"Death doesn't need to be taboo"
This is something that you may have heard Francis, our Project Manager say in previous updates and its true.
Avoiding talking about it may avoid a moment of awkwardness, but skirting around the issue can have a real effect on a carers life, particularly for those looking after someone approaching the end of their life.
One of the great achievements of Francis's work with this project is that he provides carers with an opportunity to have that first, often frank, conversation about death and their feelings about the future. This allows them to consider the questions they have about their caring role, that have often been avoided:
As part of this project we will be providing carers with practical answers that will help to alleviate their worries. In the coming months we will be delivering an expert workshop that will teach carers about Advanced Planning, which includes:
So Francis is right, death doesn't need to be taboo and having an honest conversation about it can lead to activities that can improve a carers quality of life and wellbeing.
Thank you so much for your support of this project, which remains the only of its kind in London, and helps carers through what can understandably be a very difficult time.
Your generous donations have helped enable us to continue to deliver our project supporting carers looking after someone near the end of their life.
The project is a special carers’ service designed to provide dedicated casework support to carers aged 18 or over, who are looking after someone in the later years of life.
For this project, the person being looked after would either:
Death does not need to be a taboo.
I have found that most carers in the project welcome the opportunity to open-up and share their hopes and fears around death.
This could include their worries about what may happen to their cared-for if they died first, and how they would readjust to life without caring.
It is not so much about people not wanting to talk about death, dying and bereavement – it is more a case of with who to talk to about it – and how.
As part of the project we have run popular workshops covering topics including:
We have also worked with two end of life carers to produce a short practical guide for preparing or dealing with a death and produced brief information sheets on Lasting Power of Attorney, Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment and what to do when someone dies.
In our last report we were able to share the fantastic news that with your kind support we were able to continue delivering our specialist project supporting unpaid carers looking after someone approaching the end of their life.
The project is up and running and our End of Life Carers Project Manager, Francis is providing help and support to people at what can only be a difficult time. Supporting people like Zivi, who looked after her husband.
“I was married to a lovely man named Cyril for 35 years. I was his carer for the last 10 years of his life.
He became very anxious and didn't want to do anything anymore. He wouldn't go out without me. I had to do everything for him.
People asked me why I didn’t try and place him in a care home. I could never do that. I loved him.
He (Cyril) was very anxious during the night. As a result, I couldn’t sleep, he woke up many times every night. I was so tired. I was like a zombie! In the day he was reluctant to leave home to do anything. This was hard for me. I’m an outgoing person. I felt trapped!
When I went to meet Francis at Carers Network, it was like a whole world opened up to me. I had somebody that will understand me. I thought he was an Angel, to listen to all my grumbling and come back with ideas, he was fantastic. I wouldn't have known about what a legal power of attorney was without meeting Francis."
Thank you again for your support of this work. We are doing everything we can to ensure that we are able to continue helping carers like Zivi, who have nowhere else to turn.
GOOD NEWS - Looking after someone at the end of their life
We are deligthed to let you know that thanks to your support and generous donations from other sources, we have been able to continue our important project supporting unpaid carers.
The new project is already up and running with our End of Life Project Manager - Francis already beginning work supporting over 100 unpaid carers looking after someone as they approach the end of their life.
Carers who are looking after someone in the most difficult circumstances will not have access to additional expert support and advice.
"Francis was my listening ear, it was important to know that there was someone on my side" - Carer supported by the project
We look forward to keeping you updated with the work of this important project as it progresses. Please also look out for future news on our fundraising efforts for this important project as we continue our efforts to ensure that it can continue to support vulnerable people that have nowhere else to turn.
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