 Cert back to us? Clock is ticking…

Posted on: October 18th, 2017

A while ago we sent our generous supporters  a reminder letter about the charity tax back scheme and a CHY3 cert enclosed. If you received it, please don’t wait, return it today!

We will be submitting our claim to the Revenue Commissioners in the coming weeks so it’s vital your form comes in before that. It only takes a minute. We’ve made it as easy as possible. In just three quick steps you can release the full potential of your generous gift to us, so please complete, sign and return the form we sent you. It’s as simple as that. And it still won’t cost you a single cent more!

Thank you for your prompt response!

For more information on our Tax Back Campaign please click HERE

Welcoming Charity VAT Compensation Scheme in Budget 2018

Posted on: October 10th, 2017

The Irish Hospice Foundation has warmly welcomed the news in Budget 2018 that a Charity VAT Compensation Scheme will be introduced. This follows strong campaigning by the Irish Hospice Foundation to help ease the burden on hospices nationwide.

The Charities VAT Compensation Scheme announced today will take effect from 1 January 2018 but will be paid one year in arrears i.e. in 2019 charities will be able to reclaim some element of the VAT costs arising in 2018. Charities will be entitled to a refund of a proportion of their VAT costs based on the level of non-public funding they receive. The scheme, including the amount provided in the fund, will be subject to review after three years. Claims under the scheme cannot be made until 2019 as it will take some time for the Revenue to establish IT and administrative systems.

Below is the essence of our campaigning and an article we wrote previous to the Budget:

Reducing the Burden on Charities

Payment of VAT is a serious burden for hospices nationally, especially those where a capital build is planned, explains The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF). Capital builds are underway or planned in Dublin – North and South, Limerick, Galway, Mayo/Roscommon, Wicklow and Waterford, with long term plans for the Midlands, Drogheda and Cavan. It is current government policy that the capital costs of hospice units are funded from charitable sources – and to date voluntary hospice groups have funded the building of these vital facilities.
IHF CEO Sharon Foley said: "The requirement to pay VAT on build and fit-out expenditures adds a huge burden to hospices and increases their fundraising challenges – already strained in the current climate. As an example, if a capital build costs €11m – 13% of this represents VAT – a staggering €126,500 for each hospice.  In addition the fit-out of each unit might cost €2m, so VAT will represent an additional €37,000 for the hospice. These costs should not be necessary for hospices and other such charities reliant on charitable fundraising from the public.
The IHF feels the effects of the imposition of VAT on charities. In many cases the VAT payments far exceed any Exchequer support given through the Government Charitable Donation Scheme and resulting in an annual net loss." The IHF is a member of Charities Institute Ireland (Cii) which has been campaigning for measures to reduce the burden of VAT on charities and has participated, with Finance and Revenue officials, on a Working Group set up by then Finance Minister Noonan in 2015 to look into the issue. "The Working Group Report confirmed that there are no legal obstacles to the introduction of a VAT Compensation Scheme in Ireland. In his Budget 2017 speech, Minister Noonan said that he had asked his officials to engage again with Cii with a view to reviewing the options. Earlier this year Cii provided his officials with a comprehensive updated report on the impact of VAT on charities in Ireland."

Political Support

From cross party discussions in recent weeks, Cii believes that there is significant political support across the Oireachtas for a VAT Compensation Scheme as envisaged by the Working Group.
"We hope that Budget 2018 will finally recognise the inequity, in a modern and progressive society, of levying a tax (VAT) on regulated and focused organisations dedicated to meeting the needs of our most vulnerable.
As we now approach Budget 2018, we are asking Government to bring this issue to a positive resolution and support the Irish Hospice Foundation and the voluntary hospice movement in removing the burden of VAT on charities," concluded Ms Foley.

Death and Taxes in Spotlight at #Forum2017

Posted on: October 10th, 2017
October 10th 2017: Ireland’s first Charter on Dying, Death and Bereavement was launched today at the ‘Forum on End of Life’ conference organised by the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) in Dublin Castle.

‘The People’s Charter on Dying, Death and Bereavement in Ireland’ is solidly based on results of the IHF ‘Have Your Say’ survey where almost 2,600 people across Ireland shared their personal views last September on what they feel is needed for a good death and in bereavement. It is apt that death and taxes are in the spotlight today, because these are the only two certainties in life.

