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MSc Loss & Bereavement: Apply now.

Posted on: April 17th, 2018
There is still time to apply for our Postgraduate Courses in Loss & Bereavement.
Our courses are delivered in partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland and are aimed at professionals whose work brings them into contact with bereavement and loss
Closing date for applications is Friday 4 May, 5pm.
For more details & to apply, click here.

New Role: Head of Research, Knowledge and Policy

Posted on: April 12th, 2018
The Irish Hospice Foundation is seeking to fill the role of Head of Research, Knowledge & Policy.
This a senior management role which will translate research into policy and advocacy in order to drive the mission of the organisation.
The role-holder will work collaboratively across all aspects of the organisation to ensure that the programmes and messages of the organisation are driven by the best available evidence.
Closing date for applications is Friday 4 May, 5pm.
For further details, click here.

C’mon the Camino and Support End-Of-Life Care

Posted on: April 5th, 2018

Broadcaster Aengus MacGrianna, and CEO of the Irish Hospice Foundation Sharon Foley pictured launching this year’s Irish Hospice Foundation Camino which takes place from September 9th- 15th, taking in the most famous Camino route, the French Way. Pic. Robbie Reynolds

Dublin, 5 April 2018  Broadcaster Aengus MacGrianna wants you to make every step count for end-of-life care this September by walking the Camino de Santiago in aid of the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF).
This year’s IHF Camino takes place from September 9th- 15th, taking in the most famous Camino route, the French Way. Starting in Sarria, the route stretches 112 km, winding through the beautiful Galician landscape dotted with charming villages, hamlets and towns and finishes in the historic city of Santiago de Compostela.
Speaking at today’s Camino photo call, Aengus said: “Death and bereavement hits every town and village across Ireland. I’ve seen how end-of-life care helps people live their last days with dignity so I’m delighted to support the Irish Hospice Foundation.”
One of Ireland’s most recognisable faces, the former RTÉ newscaster signed off on his last bulletin earlier this month after 31 years with the National Broadcaster. The Dublin native will depart for his own journey across the Camino this summer.
The IHF is the only national charity dedicated to dying, death and bereavement in Ireland. 80 people die every day in Ireland and the IHF believes everyone has the right to be cared for and to die with dignity and respect in their care setting of choice. Its mission is to strive for the best end-of-life and bereavement care for all.
Sharon Foley, CEO of the IHF, will be among the participants on this year’s IHF Camino. Speaking today, she said: “By joining us on the Camino, you will be embarking on a personal challenge but through our own efforts, you will also be supporting people nationwide who are facing death and bereavement. Our vision at the IHF is that no one should face these difficult times without the care and support they need. This is your chance to make every step matter for end-of-life and bereavement care for people across Ireland.”
Full 2018 IHF Camino event details here
If you want more information about taking on the IHF Camino, please contact Louise today: louise.mccarron@hospicefoundation.ie or 01 6793188.

Office Hours over Easter

Posted on: March 29th, 2018
Our office will be closed tomorrow (Good Friday) and Easter Monday.
Normal office hours will resume on Tuesday 3 April, 9 am.
Wishing you a very Happy Easter from all of us here.

Breathless in Ireland – New COPD planning booklet launched

Posted on: March 26th, 2018
A new booklet to help people with one of Ireland’s most deadliest diseases, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) to plan for all aspects of their future was officially launched today (Monday 26 March).
Planning for the Future with COPD, an initiative of COPD Support Ireland and the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) was unveiled by Dr Marcus Butler, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at St Vincent’s University Hospital.
COPD is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases including chronic bronchitis or emphysema. It is a long-term illness that cannot be cured. Over 500,000 people in Ireland have COPD. Ireland also has the highest rate of COPD admissions to hospital in the EU.
Speaking today, Dr Butler said: “The grim reality is COPD is the fourth major cause of death in Ireland after lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. Of the half a million Irish people projected to have the condition, less than half (200,000) have been diagnosed.”
“COPD is not one of those instantly recognisable conditions in the public’s mind, so introducing this literature, which focuses on managing COPD as well as opening up conversations around a more palliative care approach, is very welcome. There is no cure for COPD, but symptoms can be better controlled with early diagnosis.”
The booklet was crucially developed by people living with COPD, family carers, a respiratory healthcare professional, COPD Support Ireland and the IHF. It contains information on advance healthcare directives, planning legal affairs, talking to others about your wishes, palliative care needs and a list of other resources which people with COPD might find helpful.
Pauline O’Neill, from Drogheda, has been living with COPD since 2005. “I took part in the IHF and COPD workshops to develop this booklet to help other people with the condition talk about and plan for the future. I found it very difficult to talk about myself. I cried. But, it was the best thing I have ever done in terms of accepting my condition. It allowed me to talk about and plan everything I want for myself when the time comes. Now, my family and friends don’t have to panic and I can go on and live my life.”
CEO of COPD Support Ireland Bernie Murphy said: “COPD is often overlooked in the national health agenda because lung disease is not the most comfortable topic to discuss. However, we cannot ignore the large numbers of people in Ireland who have this condition and deserve to be looked after, informed and helped to manage the illness the best way they can.”
Marie Lynch, Head of Healthcare Programmes at the IHF: “We are very proud to be working with COPD Support Ireland and the rest of the working group to deliver this booklet. Through our own advance planning booklet Think Ahead, we have seen the powerful impact of people being in control of their wishes at the end of life. Giving people this platform to stay informed so they can make such difficult decisions not only gives people the gift of peace of mind, but their families too.”
You can download Planning for the Future with COPD here.
For more information about Think Ahead, go here.

