Earlier this year Hospiscare collaborated with Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust to provide the much needed fortnightly Heart2Heart sessions.
At the sessions patients and their carers learn about managing symptoms and the ups and downs of heart failure with the guidance of professionals like Kate Hetherington, an RD&E Heart Failure Specialist Nurse. Kate says: “The sessions have been hugely helpful for patients and their carers to discuss everyday problems they come across when living with heart failure. We have seen them share hints and tips with each other, and it is a helpful time for us as nurses to share our experience of supporting others with this chronic condition.
“Some of the helpful advice we start with is the importance of weighing yourself daily. This will help detect early changes in fluid retention and help you recognise when to contact your heart failure nurse, as your medication may need adjusting. There are so many helpful discussions around this and other subjects in the Heart2Heart sessions, you’re not alone in your journey.”
Hospiscare’s Assistant Director of Care, Ann Rhys, says: “We are thrilled with the success so far. The Heart2Heart sessions are ground breaking in that they’ve brought together both palliative care experts and cardiac experts, not only to help patients manage their heart failure but also to provide substantial support for carers, who are integral to the programme. Heart failure can represent a significant burden for the patient’s carer and family members, and carers in particular need considerable support. An hour of complementary therapy is also offered, which is beneficial to all participants.
“As we celebrate hospices this week and the much needed support they give local communities all over the UK, the message we most want to share is that hospices are not just for cancer patients, they are for those with any type of life-limiting illness. This means everyone can receive the support they need and want at the end of their lives, that’s what we’re here for.”
Hospiscare is a local adult hospice charity, providing high quality care and support to people with any type of terminal illness, and those close to them, in Exeter, Mid and East Devon. A gift to Hospiscare in your Will helps to ensure the future of the charity in Devon for generations to come.