People want to live and die in an Ireland where death is talked about and not hidden away. People want to prepare for what lies ahead and get relief from pain, no matter the location or condition. People who are bereaved want space and time to grieve, talk and remember. These are samples of insightful and heartfelt survey findings.
Speaking from Dublin Castle, IHF CEO Sharon Foley said: “This important charter was formed by public opinion and gives us a powerful tool to bring to Government. The charter received overwhelming support today from 350 delegates. The people of Ireland want to have their say about end of life. Being treated with and maintaining dignity matters to people. Many described their fear of pain, with access to adequate pain relief being vital. Care, dignity, comfort and pain were recurring words used by people.  We will continue to feed and nurture this charter so it grows and is responsive to what people want. More people had their say today and we will continue to lead the discussion.”

Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness Speaks Passionately

Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness is Chair of the National Council of the Forum on End of Life in Ireland and spoke passionately at today’s forum to over 350 delegates.
“As citizens and as a society we need to break the taboo that surrounds death. We need to assert clearly that when it comes to end-of-life we need more rights than the last rites. We need to support each other to develop a greater sense of personal responsibility and put effective systems in place to enable people to act responsibly. Talking about death is a useful first step. Forum enables that conversation engaging in individual and collective futures.”  

Please credit Paul Sherwood
Pictured are David McCullagh RTE, who chaired the morning session, Sharon Foley, CEO, IHF, Professor Jenny Kitzinger, University of Cardiff and Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness, at today’s launch of ‘The People’s Charter on Dying, Death and Bereavement in Ireland’

Advance Care Directive

Keynote speaker was Professor Jenny Kitzinger from Cardiff University who co-directs the ‘Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre’. Jenny spoke about challenges around how decisions are made when the patient has lost the ability to make choices for themselves. Jenny was speaking about her own research for the Welsh Government - and also speaking from the heart about her own personal experience with sister Polly Kitzinger. “There is a huge taboo, fear and superstition in talking about death and dying but unless we do talk about it, we risk leaving our family vulnerable to maltreatment. It’s estimated that one in three of us will face end of life unable to make decisions, this could be a car crash in your 20’s with devastating consequences or extreme dementia in your 80’s.
People should have the right to the best support and care possible at end of life. Many people may lose their capacity and ability to make their own decisions which is why we should think about it, talk about it and tell people about our choices and consider writing an advance care directive too,” concluded Professor Kitzinger.
Forum 2017 is the 5th biennial National Conference of the Forum on End of Life in Ireland. The Forum has been kindly supported by UPS Ireland and its employees.

Here’s the Have Your Say report 

‘The People’s Charter on Dying, Death and Bereavement in Ireland’ can be viewed here.

     

Living with Loss

Posted on: September 28th, 2017

 

Our next annual November public information evening on bereavement will be held on Thursday, 2nd November 2017.  This annual event aims to provide information about grief and the range of supports available to bereaved people.  The evening will open with an introduction followed by a number of talks and video presentations.  Guest speaker Laura Kennedy (Columnist with The Irish Times) will speak on the theme ‘Living with Loss’.  At the event a number of voluntary bereavement support services and Professional Therapeutic Services will be represented.  The audience will have an opportunity to visit these stands and be informed of what services they provide.  Admission is free to this annual November event which is open to all members of the public, in particular to those that have been bereaved.  If you have any queries please contact Iris Murray Tel 01 679 3188 email [email protected]      

This public event is free to attend.  Bookings are not necessary.

RIP Tony Booth – Supporter and Campaigner of Quality Dementia Care at End of Life

Posted on: September 26th, 2017

The Irish Hospice Foundation sends their condolences to the family and friends of actor and political campaigner Tony Booth who has died.  

Steph and Tony were strong supporters and have been campaign tirelessly for better end of life for people with dementia. 

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. 

Tony was diagnosed with Alzheimers in 2004 when living in Ireland. Steph, a journalist and champion for people and carers living with dementia, launched the Irish Hospice Foundation’s Changing Minds Programme which seeks to improve the end-of-life experience for people living with dementia who are on their final journey. Slider image attributed to Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror  

Grant a final wish to people like Tess – support our Nurses for Night Care Service

Posted on: September 7th, 2017

Most of us want to die at home. Please grant a final wish by making a donation today.

There’s no place like home.

