Understanding grief and loss

Grief is a normal response to loss but can feel overwhelming and confusing. When we lose someone special to us our lives are changed forever. Grieving is painful and demands attention and can often feel too much to cope with. Only by allowing ourselves to grieve can we, in time, move beyond it. Expressing our feelings and talking to a …

Coming closer to the end

When death is thought to be measured in days or hours the focus of care is on maintaining the patients comfort rather than pursuing tests and treatments.

Coping with weakness and fatigue

In Palliative Care fatigue is a very common occurrence. It is caused by the progression of the illness. The Hospice Sister will guide the family how to cope with this irreversible symptom. The priority becomes the patient’s comfort.

Morphine… Is it safe to use?

There are different Opioid medicines one of which is Morphine. Morphine is frequently used for the control of pain in Palliative care. There are many myths about morphine. It is not addictive when used for pain. Morphine can be administered in the form of liquid, or tablets or by skin patch, as an injection or via a syringe driver. Morphine …

Relieving nausea and vomiting

These are both extremely distressing symptoms which often require medical intervention. Medication can be effective as can adjustments to diet. The Hospice Physician and nursing Sister will determine what is causing the person to feel nauseous and/or vomiting and prescribe accordingly. Suggesting changes to diet may be all that is required, eg smaller portions, bland foods or liquids.

Lack of appetite, maintaining nutrition

Concerns around appetite and nutrition are often more troubling for the family than the patient. It can cause distress for the patient and needs to be handled with understanding. For someone lacking energy and not physically active, regular meals are not essential or even desired.  Rather, allow the person to choose when and whatever they wish to eat. Offer small …

Managing pain

Not all pain is the same; and most often cancer patients experience more than one type of pain.  The healthcare workers at St Francis Hospice are trained to distinguish between different types of pain, advise on the correct intervention of medication, and control opioid analgesics use (like morphine) when necessary.