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Resources and information leaflets

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Activities for all

There are lots of activities happening at our Sydenham site that are open to anyone and everyone. Whether you’re under our care, visiting a friend or relative, or just dropping in for a cuppa; you are welcome to attend any of these activities. ...read full leaflet

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Additional information on medicines used in symptom control

This leaflet contains further information on your medicines and the way that we sometimes use them in palliative care. If you have any more questions please ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist. ...read full leaflet

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Advance Care Planning

This leaflet explains how to consider your choices and preferences for the future – if you have any other questions, we hope you will talk them over with a member of staff who will be glad to help. ...read full leaflet

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Bereavement

Most people will experience bereavement at some time in their life. Everyone reacts to their loss in their own unique way Grief can be very painful and may give rise to feelings and thoughts that you don’t expect. You may find the information in this leaflet helpful. ...read full leaflet

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Breathlessness

This leaflet will provide you with basic advice to help you manage your breathlessness. It is intended to act as a reminder following a physiotherapy session - please ask if you have any questions. ...read full leaflet

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Bromley Care Coordination at St Christopher’s

Helping you to get the right care, in the right place, at the right time Who we are Our friendly team of clinical nurse specialists, staff nurses and healthcare assistants are on hand to support people living in Bromley with advanced illness and frailty enabling them to remain at home and live well. ...read full leaflet

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Bromley Care Coordination at St Christopher’s – Information for Professionals

Who we are Bromley Care Coordination (BCC) is provided by our expert team at St Christopher’s and commissioned by Bromley Clinical Comissioning Group. The service enables patients with advanced illness, multi-morbidities and frailty to receive timely and coordinated care in the community. ...read full leaflet

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Candle: Children and Funerals

Parents and carers want to do the best for their children, and it is very hard to know what is best for them when a death has happened. You are trying to come to terms with what has happened, cope with painful and difficult feelings, and there are so many decisions and choices to be made. This leaflet has been written to help you think about your children and the funeral, why they should have the chance to go, and how to answer some of their questions. ...read full leaflet

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Candle: Children, Young People and Loss

St Christopher’s has been providing bereavement counselling to patients’ families for over 50 years. St Christopher’s Candle Child Bereavement Service extends this support to all children, young people and their families in the south east London area, covering the boroughs of Croydon, Bromley, Lewisham, Southwark and Lambeth. Any parent, carer, teacher or healthcare professional can make a referral to the Candle Child Bereavement Service. Young people aged over 16 can refer themselves. We also offer a specialist training, advice and consultancy service to schools and other agencies working with children facing bereavement. ...read full leaflet

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Candle: How to help your bereaved child

How to help your bereaved child You may be bereaved yourself, and may be finding it hard to keep your child’s needs in mind with all that is happening.The following points are a guide to help you focus on what is going on for them. ...read full leaflet

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Candle: Someone close has died

How to help a bereaved young person – a guide for adults Every year many young people experience the death of someone they are close to. Some of these deaths will be sudden and some will be after a long illness, but all losses can be difficult for teenagers. This leaflet is designed to help you understand some of the aspects of a death that are hard for young people and to give some ideas about how you can offer support. ...read full leaflet

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Candle: Someone has died suddenly

Helping your child Everyone is very shocked when someone dies suddenly. There has been no time to prepare and often no warning that the person was going to die. Shock affects adults and children physically and emotionally, and some of the effects you may notice are feeling dizzy or sick, shaky, shivery, hot and cold. After a shock we often feel very unsafe for a while, and need to take things quietly. This leaflet mentions some of the things you and your child may be feeling. ...read full leaflet

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Caring for someone with advanced dementia

This leaflet has been compiled by nurses from the Care Home Project Team at St Christopher’s in collaboration with nurses from dementia care units to help support relatives of people with advanced dementia living and dying in care homes. ...read full leaflet

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Clostridium difficile (C.diff)

This leaflet gives you information on Clostridium difficile (C.diff) and how St Christopher’s is working to control it. ...read full leaflet

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

You have been referred to the cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) clinic here at St Christopher’s Hospice either because you have asked for some help or because a member of the team has suggested that you come. This leaflet aims to answer some of the more common questions about CBT and help you understand a little more about what to expect. ...read full leaflet