It could be the familiar smell when you open your front door, a cup of tea by the fireside or finding solace in your garden on a sunny day. The feeling of safety, comfort and reassurance when you are cosy in your bed at night.   Home is a place like no other and it’s no surprise so many of us want to spend our final days there with the people and comforts we love. With your help The Irish Hospice Foundation’s Nurses for Night Care service can grant a final wish. This free, national service allows people with illnesses other than cancer to die in the comfort of their own homes with loved ones. The nurse steps in at a difficult time to provide professional medical care, emotional and physical support and give carers a chance to rest and recharge.  

Pauline and her family discovered just how hard this time can be and experienced first-hand the wonderful difference our Nurses for Night Care service makes. Pauline’s mother-in-law, Tess was cared for in her home at the end of her life by the Nurse for Night Care, Ann.

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Tess whose final wish to die at home was granted thanks to generous donors like you.

“Dementia can be quite sneaky in that it creeps up very gradually. For Tess, it started off with forgetfulness, lights left on at night, cooker left on, going down a number of times a week to collect her pension and getting so upset when she was told it was already collected. This was a very difficult time for Tess as she knew something was wrong but did not know what. It was very hard for the family as this strong, capable, loving, wonderful woman was gradually slipping away - the most painful was when she did not know her children or grandchildren…” As Tess’s disease progressed, it was clear that a care plan had to be put in place with the Nurses for Night Care service stepping in during the final five nights. “Our nurse Ann was a crucial part of ‘Team Tess’ who all strived to make her last few days as comfortable as was humanly possible. Ann was someone who willingly took over Tess’s care. Her calm, reassuring nature meant that the family could leave Tess’s side without worry. We knew she was in confident, capable hands.”

Nurses for Night Care provided expertise and comfort for Tess and her family.

“The joy of being at home meant Tess was getting one-to-one care all night long. The nurse could meet her every need without Tess being in distress. Having consistency and the same nurse for the five nights was something we were very grateful for. It was a comfort for the family to get some sleep at night knowing that if Tess worsened we could be by her side instantly. In Ireland we hear a lot of negativity towards health care. However, not everyone is aware of services such as Nurses for Night Care because seeing is believing and the care and compassion delivered to Tess and our family was immeasurable.”

But the demand for this free, national service is growing every year.

In 2016 we provided over 2,000 nights of care to 600 families at a cost of €650,000. The expected spend this year has soared to €800,000! This is why we desperately need your support to continue this vital work.

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Just €40 provides one hour of night care.

 

       

To find out more about Nurses for Night Care Service and how to access it, please click HERE

Palliative Care Week – What Have You Heard? #pallcareweek

Posted on: September 1st, 2017

Research Reveals Four out of Five People Think Palliative Care Can Only be Provided by Specialist Palliative Care Teams

Almost One Third of People Think Palliative Care is only Available in a Hospice or Hospital Research published to coincide with Palliative Care Week 2017 (3rd to 9th September) reveals four out of five people think palliative care can only be provided by specialist palliative care teams. It also found that almost one third of people think palliative care is only available in a hospice or hospital. Palliative Care Week is facilitated by All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Karen Charnley, AIIHPC Head of Institute, said: “Hospices and hospitals are key for the provision of palliative care, especially for people with complex needs, but many people will receive palliative care within their own community. Palliative Care is provided by a range of professionals supporting the person, whether they are at home, in a nursing home, hospital or hospice.”
Dr Bridget Johnston of Trinity College Dublin carried out the research as part of a project supported by AIIHPC. Interviews were carried out with 75 patients accessing specialist palliative care services and 69 caregivers. “This research found that misperceptions about palliative care are common among people receiving this care and caregivers. Four out of five people assumed that palliative care can only be offered by specialist teams and this was consistent for both patients receiving care and for caregivers. It was also interesting to find that almost one third of people believe palliative care is only available in a hospice or hospital. This shows there’s still important work to be done to increase people’s understanding of palliative care, so that they are able to make informed choices about care,” said Dr Johnston. The research also found that eight out of ten people agreed palliative care was about quality of life and that it offers support to family and friends.

Lending Support

The Irish Hospice Foundation has leant its strong support for #pallcareweek and reiterated its call for the government to show that bereavement, palliative care and end-of-life issues are priority areas in their policy development and investment. IHF CEO Sharon Foley continued: “Palliative care supports and guides people who have an incurable condition or illness. It could be your next-door neighbour or best friend who will need this care when facing death and it’s all of our business to realise the grave importance of palliative care. Death is taboo in Ireland, conversations around death and loss are never easy. But they need to be encouraged. It’s the one inevitable facing us all. “So we’re strongly supporting Palliative Care Week again this year which shines a spotlight on the incredible difference palliative care can make to patient, carers and families throughout Ireland, regards of age or condition. It enables our loved ones to live well until the end; be that days, weeks or months."

