Jean Alcorn – Day Care Manager
We operate from a purpose built area within the Donegal Hospice and provide a range of services to address the social, emotional and psychological needs of our clients.
The role of Day Care is multi functional. For many it is an introduction to the Hospice and often may be the first view patients and their families get of the Hospice itself, it can help dispel fears they may have of the Hospice as a daunting place. Day Care also provides much needed respite for patients and their carers. The social interaction and support between patients and their families is a very important outcome of attending day care with the fun being fabulous, and many friendships are formed. Day Hospice is also very much, a ‘partnership of care’. It provides between us, our patients and our volunteers, access for patients when appropriate to the multi-disciplinary Palliative Care Team, with regular updates as required to the Home Care Sisters and General Practitioners by the Day Hospice Nurse Manager. As said previously, Day Hospice provides a range of services to pamper both ‘body and spirit’.
Here are some questions frequently asked about Day Care….
Hospice Day Care is available to all patients under the care of the Palliative Care Team, irrespective of age or diagnosis. Referral may come from patients, carers or health care professionals. The Community Palliative Care Team will then assess the appropriateness of the referral, consent is then approved by the patients General Practitioner, under whose care they remain at all times.
Patients come every Thursday, once weekly from 10.30am – 3.00pm. How do Patients get there? Patients are at present transported to and from Day Hospice by their family or carer.
Day Hospice is provided by a dedicated team of professionals including Day Care Manager and Care Assistant and has access to Physiotherapy services as required . We are indebted to our volunteers who come in weekly and those who participate on our regular programme of music, art and crafts, cookery, gardening and all the other varied activities. Without these wonderful talented volunteers who give us their time willingly and freely, we could never offer the variety of activities that we do.
In a very relaxed home from home environment, patients can be themselves, enjoy each others company and have ‘time out’. As previously stated, they can avail of a wide array of services such as hairdressing, beauty therapy and a range of complimentary therapies. (This usually takes all morning!!!). Lunch and snacks are enjoyed, after which are planned activities incorporating the holistic needs of the patients. In developing our programme of activities we very much welcome the input of our patients. Where possible and resources allow, we do our best to pamper the carers too!! Regular reflections by our Chaplaincy Teams allows us to gather our thoughts and renew us spiritually as needed.
Our first highlight was our official opening. With us on that special day were ‘Altan’. Our first anniversary celebrations were led by our regular volunteer musicians, and a surprise visit by Daniel and Majella O’Donnell left everyone feeling we had a lot to celebrate. We have had many, many enjoyable Thursdays since then including: –
Reminiscence Days – involving an old record player with Jim Reeves and Max Bygraves. Many craft attempts and successes, including gift personal boxes and tapestries made by the patients and given to their carers at our Easter Celebrations. Many exciting afternoons spent with various visitors and speakers from our local community.
Other highlights include the christening of our outdoor patio area – with a barbeque and music al fresco which was enjoyed by all; and a recent visit to Harvey’s Point as guests of Noel Cunningham, where Day Care patients and staff enjoyed a fabulous afternoon tea.
I am excited and challenged in my role as Day Care Manager. We very much adapt our weekly programme to the needs of that particular group of patients, being aware that this is a very vulnerable group of people, due to the nature of their illness, and well worth spoiling for those few hours on a Thursday. I would like to thank all who make Hospice Day Care such a special place to be a part of. As one of our patients once said…. “The atmosphere alone was healing”, and “felt my flag was down but this great place lifted me….”
This is what Day Care is all about. Jean Alcorn
Published February 11, 2018 / Last modified: September 23, 2018