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IHF encourages Government to promote planning for end of life

Posted on: October 16th, 2018

Irish Hospice Foundation Statement: Safeguarding Your Future Survey October 2018

The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has today (Monday 15 October, 2018) welcomed the publication of the Safeguarding Your Future Survey results by Safeguarding Ireland.
The Red C research has found that less than half of Irish adults have any of the recommended ‘planning for the future’ measures in place. These may include having a conversation with friends or family, making a will, taking out an enduring power of attorney, preparing an advance care plan or advance healthcare directive.
These findings resonate with earlier surveys commissioned by the IHF and support our call to the Government to empower and enable people to plan for their future through public information and facilitation.
In 2016, 3000 people answered the call to say what matters to them at end of life (Have Your Say 2016). There was overwhelming support for being able to prepare for what may happen. Citizens have told us that they wish to have a mechanism for discussing and recording issues relating to their end of life in the event that they are unable to speak for themselves. The IHF’s Think Ahead form is a popular method of facilitating such conversations and expressions with over 85,000 of such forms in circulation. Its provision for the making of Advance Healthcare Directives is also in line with current legislation.
As a State and as a society we must encourage conversation about dying, death and bereavement in Ireland, especially around planning ahead. The IHF will continue to campaign to stimulate this conversation and a coherent Government response.
Dying is everybody’s business and presents a myriad of challenge to the health service, other state services and to wider society. This means a population wide, whole society response is required.
We would encourage the Government to promote public awareness and citizen engagement in end-of-life issues especially planning for end of life. This should include the adoption and rollout of Think Ahead in line with the recommendations in the Finite Lives reports 2015 & 2017.
We would like to congratulate Safeguarding Ireland on this vital piece of work that will further encourage the public to focus on their end-of-life preferences and then, think, talk, tell.
For more information on Think Ahead, please visit www.thinkahead.ie

Job Opportunity – Regular Giving Executive

Posted on: October 8th, 2018


Regular Giving Executive

Reporting to:

Individual Giving Manager


Nassau Street, Dublin 2


Full Time, Permanent

Primary Purpose:

To work within the fundraising team as part of the Individual Giving Section to help us achieve our targets. Providing essential support for our regular donors (maintaining relationships and acquisition of new support), working with door to door agencies, representatives and staff as required and driving key campaigns (annual raffle and tax back scheme). The role includes, administration, donor care, financial reporting, telemarketing and updating and presenting training materials.

Key Responsibilities:

  • To work within the framework of the overall aims and objectives of The Irish Hospice Foundation.
  • Liaise with our door to door agency and representatives to help achieve monthly targets.
  • Manage administration associated with door to door and events fundraising.
  • Help us to drive acquisition of new donors.
  • Manage all financial administration for monthly donors.
  • Answer, log and return calls, emails and web inquiries from existing donors and new prospects.
  • Record all communications and transactions on fundraising database Raisers Edge.
  • Assist the fundraising team on key campaigns – primarily our Spring Raffle and Tax Back Scheme.
  • Undertake such other duties that may arise from time to time in consultation with Individual Giving Manager.

Essential Criteria:

  • Excellent organisational and administration skills
  • Excellent customer service and communication skills
  • Ability to work under pressure, prioritise and multi task
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Enthusiastic, warm friendly manner
  • Proven experience in customer service/administration, events, marketing or fundraising
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a small busy team.
  • Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office
  • Willingness to learn and to get involved with new projects and appeals

Desirable Criteria:

  • An interest in working in the fundraising and charity sector
  • Experience of the fundraising database Raisers Edge
  • Experience of working in door-to-door or on-street sales / canvassing


This is a full time position, 37 hours per week. However, we are open to flexibility to the correct candidate, if desired.


Commensurate on experience


Please send your CV and brief covering letter to: Clare.Martin@hospicefoundation.ie

Postal Applications:

Clare Martin, Individual Giving Manager, Morrison Chambers, 32 Nassau Street, Dublin 2

Closing date:

26th October 2018

Book Now: Planning for the Future Seminar

Posted on: October 4th, 2018

Are you a Healthcare Professional? Are you ready for the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act?
Do you want to seize the opportunity to address challenges around Advance Care Planning and Advance Healthcare Directives?
Join us for Planning For the Future: Conversations & Challenges at the Alex Hotel on Wednesday 24 October. Fee: €50
Check out the Programme of speakers for the day here.
To book your place, complete the booking form and return by post to: Bronagh Curran, Irish Hospice Foundation, Morrison Chambers, 32 Nassau Street, Dublin 2  or email to: Bronagh.curran@hospicefoundation.ie (unless paying by credit card).
** A number of bursaries are also available to the public to attend. Please contact Bronagh on (01) 679 3188 or by email bronagh.curran@hospicefoundation.ie

We are hiring!

Posted on: October 1st, 2018
From campaigning for better end-of-life and bereavement supports, our programmes and services strive to bring the best care to hospitals, residential facilities and family homes. We upskill hospital and healthcare staff to provide the best quality care in life, death and bereavement. We encourage the public to talk about death and loss and to plan for end of life.