Evelyn's Story

36-year-old Evelyn Wakefield from Birr in Co. Offaly was diagnosed with stage four metastatic breast cancer in 2014. When she was contacted by a palliative care nurse, she initially didn’t want to see her.
“I felt if I brought the palliative care nurse in, I was facing death and I wasn’t ready for that. We talked and I was surprised by the suggestions she gave me to give me a better quality of life. I very quickly realised what palliative care was and that the nurse was there to give me the best quality of life I could possibly have and I’ve succeeded. My perception has obviously changed because I’m on the receiving end of palliative care and I now understand what it is but there are people out there that are still afraid when it’s mentioned. What I’d say to them is take all the support you can get. It helps greatly and I now have a better quality of life with my family.”
Karen Charnley continued: “Our aim for Palliative Care Week is to encourage people to think about their understanding of palliative care and to encourage them not to be afraid to ask their GP or any other healthcare professional if palliative care could help them or someone they love. People tend to associate palliative care being for people with advanced cancer but it’s equally important if you’re living with advanced heart or lung disease, kidney failure and other conditions such as motor neurone disease or dementia.”

Government Support

Jim Daly T.D., Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, is supporting Palliative Care Week. Minister Daly said: “I was delighted to hear about Palliative Care Week and the work of AIIHPC during a visit to Marymount University Hospital & Hospice, Cork. It is important for people to be aware of the support that is available to make the most of life when they have a live-limiting illness. Through our National Clinical Programme for Palliative Care, and by supporting Palliative Care Week, our aim is to increase awareness and understanding of palliative care, and support those who need this care.” Sheilagh Reaper Reynolds, HSE Lead for Palliative Care, said: “Palliative care services aim to meet the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and carers facing progressive illness that may limit or shorten their lives. People can sometimes have a fear of palliative care and the Palliative Care Week helps us to explain how palliative services can improve a person’s quality of life throughout the course of their illness.”

Palliative Care Week 2017, September 3-9 will raise vital awareness of the difference palliative care can make to patients, carers and families throughout the island of Ireland.

 

Palliative care

  • Ensures that a person with a serious and progressive condition, regardless of age or condition, can have the best possible quality of life
  • Involves the person and those close to them
  • Supports planning for the future
  • May be appropriate for a number of years, not just the weeks and days at the end of life
  • Puts the person at the centre of care whether it is provided at home, in a nursing home, hospital or hospice.
Discover how you can support or attend a #pallcareweek event  here. An explanation of some of the key terms and phrases you will hear regarding palliative care throughout the week are here. Palliative Care Week is coordinated by the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC), with input and support from partner and stakeholder organisations across the island including the Irish Hospice Foundation.

Race Day 2017

Posted on: August 21st, 2017

Join us for some craic at the track on Sunday, October 22nd and help raise money for our vital work.

The day will kick off with a drinks reception at 12 noon, followed by a delicious three course luncheon.

RTE Broadcaster Tracy Piggott will be our MC for the afternoon and guests will enjoy a private tote and tipsters in the Pavilion.

There will also be a raffle, silent auction and a vault on the day with fabulous prizes including this stunning Paul Sheeran diamond necklace.

 

Buy a table of 10 or 12, tickets available ONLINE NOW

Alternatively, please contact Louise McCarron on 01 679 3188 or [email protected] to book your place.

Dying is Everyone’s Business. Can we afford to forget Grief? IHF Pre Budget Submission

Posted on: July 6th, 2017

Irish Hospice Foundation Pre Budget Submission calls for a national strategy for palliative, end of life bereavement care

  • 300,000 newly bereaved every year
  • IHF pre-budget submission calls for change
Irish Hospice Foundation Pre-Budget Submission 2018 L-R Orla Keegan, Head of Education, Research & Bereavement, Marie Lynch, Head of Healthcare Programmes and Angela Edghill, Advocacy & Public Engagement Manager

Pictured at the Irish Hospice Foundation Pre-Budget Submission 2018 L-R Orla Keegan, Head of Education, Research & Bereavement, Marie Lynch, Head of Healthcare Programmes and Angela Edghill, Advocacy & Public Engagement Manager.
Photo By Paul Sherwood

