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Niamh Fitzpatrick ¦ Grief from the Inside Out

Posted on: December 5th, 2018
Our annual Living with Loss evening was held on 1st November. It aims to provide information about grief and the range of supports available to bereaved people.
Our guest speaker on this occasion was psychologist Niamh Fitzpatrick. She spoke about her own grief journey following the death of her sister Captain Dara Fitzpatrick in 2017. She has kindly shared some advice if you, or someone you know, is grieving. Read more here.

2019 Bereavement Workshops: Booking open

Posted on: November 23rd, 2018
Bereavement training is central to The Irish Hospice Foundation’s bereavement programme.  We strive to provide accessible, high quality training for professionals, volunteers and others with an interest in learning more about bereavement.
Hosted by the Bereavement Education & Resource Centre at The Irish Hospice Foundation, our workshops focus on a range of topics associated with bereavement, including children and adolescents, suicide and addiction.
Every year roughly 400 people take part in our workshops. 
Workshops are suitable for people requiring basic up to intermediate level bereavement theory for professional or volunteer development.
Our presenters represent a wide range of bereavement care practitioners from the voluntary and statutory sectors.
For more information & how to book, click here.

Buy your 2018 IHF Christmas Cards now!

Posted on: November 20th, 2018
Our 2018 Christmas cards for 2018 are now on sale!
Buy them online now right here.
We have a range of styles to suit all tastes. Our cards are also available in shops nationwide.
Thank you for supporting the Irish Hospice Foundation this festive season!

Support our Never Forgotten Christmas Appeal

Posted on: November 19th, 2018

Make this a Christmas to Remember with a Tribute to Your Loved One

Journalist Laura Kennedy is urging people to support those facing bereavement across Ireland this Christmas by donating to the Irish Hospice Foundation’s (IHF) Never Forgotten Appeal.
After the untimely death of her mother Emma three years ago, the Limerick native was plunged into her own journey of grief and loss.
“After my mother died in November 2015, I hardly knew who I was. As I began the process of grieving, the shape of my life without her would come to me in realisations that felt like an angry punch to the gut. Those punches still come, three years later. For me, my mother is still Christmas – I make the food she made, I tell stories about her, I remember her. I adapt, because I must. She is gone, but not completely, because my brother and I are still here. This Christmas I am proud to support the IHF and all the work they do for the bereaved."
Every year 30,000 people in Ireland die and on average 10 people are directly affected by a death. This means up to 300,000 people will experience the pain of loss this Christmas. The IHF is dedicated to working with those facing dying, death and bereavement. Its mission, delivered through its support, education and advocacy programmes is to strive for the best end-of-life and bereavement care, for all.
The Never Forgotten Appeal invites people to remember their special someone this Christmas and support the vital work of the IHF as they help those nearing death or experiencing bereavement. Each donation also allows people to compose a personal message in memory of those they love who have died which is then handwritten into the 2019 Book of Remembrance. The 2019 Book of Remembrance will be proudly displayed in the Irish Hospice Foundation library. People can donate online at www.neverforgotten.ie.
IHF CEO, Sharon Foley commented: “Grief is difficult all year round but special occasions like Christmas can be particularly hard for those who are bereaved. Let’s cherish the memories of our loved ones who have died by making this a Christmas to remember.”
“Our Never Forgotten Appeal is one way in which you can honour a loved one who has died and at the same time make a real difference to others at the end of life or those left bereaved. All donations go towards the work of the IHF in bereavement and to providing better care and support for those who are bereaved.”
The IHF relies on public donations to fund its services. Our work in Bereavement includes:
  • Over 2600 individuals and healthcare professionals trained in bereavement annually
  • Co-ordinating the Irish Childhood Bereavement Network (ICBN)
  • A Hardship Fund for helping people and families with funeral costs
Go to www.neverforgotten.ie to make a vital donation in memory of the one you love.

Rosabel’s Rooms- In partnership with the Irish Hospice Foundation

Posted on: March 8th, 2018
 

Rosabel’s Rooms was established by parents Suzanne McClean and Gary Monroe in memory of their beloved daughter Rosabel Monroe, who died suddenly and unexpectedly in April 2017, aged sixteen months.

Rosabel’s Rooms in collaboration with The Irish Hospice Foundation, was launched on the 5th January 2018, on what would have been Rosabel’s 2nd birthday.
The project will develop the following three activities:
  1. Through the Design & Dignity Programme at the Irish Hospice Foundation, this project will facilitate the development of family-friendly bereavement suites in hospital emergency departments around Ireland, which will provide comfort and dignity for families following the loss of a loved one.
  1. Through our Room-to-Heal fund, this project will facilitate direct financial support to families, when a child dies in Ireland. This will help to accommodate taking time off work, paying for funeral costs etc.
  1. Over time this project will work to ensure required therapeutic supports are made available for individuals impacted by child loss.
Sharon Foley CEO of the IHF Said: “We hope this partnership with Rosabel’s Rooms will give families sanctuary to be together in private at extremely difficult times. The essence of Design & Dignity is to convey a sense of reverence and respect for life, death and bereavement.”
For more information, email: rosabelsrooms@gmail.com or click here
For upcoming events, click here  To donate to Rosabel’s Rooms, click here