Help Ireland live well, die well and grieve well.

Join our team as Regular Giving Executive

Help us innovate and collaborate across health and social sectors to ensure everyone’s end-of-life and bereavement needs are met, regardless of diagnosis, age or location.

Statement: Door to Door Fundraising in Roscommon

Posted on: September 28th, 2018
27 September 2018
It has been reported in local media and on social media that bogus Hospice collectors have been operating in the Castlerea area.
The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) wishes to alert people that we have a representative in the area who is conducting door to door fundraising on our behalf. Michael is a fully accredited member of our team and carries formal identification and authorisation which he provides to all people he canvasses. The local Gardaí are aware of his presence and were informed in advance of his commencing work in the area.
In Roscommon, the IHF funds a free Nurses for Night Care service, which allows patients with non-cancer related illnesses to die at home. We provide ongoing training for local nursing home staff on improving the quality of end-of-life care they provide. We also have supported Roscommon County Hospital through our Hospice Friendly Hospitals programme.
These are the services Michael is fundraising for and we are extremely grateful to all our donors in Roscommon for their generosity and ongoing support.

When Someone You Care About is Dying in Hospital: What to Expect booklet launched

Posted on: September 19th, 2018
The new information booklet, When someone you care about is dying in hospital – What to expect was officially launched today in Dublin (Thursday 20 September, 2018).
It was revealed alongside the launch of the Ombudsman’s report, A Good Death: Progress Report, into the developments in end-of-life care in Irish hospitals.
The new booklet is the direct result of one of the key findings of the 2014 ‘A Good Death’ report citing poor communication as a feature of each complaint received about end-of-life care.
A joint Irish Hospice Foundation/HSE initiative, the booklet is a new communication resource to support patients and families at such an emotional and challenging time. It offers practical advice on things like coping with changes in the person who is dying, talking about feelings, what to do if someone dies while you are with them, looking after yourself etc.
The booklet is the work of the joint HSE/Hospice Friendly Hospitals Oversight Committee. Formed in 2017, one of their key priorities is to reduce the variations in end-of-life care received across Ireland.
43% of people die in hospitals every year. The Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme seeks to ensure that end-of-life, palliative and bereavement care are central to the everyday business of hospitals across Ireland.
Speaking at the launch, Professor Cillian Twomey, Chair of the HSE/HFH Oversight Committee said: “This is the Oversight Committee’s first step to improve public information and reduce variations in end-of-life care across Ireland. It was developed through consultation to provide clear and general information to patients and their families.  As the Ombudsman’s Good Death report continues to highlight poor communication as feature in complaints received, we hope this booklet will play a role in reducing the gap between the message professionals intended to give and what is understood.”
Speaking at today’s event Liam Woods, HSE National Director Acute Operations said: “End-of-life care is a very important area for the HSE. Over 11,000 people die in hospital each year and our services and our staff are part of the experience of so many families at this difficult and emotional time. I am very encouraged that the Ombudsman’s second report has shown clear signs of improvement across our hospitals.
"This new information leaflet When someone you care about is dying in hospital is intended to provide practical information to families during a challenging and emotional time, and to complement the approach of our staff as they support and assist families. The HSE continues to work very closely with a range of partner organisations to improve how we deal with end of life issues and in particular I would like the acknowledge the work of the Irish Hospice Foundation in this area. The Hospice Friendly Hospice Programme, running for over 10 years now with 45 public and private hospitals participating has been a long term support for the HSE. The expertise and support this Programme provides has been invaluable to us and allows us to bring staff together to learn from each other. I am particularly grateful to the group for the work undertaken to produce this new booklet”.
You can download ‘When someone you care about is dying in hospital – What to expect’ here
To read A Good Death: A Progress Report, click here.

“How beautiful the last days of somebody’s life can be”

Posted on: September 7th, 2018
After tearfully saying farewell to her beloved 12-year-old nephew, Luke, Fiona Mulchrone found her calling.
Some of the participants of the 2018 IHF Cycle travelling through the Slovenian countryside Paul Kimmage
Having sat by little Luke’s bedside as he died, Fiona became inspired to become a Nurse for Night Care, as her family availed of night nursing in his final days.
“I’ll always remember how grateful we were that we had the night service available to us,” Fiona recalls. “It was then that I decided I wanted to work in night nursing. I wanted to help other families.”
As part of the IHF’s Nurses for Night Care service, Fiona works at night in the homes of people dying from non-cancer illnesses; making patients as comfortable as possible and providing much needed support and rest for family.
“The Nurse for Night Care has an influence over the whole ambiance and atmosphere. You’re trying to make the last couple of days as memorable and as easy for everybody as you can.
“It’s a privilege to be there with somebody who is dying, and it’s lovely to be with their family at this time. They’re so thankful. They’re looking at you like you’re their angel. You’re their rock really.”
Fiona provides crucial emotional support to the person who is dying, and has many heartfelt conversations with patients about their feelings and wishes.
“I once treated a man who had no family. He had a small dog that was his life. He told me all about his dog and how much love he had for him. He told me that he wanted to die at home with him by his side. He died the life he lived.”
While the death of a loved one is devastating for family members, Fiona believes that when somebody is able to die in their own home, it can bring about many positive emotions and memories too.
“The last couple of days you hear so many stories, good laughs, and you see so much love. The power of love is overwhelming.
“It’s incredible how beautiful the last few days of somebody’s life can be.”

