This project was an initiative by South Dublin Bereavement Network.
A compassionate community approach plays an important role in supporting anyone who has been bereaved. This includes compassion from family, friends and those we have incidental interactions with throughout our day, such as at the welfare office, bank or with a home care worker. This project aimed to enhance the compassionate community approach to two cohorts of bereaved, those bereaved in older age and bereaved children, which the network deemed were impacted disproportionately during COVID. The network hosted an online bereavement information for anyone working with people in older age and two in-person public information events in collaboration with local Family Resource Centres.
Is grief in older age different? An information event for those working with people in older age
This online webinar was for anyone working with people in older age in any setting, including the community and residential settings. Guest speaker, Jennifer Allen, Senior Social Worker practicing in an older adult mental health service spoke about the understandings of bereavement (how it can affect us, what can help, how you can support others) and ways bereavement can affect those in older age.
156 registered for the webinar and 88 attended the event on the day. All attendees who completed the evaluation rated the event as helpful. Some aspects that attendees found most helpful included, information on the way grief may impact the older person, general bereavement information, the keynote speaker sharing her practical experience through the session and particular aspects of bereavement theory, such theories of grief. Some attendee comments include:
‘Good overview presented of key issues that can effect older people who experience grief’
‘In depth knowledge and experience shared by professional in relation to bereavements development grief in older age’
Loss and bereavement. Bereavement support available in South Dublin.
This was an in-person event which targeted older people who were bereaved or those supporting an older person who is bereaved. Amanda Roberts, Irish Hospice Foundation network member, welcomed the attendees and introduced the event. Service members hosted their service stands and attendees were given the opportunity to visit the stands, meet with service providers and to learn more about the support they provided.
Over 20 members of the public attended the event and 11 service provider network members hosted stands on the day. All of the attendees who completed the evaluation rated the event as helpful. Attendees noted the variety of bereavement groups present, the ‘air of camaraderie’ among services, a well organised event and a very much needed event in the community. Service provider attendee comments include:
“A very much needed support and resource service for people who are experiencing grief in their life within our community.”
“The event brought together various loss and Bereavement supports and resources that are available to people who are experiencing grief. This provided a wealth of information to people who attended the event.”
“The event was well organised. The sunflower petals where a person could write the name of their lost loved one was just a beautiful sentiment”.
Understanding Loss and Bereavement
This in-person event was for anyone bereaved or for anyone supporting someone who is bereaved. Guest speaker, Bryan Nolan, has worked in the area of end-of-life & bereavement care for many years, gave an overview of the understanding of bereavement, such as the different ways it can have an impact, what can help and how to help others. Service members hosted their service stands and attendees were given the opportunity to visit the stands, meet with service providers and the learn more about the supports they provided. Refreshments were provided throughout.
Over twenty members of the public attended the event and thirteen service provider network members hosted stands on the day. All attendees who completed the evaluation rated the event as helpful.
“Everybody was very kind and speaker was brilliant”
“Very good at helping understand your feelings”
Service provider attendees:
“There was an extensive range of support available for members of the community.Everyone was so compassionate”
“Excellent presentation by Bryan Nolan. Getting so many relevant agencies together in one place”