The impact of our work

Posted on: March 26th, 2018
Bryan Nolan - Communications and Development Coordinator
Bryan delivers our ‘Final Journeys’ programme, which includes ‘Dealing with Bad News’, a workshop for doctors and senior staff. Here he describes his work in the maternity setting.
The loss of a baby is probably the worst thing that can happen to any parent. It is the loss of the hopes and dreams of a future shared. When birth collides with death, this loss also has a huge effect on grandparents, siblings, friends, and on the staff providing care at that time. A maternity hospital is seen as a place of great joy and new life, so when the promise of birth ends in death, it is devastating for all involved. My IHF workshop is a facilitated day that gives midwives and care staff a space to talk about how this particular work affects them individually and as a team. We help staff to look at ways they can support themselves and each other, while meeting the needs of the parents and their family.

Vibrant ‘Tree of Life’ unveiled at the Mater Hospital

Posted on: March 22nd, 2018
A ‘Tree of Life’ has been unveiled in the heart of the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital to celebrate their work to improve end-of-life care.
The giant artwork was lovingly created to celebrate the Hospice Friendly Hospitals’ 10th Anniversary by over 300 staff, patients and their families.
Each ‘leaf’ on the ‘tree of life’ is unique, some people memorialised a family member or friend who died, others it was handprints and thumbs up for good end-of-life care.
Mater End-of-Life Care Coordinator Diarmuid Ó Coimín: “These works of art were created on October 5 over coffee and cakes. The response was overwhelming. We expected 150-250 but within an hour over 300 people had created their own piece. We are truly delighted with the feedback and support of patients, staff and their families creating well-deserved awareness for the Hospice Friendly Hospital programme. In turn, improved patient care will be delivered as result of this engagement
Special tribute was also paid to Eavan McSweeney, Senior Speech and Language Therapist and Artist John Nolan who compiled the unique art piece.
The celebrations are part of the 10th anniversary of the Irish Hospice Foundation’s (IHF) Hospice Friendly Hospital (HFH) programme, which seeks to ensure that end-of-life, palliative and bereavement care are central to the everyday business of hospitals.
To mark the occasion, the IHF launched the special Hospice Friendly Hospitals 10th Anniversary Grants to celebrate the work and progress achieved across the ever-growing network of hospitals under its remit since being established in 2007.  Grants totalling €10,000 were awarded to hospitals nationwide, with HFH End-of-Life Care coordinators organising workshops for staff, patients and their families, hosting special awareness days and coffee mornings, publishing new multilingual information leaflets etc. To find out more about our Hospice Friendly Hospitals programme, click here.

How Pat Found Happiness Again

Posted on: March 21st, 2018

After struggling to come to terms with the loss of his beloved wife of 48 years, Pat is now embracing life again.

Love at first sight

Pat and Olivia met at a dance on Harcourt Street in the 1960s, were married a few years later, and children soon followed. “I met this lady and we fell in love as soon as we met. The rest is history,” Pat recalls. “I was 21 and Olivia was 20. I went home to the bedsit I was sharing with another chap, and I woke him up and said ‘I’m after meeting the girl I want to marry.’”

Devastating loss

In the spring of 2015, a number of years after returning from almost a decade of visiting exotic locations around the world, Olivia began to feel unwell. Ultimately lymphoma was diagnosed and she died at home that August. “We had an absolutely amazing life together, but after she died I was in a very, very dark hole,” Pat says. “If I had believed that there was a life after this, that I’d meet Olivia in the next life, I’d have killed myself. That’s how bad I was. I still find it very hard to go up to her grave. On our 50th wedding anniversary I cried for hours up there.”

New beginnings

However, after attending group counselling organised through the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF), Pat is now embracing life once more. He is active on a number of committees and also has a new lady friend, Geraldine, after registering on a website that connects people over the age of 50. “Geraldine can talk about the husband she lost, and I can talk about Olivia, and that’s all very open. Having someone makes a huge difference; it’s made me start to plan again.”

Come join us on The Camino this September

Posted on: March 20th, 2018
Our brand new 2018 Camino Challenge brochure is now live.
This year, we are taking on the last 112km of The French Way from 9-15 September.
Our CEO Sharon Foley has already registered!
So, if you would like to join her in making every step count for end-of-life care, check out our brochure here.

Caring for Carers – New Resource Launched for Ireland’s former Family Carers

Posted on: March 14th, 2018

- 62,000 people become former Family Carers Annually

A new resource has been launched to support people whose caring has ended - as they enter a new phase in their lives. When caring ends many family carers experience a range of emotions - grief, exhaustion, isolation - a real void in their lives can emerge.
In collaboration with a number of former Family Carers and not-for profit organisations including the Irish Hospice Foundation, UCC, and West Cork Carers Support Group, as well as the HSE,  Care Alliance Ireland has produced a 64 page A5 Booklet aimed at former Family Carers, which is free of charge.
Read more here.
Download the booklet here >>