YEP Half and Half Appeal: Providing special care to thousands

Day hospice manager Joanne Guerrero at St Gemma's
Day hospice manager Joanne Guerrero at St Gemma's
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Donations into the YEP’s Half and Half Appeal are a welcome annual boost to both hospices.

The money contributes to the daily running costs of the hospices and enables them to provide special care to thousands of local people each year.

Regular donations help the hospices to plan and develop their services, reaching people with more complex conditions.

The average annual donations to the Half and Half Appeal to each hospice are equivalent to funding a specialist member of staff: either a hospice nurse, a social worker, a bereavement support counsellor or a therapist such as physiotherapist or complementary therapist.

Therapy teams work to provide compassionate and skilled specialist palliative patient care, as well as supporting and education patients and their families and carers.

Day hospice manager Joanne Guerrero at St Gemma’s said: “We have a wide variety of therapies available. Patients can take advantage of as many of our therapies as they wish, we just want people to feel refreshed, supported and empowered to live their lives the best they can.”

She said: “We try and help keep the quality of life as high as possible, while obviously they’re living with these terminal conditions.

“What most people find is when they come to the day hospice they go away feeling that they have had their batteries recharged.

“They can spend the day with people who are sometimes detached emotionally from their home situation and are experts in their field.

“It’s a very frightening time when people know that they are dying. Most people feel that they are not in control of their illness because there’s nothing they can do about it. But by coming and perhaps having some therapies, they feel better with themselves.

“If they can come here and be as independent as possible and be with patients in a similar situation, it normalises what’s going on.

“Meeting other people, they can share stories and share coping strategies and that’s a kind of therapy in itself - just being with other people in similar circumstances.” She said therapists are well-placed to sometimes pick up on issues that might be affecting patients.

“We can give medication to help with the symptoms quickly before they are exacerbated. Quite often they don’t want to complain but we might see a subtle change in the way they act. That helps to keep people at home.” And home is where many patients want to stay. Therapies such as physio also help people stay safe in their homes, with the use of mobility aids.

Or even, Joanne says, simple equipment such as a little stool to lean against in the kitchen, if cooking requires too much effort to stand up for any length of time.

She said: “It can help keep them as safe as possible at home and help prevent perhaps a fall, which could have ended up with them with a fractured hip in hospital or something more serious. “It’s all about improving people’s quality of life.”

Examples of therapy

offered at both hospices:

Occupational Therapy

This helps patients whose ability to cope with activities of daily living have been impaired due to physical, psychological (anxiety) or cognitive (memory or understanding) problems.

It helps develop coping skills for issues such as anxiety, fatigue, as well as making sure a home is adapted to suit patients’ needs.

Occupational therapy also aims to help boost emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being and help tackle social isolation by working with the local community.

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapists offer rehabilitation to improve or maintain function and independence, promote quality of life and help symptom and pain control. They provide exercise and activity plans as well as mobility aids.

Complementary Therapy

This includes reflexology, massage, Reiki and hypnotherapy. It also includes the use of aromatherapy products and treatments which help with anxiety, fatigue or lethargy, breathlessness, skin problems, pain.

Dietetics

Dietitians help patients manage issues related to eating and drinking. The most common reasons for referral to a dietitian are poor appetite, weight loss, nausea, taste changes, difficulty swallowing, bowel problems, tube feeding, food allergies or intolerance and diabetes.

Creative therapy

The creative activities are tailored to patients’ individual aims, interests and abilities wherever possible. They offer art, craft and media activities, promoting creative expression and increasing confidence, enjoyment and self-esteem.

HOW TO DONATE

There are now new and easier ways to donate to the YEP’s Half and Half Appeal.

Donate by visiting: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/YEPHalfandHalfAppeal

Cheques payable to ‘The Yorkshire Evening Post Half & Half Appeal’ to The Editor’s Secretary, Yorkshire Evening Post, No 1 Leeds, 26 Whitehall Road, Leeds, LS12 1BE in an envelope marked ‘Half and Half’. Please keep all tributes fewer than 30 words.

Tell us how you’re raising money for the appeal: yep.newsdesk@ypn.co.uk or use hashtag #yephalfandhalf

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