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Coming to St Christopher’s Hospice as an inpatient

This leaflet explains what you can expect as an inpatient at St Christopher’s. We hope to answer your concerns by concentrating on the most commonly asked questions. If you have any more questions please ask your doctor or nurse. ...read full leaflet

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Complementary therapies

This leaflet explains about complementary therapies available at St Christopher’s and Harris HospisCare – if you have any other questions, we hope you will talk them over with a member of staff who will be glad to help. If you are thinking of using another complementary therapy service, please ask us for further information. ...read full leaflet

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Consent – what you have a right to expect

1 What does consent really mean? Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your permission or ‘consent’ to do so. ...read full leaflet

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Contact Precautions

Why do I need to supported with care using ‘contact precautions’? If you are being cared for in this way, it may be because you are infected with a micro-organism that can be passed to other people, or because you have symptoms of a contagious disease. For example, you might have a rash that could mean you have chicken pox or shingles, or, if you have diarrhoea and vomiting this could mean you have a gastrointestinal infection. If any of this applies to you, we will explain the reasons for needing to use these extra precautions. ...read full leaflet

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Coping with dying

This leaflet describes some of the physical changes that happen to people as they start to die. It anticipates some of the questions you may want to ask about what is happening and why, and encourages you to ask for further help or information if there is anything at all that is worrying you. ...read full leaflet

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Coping with feelings of depression

1 Coping with feelings of depression There is no right or wrong way to feel when you or someone close to you has a terminal illness. You may experience a range of emotions, at different times. You may feel shock, fear, anger and resentment. Or you may feel helpless, sad, frustrated or perhaps experience relief and acceptance. You may also feel isolated and alone, even if you have family and friends around you. ...read full leaflet

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Difficulty Sleeping

1 Introduction Lots of people have a problem with sleeping at some time during their lives. If you are ill, sleep can be hard because of anxiety, worry about treatment, fears about the future, or just because you are going through a stressful time in your life. ...read full leaflet

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Do I need to make a Will?

This leaflet is intended for general guidance only and we suggest that you obtain proper legal advice if you are in doubt about the meaning of anything. Some of the legal terms used in this leaflet are explained below. ...read full leaflet

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Eating and drinking when ill

This leaflet aims to answer frequently asked questions about appetite, weight loss and the need for fluids or artificial hydration (fluid intake given by a drip) if you, or the person you are caring for, become very ill. ...read full leaflet

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Fit for Life

Join us for a six-week programme of exercise and support, to help look after your mind, body and spirit. ...read full leaflet

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Frequently asked questions about ‘next of kin’ and power of attorney

When you are referred to our services, one of the questions we will ask you is about your ‘next of kin’. This is a term that most people have come across without knowing exactly what it means. This leaflet aims to explain it. ...read full leaflet

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Frequently asked questions about cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

This leaflet gives St Christopher’s patients information about the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) policy. You and people close to you may find it helpful to go through this leaflet with a doctor or nurse in case you have any further questions or concerns. ...read full leaflet

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Healthcare associated infection – how you can help reduce it

Infection control is everyone’s responsiblity. This leaflet aims to help patients and their visitors understand the importance of preventing infection. We have replied to the most commonly asked questions but if you have any other concerns or questions, please speak to your nurse. ...read full leaflet

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Help during your bereavement