Today (Thursday July 6th)  the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) calls for the government to show that bereavement, palliative care, end-of life issues are priority areas for policy development and investment. At their Pre-Budget Briefing in Dublin today the IHF strongly advocates for the development of a national strategy on palliative care, end of life and bereavement to include both health and non-health areas of public policy. This underpins all 23 IHF recommendations for budget 2018. Death is an inevitable and universal experience – a fact of life. While most people will experience ‘death denial’, it is not appropriate that the State adopt the same attitude. Dying, death and bereavement present myriad challenges to the health service and to other state services. That means that a whole society approach is essential. We believe dying, death and bereavement are everyone’s business with the assumption that healthcare and other services will recognise and address our needs. The recent Sláintecare report is an important development outlining a ten year plan for radical reform of Ireland’s health system. Despite its comprehensive look at the health services, sadly bereavement was forgotten in the report. Is no-one grieving in Ireland? The facts differ. In the next 10 years[1]: Almost 300,000 people will die in Ireland Over 3,000 of those deaths will be of children Over 240,000 will be of people over 65 years of age Almost 3 million people will be bereaved[2] and up to 150,000 of these will encounter significant difficulties or ‘complicated grief’[3] Grief is the common ground on which we all stand. We urge the Government and all Oireachtas members to ensure bereavement issues are priority areas for policy development and investment. If current trends continue 5% of grieving people will require specialist mental health services/psychological intervention[4]. Given this evidence, it is essential that the healthcare system meets the needs of people facing dying, death and bereavement and ensures that everyone gets equal access to good care. By careful planning, we can make the best use of the substantial funds that we directly and indirectly invest in the care of the dying and the bereaved, and, crucially, that this planning includes helping people to live well until they die. Orla Keegan Head of Education, Research & Bereavement, IHF said: “The implications of bereavement stretch across our society – all ages, all circumstances, all cultures. The cost of building caring communities is a small investment for long-term gains. Amongst the calls being made by the Irish Hospice Foundation is one for research to uncover the financial impact of loss which will help to reframe the bereavement grant for future generations. Support for joint-working by the voluntary sector in children’s and adult bereavement care is also identified as a primary need.”

Everyone deserves the right to a good death

“Everyone in Ireland deserves to have a good death. For this to happen, improvements are needed in Primary Care, Residential Care and in Hospital settings. These improvements need to specifically focus resources and expertise available outside traditional working hours as well as the development of Specialist Palliative Care in the Midlands and North East. From a public health perspective, the IHF recommend that the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 is fully commenced this year. In the meantime there is an urgency to invest resources to ensure that Irish citizens and healthcare staff are aware of and fully understand the implications of this Act, particularly the impact on advance healthcare planning and facilitating people to make choices about their own healthcare” stresses Marie Lynch, Head of Healthcare Programmes, the Irish Hospice Foundation.  

Call for delivery of the best palliative, end of life and bereavement care in all care settings

The IHF asks the Government to: Ensure everyone has access to the best care at end of life and in bereavement through a political and public policy commitment to a strategic, responsive, population-wide approach to end of life issues and ensure the health care system delivers best palliative, end of life and bereavement care in all care settings. The IHF believes that with a more strategic approach, better end-of-life care can make a real difference to both the quality of healthcare provided to the citizen and the cost of health and social care to the State – a view supported by an Oireachtas Committee in 2014. [5]
  • According to Angela Edghill, Advoacy and Public Engagement Manager said “such a strategy supports: Government policy set out in the 2016 Programme for a Partnership Government[6] which seeks to ensure that we have an Ireland that looks after its people from the time they come into the world to the time they leave and promises investment in end-of-life care at all life stages. This proposed integrated approach echoes that set out in the National Positive Ageing Strategy[7] and most recently by the Finite Lives Reports[8] [9].
  • Delivery of the targets set out in the Sláintecare Report[10] of the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare 2017 which builds on the 2001 National Strategy on Palliative Care (NACPC, 2001[11]) and the new framework for palliative care services, publication of which is expected.
In some cases the challenge is to simply join the dots – to enable, encourage, mainstream and replicate good practice and innovation across the whole of government and community areas.” Recommendations in the IHF pre-budget submission relate in particular the Departments of Health, Social Protection, Education and Skills, Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Children and Youth Affairs, Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and An Taoiseach, but are relevant across the whole range of Government Departments and Agencies. READ FULL PRESS RELEASE AND REFERENCES HERE>>>  

A full copy of the IHF Pre-budget submission is available HERE

For further information please contact: Angela Edghill, Advocacy and Public Engagement Manager