Families helping families

Posted on: September 7th, 2018

For the fourth time, sports journalist and former professional cyclist, Paul Kimmage has taken part in the IHF Cycle in support of Nurses for Night Care.

“It’s a very noble cause,” says Paul. “Everybody knows somebody, whether it’s family or friends, who’ve had an experience where they’ve needed Nurses for Night Care.”
This year, 73 people cycled 560km from Portoroz in Slovenia to Treviso in Italy. Many of the riders returned from previous IHF Cycles, which have raised €1.8 million for the IHF since 2009, equating to 45,000 hours of night care.
“Many of the guys are personally invested in it through direct experience. Whether it was a brother or a mother or whoever, they’d seen how valuable the Nurses for Night Care service was during that time.”
For Paul, it’s his contribution towards those affected by end of life that has kept him coming back each year.
“Journalism is a very self-centered, absorbing business. Professional cycling was the same, where all you ever thought about was yourself. This is for somebody else, and that’s rewarding and is a nice change.”
For the past two years, the IHF Cycle has been a family affair for Paul, with his daughter, Evelyn, joining him.
“She’s been a great addition to the event and it means a lot to have her there with me. Knowing that we are supporting families through tough times is very important to us.”
For information on the 2019 IHF Cycle, please contact Louise on 01 679 3188 or email louise.mccarron@hospicefoundation.ie
This event could not take place without the generosity of our sponsors, Kingspan.

“It is ok to talk about death”

Posted on: September 7th, 2018

In Ireland, there are over 28,000 people living in residential care, with approximately 7,000 dying each year in these settings.

CEOL (Compassionate End of Life), an IHF programme, helps residential care centers, including nursing homes, across Ireland, identify and implement changes to enhance end-of-life care for their residents, families, and staff.
Over 100 centers have already participated in CEOL with 1,200 staff receiving training. One of these, St Joseph’s Care Centre in Longford, is already seeing great improvements in how they care for those at end of life, particularly with regards to discussing the topic of death with residents.
“It was a taboo subject for a long time,” says Karen Johnston, CEOL Co-ordinator for St Joseph’s. “Some people shied away from talking about death, but with the IHF’s support, we’ve been able to start having meaningful discussions about it with the residents. Staff are now more confident and are aware that it is ok to talk about death.”
Another improvement at St Joseph’s has been the introduction of a guard of honor after a resident has passed away.
“Everyone is now brought out through the front door of the care center. The residents and staff form a guard of honor and it gives everyone the opportunity to reflect, pay their respects, and acknowledge that this person had a life and spent time with us in St Joseph’s.”
The IHF will continue to work with nursing homes to reach more people at end of life.

End-of-Life Care Vision launched at Cluain Lir Community Nursing Unit

Posted on: August 16th, 2018
Residents and staff at Cluain Lir Community Nursing Unit in Mullingar officially launched their End-of-Life Care Vision today (Thursday 16 August).
The project is a central part of their work with CEOL (Compassionate End of Life), a programme run by the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF). CEOL is a quality improvement programme which aims to support staff in providing the best end-of-life care for people living in residential care centres in Ireland.
Cluain Lir began working on CEOL in 2016 when they participated in some of the first programme workshops. It was evident from the beginning there was a very person-centred approach to care there and CEOL presented an opportunity for staff to develop this further with an even more focussed approach to end-of-life care, in particular.
The Cluain Lir CEOL Group were keen, from the very start, that the residents would be included in developing the end-of-life care vision. Jolene Dervin, the Speech and Language Therapist, volunteered to lead on this and as a result all residents, including residents with communication difficulties were supported to participate.
The formation of a vision for end-of-life care is a key component of CEOL. End-of-life care is everyone’s business and this is reflected through the creation of a vision that is developed and owned by all residents and staff.
A further extension of the Cluain Lir vision was led by Karina Browne, a Multi-Task Attendant with a special interest in activities. Working with residents and staff, she created two pieces of artwork and pictures of trees, the leaves of which are the thumbprints of residents and staff.
Speaking at today’s launch, the CEOL Development Co-ordinator for the Midlands region Joanne Brennan said: “Completing these projects has enabled the opening up of discussions between residents and staff.  Displaying their vision and artwork is a powerful public statement that end-of-life care is important to everyone in Cluain Lir.”
“It has been an absolute pleasure working with them on the CEOL Programme.  To see how they have whole-heartedly welcomed and embraced the programme, grown and developed their CEOL Group and how it is having a real impact on the quality of not just end-of-life care, but on all care for their residents is truly inspirational.”
Every year over 7,500 people in Ireland die in nursing homes and residential care centres. CEOL, launched in 2017, is now active in 100 plus sites across the country.
For more information about CEOL, please click here.