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Strathcarron Hospice Programme

Forth Valley / Cumbernauld & Kilsyth

Strathcarron Hospice was awarded funding to take forward their findings of the gaps in carer training provision for adult carers caring for someone with palliative care and end of life support needs.

The carer training programme aimed to support 70 adult carers and address the gaps with the development of a programme called ‘Finding ways to cope with the stress of caring in illness, loss and change’, with 236 indirect beneficiaries.

The course was delivered over four weekly blocks, with each session lasting two hours. The training programme explored with carers the range of ways they could look after their own well-being whilst enabling them to develop their skills in caring for someone with palliative and end of life care needs.

Resources

The following training courses were provided to carer participants of Strathcarron Hospice programme as follows:

  • Finding Ways to cope with the stress of caring in illness, loss and change.

Outcomes

Strathcarron Hospice reported that their education intervention project would aim to improve carers’ daily ability to cope through increased self-awareness, knowledge, and use of relaxation techniques. The following is a list of outcomes for carers achieved throughout the carer training programme:

  • Carers are better able to manage their caring role through support of a four week training programme to learn about adjusting to change and managing stress in the context of advancing illness and death.
  • Physical and emotional well-being of carers is improved through exploring a range of options for caring for self, managing the demands of caring and receiving relaxation treatments on a weekly basis and an opportunity to meet with other carers.
  • Carers will be more able to deal with changing relationships resulting from the caring role through hand/foot massage, using effective communication strategies with their loved ones and exploring ways of finding meaning in adversity.
  • Improved health and well-being for carers, enhanced skills and strength to carry on caring with access to peer support and a better awareness on how to access services with recognition of themselves as carers and regaining control of the situation.

Lessons Learned

Strathcarron Hospice has widened its network in terms of supporting carers. They also reported that raising the awareness across the professional team at the hospice has enabled the organisation to engage with carers in a more meaningful way and to invite them to shape the agenda for future training initiatives.

The training programme evidenced a higher percentage participant rate than anticipated within the palliative carer population, at 23%.

The training programme has been shared with NHS Forth Valley staff by the mental health nurse facilitator, other voluntary organisations such as Alzheimer’s Scotland, Strathcarron Hospice, and Carers Trust Scotland Network Partners.

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