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IHF office closes today for Christmas

Posted on: November 23rd, 2020

Dec 23rd 2020

Our office will close today at lunchtime until January. Wishing you a happy and peaceful Christmas.

Please visit our Care & Inform hub or bereaved.ie if you need any information on our supports and services over Christmas.

We are here for you over Christmas

Posted on: November 19th, 2020

We will continue to be there for those grieving this Christmas.

Our Bereavement Support Line will be open every weekday (except Christmas Day).

The festive period can be particularly difficult, so please call if you need to talk. Freephone 1800 80 70 77.

In partnership with the HSE

IHF Welcomes Government Changes to Visiting Restrictions for Nursing & Care Homes

Posted on: November 17th, 2020

Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) wrote to NPHET in early November urging them to look at visiting in nursing and care homes and are delighted to see that their recommendations have been taken on board.

Sharon Foley, CEO of IHF says:

“Our work with nursing homes and residential care homes all over Ireland gave us a real insight into the distressing and difficult situations whereby families have been deeply worried and saddened by lack of visits to their elderly loved relatives. The change in visiting announced today means that the distress for both families and residents will be somewhat eased on the run up to Christmas and will begin to have a positive impact on the quality of life of those 25,000 plus residents.”

While the previous restrictions were limited to those allowed on critical and compassionate grounds only, the changes mean that our most vulnerable people will get to interact more with their loved ones.

“Up to now the guidance on restrictions had no difference between Level 3 and Level 5 as set out by the government” Sharon Foley stated, “Now at least there are different levels that give better guidance for healthcare workers in nursing and residential care settings and most importantly gives vital face to face contact for our most valued and vulnerable section of society.”

Media Contacts:
Lynn Murtagh, Head of Marketing & Communications, Irish Hospice Foundation, email lynn.murtagh@hospicefoundation.ie or call 085 1052058

IHF launch the Never Forgotten night run

Posted on: November 13th, 2020


Posted on: November 11th, 2020

Time for NPHET to look at visiting rules for nursing and care homes.

Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has written to NPHET urging them to relook at visiting in nursing and care homes at all levels of the 5 Level Framework for Public Health Restrictive Measures.

Sharon Foley, CEO of IHF says:

“The current restrictions of limiting visits to critical and compassionate grounds is having untold impact on a large portion of our most vulnerable people. Our work with nursing homes and residential care homes all over Ireland is revealing very distressed and difficult situations whereby families are deeply worried and saddened by lack of visits to their elderly loved relatives and those elderly relatives are also saddened and distressed at the lack of family contact. Ultimately it is having a negative impact on their quality of life as they have less social interaction than before.”

Restrictions on visiting nursing and care home facilities have been in place since March and while they eased somewhat over the summer when Level 3 restrictions were introduced all visiting was curtailed again.

“In the guidance on restrictions there is no difference between Level 3 and Level 5 as set out by the government”

Sharon Foley stated,

“This means that even if we go back to nationwide Level 3 over 25,000 of our most vulnerable citizens will still not be able to see their loved ones. Nursing and care homes are where people live, they are their homes and they need to be able to see their families and loved ones for at least a short while. We know from working with people in the facilities that there are many ideas and initiatives that can be put in place to enable safe and vital visiting. We’re now calling on NPHET to look at the restrictions across the different levels and in consultation with the sector, set out clear guidance for all levels.”

Bereaved Children’s Awareness Week 2020

Posted on: November 9th, 2020

Every November, the Irish Childhood Bereavement Network (ICBN) organises a series of events across Ireland to highlight bereaved children’s needs and provide a voice for them to be heard.

Bereaved Children’s Awareness Week (BCAW) is to help raise awareness of the fact that children express grief differently; they feel the impact but may not have words to express it so it often shows in their behaviour.

We are asking the adults to help bereaved children find their way to express grief by:

  • Understanding what to expect from children and young people
  • Having open and honest conversations
  • Being patient and compassionate
  • Acknowledge their feelings and respect choice and difference

Public webinar

On Nov 23rd ICBN are hosting a webinar: ‘Understand and support bereaved children and young people’. This session will explore different ways to talk to children about grief and those hard to express emotions. More here

Other events

Find out about all the events happening for BCAW on the ICBN bereaved Children’s Awareness Week web page.

Can you help spread the word?

We would like as many people as possible in Ireland to know about Bereaved Children’s Awareness Week 2020. ICBN have prepared a promo pack and promotional assets page with posters and graphics for web and social media. Please feel free to view/download/share/print/forward these documents and graphics. Thank you.

The Irish Hospice Foundation Christmas Shop is now open!

Posted on: November 8th, 2020

christmas cards

The Irish Hospice Foundation Christmas shop is now open!