Rosabel's Room-to-Heal Fund: Applications now open

Rosabel's Room-to-Heal Fund is now open for applications. Part of the Rosabel’s Rooms project, it will provide financial support as an immediate response to the loss of a child. Click here for more information and eligibility for this pilot scheme. 
Design & Dignity is part of the Hospice Friendly Hospitals (HFH) Programme is an IHF initiative to ensure that palliative, end of life and bereavement care are central to the everyday business of hospitals. To date, the Design and Dignity Project has supported 34 projects around Ireland enabling hospitals to create relaxing spacious family rooms, inpatient suites and maternity bereavement suites and upgraded mortuaries into welcoming, respectful environments. For more information, click here
CHY 6830 - Registered Charity 20013554

CEOL Compassionate End of Life in Residential Care Centres – A Quality Improvement Approach

Posted on: November 23rd, 2017
Photographer - Paul Sherwood paul@sherwood.ie 087 230 9096

Irish Hospice Foundation CEOL ‘Compassionate End of Life’ programme launch

CEOL which stands for ‘Compassionate End of Life’ empowers all staff to provide the best possible end-of-life care for people living in residential care centres (RCC) in Ireland.

 

“All of us want assurance that the care our loved ones receive at end of life in residential care should be the best. The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) developed the Journey of Change programme to enable RCC (where 25% of people die each year) continually review and reflect the care they provide at end of life and introduce changes so that residents needs and their families are met in a truly holistic manner. We are very proud and grateful to the 100 RCC sites that participated in the first phase of the p rogram, and particularly those who engaged in the evaluation, which has informed the next phase CEOL” according to Marie Lynch, Head of Healthcare programmes, Irish Hospice Foundation.

 

This launch is the next step to introduce a national framework that will enable residential care centres keep a constant focused on providing compassion at end of life for residents, families and staff.

Partnership

The Irish Hospice Foundation is pleased to announce our partnership with Beechfield Care Group, and we are delighted that Sarah McMickan CEO of Beechfield Care Group will formally launch the CEOL programme.  We have agreed to work together to achieve the recognition amongst providers and policy makers that end-of-life care is a key component of quality care in nursing homes, and will be advocating for required investment to ensure this takes place.

 

“As CEO of Beechfield Care Group, I am very aware of how important it is for the residential care sector to continually seek improvements from the broadest perspective in the delivery of person centred care as residents approach the end of their life.  For this reason I am delighted to launch the Irish Hospice Foundation CEOL programme; it will be very helpful to the sector to have a formal framework to support the delivery of compassionate care at end of life. This will become increasingly important with the change in Ireland’s demographics, and more people dying in residential care settings,” said Ms Mickan.

 

In Ireland there are currently over 28,000 people living in residential care, with approximately 7,000 people dying each year in these settings. As highlighted by the latest ERSI report (Projections of demand for healthcare in Ireland, 2015-2030) the number of people living in nursing homes is projected to increase by between 40 to 54 per cent by 2030.

 

Providing compassionate care for residents approaching the end of their life is a fundamental component of person-centred care.  The CEOL Programme enables staff to continuously review, reflect and improve the end-of-life care they provide for residents, their families and the staff themselves. The programme embeds a continuous quality improvement approach and is built around the needs of the individual, with the resident always at the heart of every decision.  Good end-of-life care is about being supported to live well until you die.

Pilot

The pilot phase of the programme called ‘A Journey of Change’ ran from 2015 to 2016 in which over 100 RCC’s participated in. Dr Kathy Walsh (KW Research and Associates Ltd) conducted an independent evaluation of the Journey of Change programme and found that that it has the capacity to improve end-of-life care in participating residential care centres.  “Where all elements of the Programme have been implemented, there have been significant changes in practice in relation to End-of-Life Care (EOLC) planning, at time of death and after death, with staff less likely to want to transfer patients to hospital toward end of life.” (Dr Kathy Walsh, 2017).

 

The feedback from staff has been extremely positive, with staff reporting that their confidence and communication skills in relation to end-of-life care had improved as a result of their participation in the Programme. The Journey of Change Evaluation report also identified staff development in term of recognising and providing caring to a dying person, accessing specialist palliative care earlier, accessing GP services earlier, pain management and supporting the person to die in the care centre as per the wishes of the resident.

 

Staff from St Oliver Plunkett Community Hospital who have participated in the programme have reported ‘because we are more confident talking to our residents about death and end of life, we have a lot more conversations with them about what they want, like and dislike.  As a result, we know a lot more about what our residents want at end of life and we do our very best to give them what they want’.

Annual November Public Information Evening on Bereavement 2017

Posted on: November 9th, 2017
Our annual November public information evening on bereavement was held on 2nd November.  This annual event aims to provide information about grief and the range of supports available to bereaved people.  The evening opened with an introduction followed by a number of talks and video presentations.  Guest speaker Laura Kennedy (Columnist with The Irish Times, author of the personal reflection column ‘Leavetaking’) spoke on the theme ‘Living with Loss’.  At the event a number of voluntary bereavement support services and professional therapeutic services were represented (listed below).  The audience had 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 would like to be notified of this event in the future please contact Iris Murray Tel 01 679 3188 email iris.murray@hospicefoundation.ie
A Little Lifetime Foundation, Anam Cara Parental & Sibling Bereavement Support, Barnardos Children’s Bereavement Service, Beginning Experience, Bethany Bereavement Support Group, Citizens Information Service, Féileacáin (Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Association of Ireland), FirstLight, Irish Childhood Bereavement Network, Irish Hospice Foundation, Living Links, Miscarriage Association of Ireland, PCI Counselling Service, Pieta House Bereavement Services, Purple House Cancer Support, Rainbows Ireland, SAH (Support After Homicide), Turas Le Cheile Bereavement Support Service, Turning Point, Village Counselling Service

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.