Is it normal to feel this way? When someone who is important to us dies it can feel unbearable, as though our whole world has changed. As unique individuals, our response to loss is also likely to be unique, and can be affected by the relationship we had with the person who died. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Ways to think about grief “In some ways the pain of grief itself stayed much the same … but as time went on my world expanded so it felt less suffocating” Dr Lois Tonkin (2006) Dr Lois Tonkin, who writes about loss and grief, suggests a helpful way that we can think about grief: At first it can feel as if grief has filled your entire life As the weeks and months go by, something important happens. The grief may stay the same, but your life starts to grow around it. You will have new experiences and begin to find moments of enjoyment Eventually your life will grow around the grief. It will always be there, and it may grow bigger at difficult times, but it will not dominate your life. Some reactions to grief Emotions “I can’t stop crying and I feel really angry” Grief can have a powerful effect on how we feel. Sadness is a natural response to grief, although not exclusively expressed through tearfulness. We may be surprised or shocked by some of the feelings we are experiencing or we might not be able to feel anything at all. Some may find it easier or harder than others to express and cope with the emotions they are experiencing. This range of responses to loss is normal. Sleeping “I can’t sleep and I’m exhausted” Grieving can be exhausting. Some people notice they are sleeping more than usual, while others have restless sleep, interrupted by dreams, or they might wake up during the night and can’t get back to sleep. For others sleep continues as usual. Many sleep hygiene tips are widely accessible online including mindfulness and sleep apps. Keeping a bedtime routine, having a relaxing bath, exercising or avoiding caffeine, amongst other things, may help. Eating “I’m not interested in food” or “I can’t stop eating” We may feel we can’t be bothered to cook or we don’t feel hungry. Alternatively, we may be comfort eating or drinking more than usual. Try to eat at least one healthy meal a day. It is important to look after ourselves as best we can as this is likely to have a positive effect on our overall wellbeing. Concentration “There’s so much to do but I can’t put my mind to it” Grieving can affect every part of us; mind body and spirit. It might be hard to concentrate, maybe your thoughts are confused or you just don’t know where to start. It’s important to be gentle and compassionate and not expect too much of yourself. Health “I don’t feel so good, both physically and in myself” It is not uncommon to experience physical and/or mental health symptoms and it is important not to neglect your health. Your GP can talk you through some options which might help. Physical exercise like a walk, going to the gym or gardening can be beneficial to wellbeing. Anxiety “There’s a knot in my stomach” When things happen that are out of our control we can sometimes feel anxious or worried. Looking at ways we have coped with stress and loss in the past can often help us manage some of the things we are experiencing at present. There are many different techniques and activities which can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and different people will find things which work for them. Will I ever feel the same again? “I thought I was coping but now I’m going backwards” When someone close to us dies, we know that life has changed and will never be exactly the same as before, but over time there will be an adjustment to this different life which will gradually become the new normal. Grief has its own pace so it will be different for each one of us. Bereavement is rarely experienced in a straight line so it’s natural that some days our bereavement will be more or less bearable than other days. It can often be affected by remembering through seasonal changes. Family and support networks “I don’t want to burden my family and friends” We often hear that family and friends have been great but they have busy lives or they are bereaved too. We might not feel able to talk about how we really feel or we might have different ways of expressing grief and communicating than other family members. It can be helpful to find someone you know who is patient, kind and will listen to what you want to say about how you are feeling. Talking is part of the healing process. Some may find comfort in their faith and spirituality. Practicalities “Where do I start?” It can seem like there is so much to do with new tasks to learn. Some people find it helpful to make a list of family/friends who could give practical help or advice, or to accept support already offered. Tackle things at your own pace and in your own time according to what works for you. Are there things I can do that help? It’s OK to have time off from your grief. Give yourself a welcome distraction if you feel able, like a cup of coffee with a friend or watching a film Being outdoors around nature is often beneficial for your mental wellbeing Find a healthy outlet to express your grief – through exercise, talking, journalling or painting Let others know what support or help you need. Here to help you St Christopher’s Bereavement Team Telephone 020 8768 4599 Email info@stchristophers.org.uk Candle Child Bereavement Service Telephone 020 8768 4533 Email info@stchristophers.org.uk Anxiety UK A charity offering support with anxiety. www.anxietyuk.org.uk Bereavement Advice Centre Practical information and advice soon after a death. Telephone 0800 634 9494 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) www.bereavementadvice.org CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) Telephone 0808 802 5858 (daily, 5pm-12am) www.thecalmzone.net GriefChat A free online space to text and talk. www.griefchat.co.uk (Mon-Fri, 9am-9pm) The Loss Foundation Offering virtual support groups for those who have lost a loved one to cancer. www.thelossfoundation.org Samaritans A free 24/7 safe place to talk, for those in crisis Telephone 116 123 Email jo@samaritans.org www.samaritans.org Shout A 24/7 UK text service for people in crisis. Text 85258 Silverline A helpline for anyone over 55 years of age Telephone 0800 4 70 80 90 (daily, 24 hours) www.thesilverline.org.uk Video resources A channel for guided mindfulness and meditation www.youtube.com/user/getsomeheadspace A TedTalk by Dr Susan Delaney about different grieving styles www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_HVeL99eK4 A TedTalk by bereavement specialist Julia Samuel MBE about the power of pain www.youtube.com/watch?v=flijEwhjW0M ...read full leaflet