We have a brand new limited selection of Christmas Cards for 2020 for sale as well as our magical reindeer food. This is a special and very healthy recipe of oats and magic that will help guide Santa’s reindeer to your home! (Gluten and nut free)

A full range is available here and in local stockists. By purchasing these cards you are supporting families all over Ireland facing end of life and bereavement.

Thank you for supporting Irish Hospice Foundation this festive season!

Visit our Christmas shop is now open!

Masters in Loss & Bereavement to move online. Applications closing Nov 16th

Posted on: November 4th, 2020

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the RCSI MSc Loss & Bereavement and MSc Loss & Bereavement (Counselling) in conjunction with IHF will be delivered online via Zoom for the upcoming academic year. The course commences in December and applications close on Nov 16th.

This post-graduate course aims to promote critical inquiry into the place of loss, death and bereavement in Irish society and in health and social care systems. Through this process, the goal is to equip practitioners and managers to promote and provide a range of appropriate supports in their communities, work places and professional practices.

Read more about the RCSI MSc Loss & Bereavement and MSc Loss & Bereavement (Counselling) and application procedure here

CEO of IHF Sharon Foley commented:

“2020 is a year which has presented many challenges to our health, mental health and social services due to the sudden Covid-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions. At Irish Hospice Foundation, our concern is with those facing death and those who are left behind – people who are bereaved.

With respect to bereavement, we are anxious to ensure that our systems are prepared to support and to provide the expert care that will be required in the months and years to come.   

To this end the RCSI MSc Loss & Bereavement (Counselling) and the MSc Loss & Bereavement programmes run in association with IHF have been converted to online programmes to begin this December.

These programmes are aimed at two cohorts; one programme is for counsellors, psychotherapists and psychologists who work directly with clients; the second programme aims to equip others to develop bereavement care services and pathways in their locality or service”

Read more about the RCSI MSc Loss & Bereavement and MSc Loss & Bereavement (Counselling)

National Grief Awareness Week is more poignant than any previous year

Posted on: November 3rd, 2020

national grief awareness week

This week, National Grief Awareness Week, coming at the end of the traditional month for remembering those we’ve loved and lost, is all the more reflective and thought provoking in 2020. Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) recognises we are a nation united in grief more than ever before, for those we have lost due to Covid-19, for those we have been unable to grieve for in traditional ways and for those we have missed over the years.

CEO of IHF Sharon Foley commented:

“We all know that this has been a difficult year for people who are grieving whether the loss occured in recent times or longer ago. We want people to know they are not alone, that we all grieve differently and that the supports are there to help them. That help is not just for this week or month but all year round.”

HF Bereavement Support Line launched earlier this year is a free national service providing an ear to listen and practical support for those in need.

“Grief awareness is also something we can all tap into”

says Sharon.

“We can all learn to support our family, friends and neighbours as they deal with loss and grief. A phone call, text or letter can really help to let people know you’re there for them. Our Living with Loss event on 9th December will allow people hear from experts on how they may be able to help others but also to know they are not alone in dealing with their own loss.”

Sharon Foley commented:

“This has been a very difficult time for families and friends of people who have died. They may have been COVID-19 related deaths or deaths from other causes. We also know many are finding a previous loss more difficult right now.
We want to pause and remember those who have sadly died and also show our support for those grieving. Grief is difficult all year round but this Christmas it will be particularly hard. Through Never Forgotten we want to open up a space to remember while at the same time giving people an opportunity to make a real difference to those facing the end of their lives and the many people all over Ireland preparing for the festive season without that special person.”

Call Ireland’s first national Bereavement Support Line 1800 80 70 77, Monday-Friday, 10am-1pm
Sign up for Living with Loss virtual event 9th December
Visit www.bereaved.ie which is home to practical information and resources on grief and coordinating the Irish Childhood Bereavement Network.

Latest Covid-19 Restrictions Will Impact The Elderly in Nursing & Care Homes

Posted on: October 20th, 2020

Tuesday 20 October 2020

Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has today welcomed the updated guidance from Government and NPHET on attending funerals but is calling on the Government to relook at visiting restrictions in nursing and care homes announced last night.

From midnight tomorrow night, nursing and care home visits will cease, except in critical and compassionate circumstances.

Sharon Foley, CEO of IHF says “We fully appreciate the need for social distancing and minimising the spread of Covid-19. Restrictions on visiting nursing and care home facilities have been in place since March and while they eased somewhat over the summer, going back to a point where the elderly, many of whom suffer cognitive impairment, are reduced to no visits will see a further decline in their quality of life and is a distressing development for families left to wonder how they are coping.”

“I would urge the Taoiseach and the Chief Medical Officer to look again at these particular measures and assist families and loved ones at a deeply distressing time.”