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Helping Hands Volunteers

This leaflet explains what you can expect from St Christopher’s Helping Hands volunteers. We hope to answer the most commonly asked questions. If you have any more questions please ask your doctor or nurse. ...read full leaflet

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How to complain or comment about our services

1 How to comment or complain about our services Your comments help to improve our services. We improve our services by listening to and learning from your comments and complaints. Please talk to any of our staff at any time. You can also put a note in the suggestions box at reception - you don’t have to give your name. ...read full leaflet

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Information about oxygen

1 Why have I been given oxygen? Oxygen is vital for our bodies and having low oxygen levels can make you feel very unwell. There are many causes of low oxygen levels: for example, chronic lung diseases, pneumonia and blood clots in the lungs. ...read full leaflet

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Information for carers of St Christopher’s patients

This leaflet aims to answer questions that you may have about caring and St Christopher’s. We hope to answer your concerns by concentrating on the most commonly asked questions. If you have any more questions please ask your doctor or nurse. ...read full leaflet

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Just in case – medication for symptom control

This leaflet will provide you with information about the medicines that may have been prescribed for you in injectable form. If you have any questions or concerns please speak to your doctor or nurse. ...read full leaflet

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Lewisham Carer Telephone Support Service

A telephone support service for Lewisham carers to assess your needs and help you in your caring role. Are you caring for someone who has a terminal illness or is nearing the end of their life? St Christopher’s Hospice provides the Lewisham Carer Telephone Support Service for Lewisham residents. This telephone support service can assess your needs and help you in your caring role. ...read full leaflet

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Living Well at Home

What is the Living Well at Home Team? The Living Well at Home Team consists of therapists and volunteers working towards your goals with you in your own home. They can support you to try to improve your mobility, cope with breathlessness or fatigue, avoid falls, or enable you to better manage your activities of daily living. ...read full leaflet

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Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)

This leaflet has been devised to help patients and their visitors to understand MRSA. We hope to answer your concerns by concentrating on the most commonly asked questions. If you have any more questions please ask your doctor or nurse. ...read full leaflet

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Morphine and other opioids for pain

'Opioids' are a group of medicines used to treat and manage moderate to severe pain. The most widely-known opioid is morphine. Others include oxycodone, fentanyl and codeine. Opioids work well for many types of pain and are most commonly used after surgery and for cancer pain. ...read full leaflet

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Preparing for a funeral

A funeral is a significant event. It may not be easy to think about, whether your own or that of a relative; for example how best to commemorate a life, what to include or leave out. However, planning a funeral can be helpful for those who are approaching the end of life and is one way of ensuring that their wishes are respected. ...read full leaflet

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Social work and welfare for the St Christopher’s Group

The social workers and welfare officers employed by St Christopher’s provide expert support and advice to St Christopher’s patients and their families, and they can either visit you at home or see you in the Anniversary Centre at St Christopher’s, or meet you somewhere else if you prefer. ...read full leaflet

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Welcome to St Christopher’s

Our priority is to offer you and your family the best support possible Through St Christopher’s you will have access to specialist skills and expertise. Our aim is to get to know you so that we can give you the best support. To do this it will help us to know what matters to you? ...read full leaflet

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Your information: how we use and keep it

1 Our patients We collect a lot of personal information from and about you, your family and from other services. We need this information so that we can provide you with highest quality care and treatment. This personal information includes: details about you, such as your address, date of birth, occupation details of treatment, investigations, care and advice we have given you and relevant information from and about people who care for you and know you well, such as relatives, carers and health professionals. ...read full leaflet

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