In these times of uncertainty, with many of the families known to Tŷ Hafan either shielding or self-isolating for many weeks in order to protect their very vulnerable children, the specialist teams at Tŷ Hafan have devised a number of new service developments to ensure families are still getting the crucial wrap-around support they need.
The residential element of Tŷ Hafan services has had to prioritise support to families requiring end-of-life care, crisis care and symptom management; alongside this we will also be doing whatever we can to alleviate pressure on our NHS colleagues.
This means that the lifeline of short break stays will be temporarily unavailable to families and this may mean much more to families than just a loss of essential respite. Families benefit from the wrap-around care that Tŷ Hafan provides and so much of the support provided by the hospice teams focusses on emotional well-being as well as physical care.
Helping families create cherished memories is core to our philosophy of support and regardless of the restrictions the current crisis has placed on us we will endeavour to ensure we continue to help families enjoy the time they have with their children.
So if families can’t come to us and we can’t go to them we will find new ways to provide this essential lifeline of support…
As well as our usual 24/7 access to phone support, including clinical support for families we are now ensuring all families have a contact made by the friendly team to ensure they: have access to support, can get essential supplies and groceries and just to lend a listening ear to reduce anxiety. This support is via telephone and video enhanced technology where possible so that families can still see the friendly smiles of our team.
Here's Lou, one of support practitioners, dropping off a food delivery to one of our families earlier this week who we were able to help while in isolation. And we'll continue doing this for as long as families need us. Helen from Castleland Community Centre in Barry kindly donated 6 fresh FareShare Cymru food parcels to us to give to our families.
Whilst normal business for the residential hospice facility has had to change to take account of the unprecedented challenge posed by COVID- 19, the family support and play and therapies elements of the service continue to provide a range of support interventions designed to reduce family isolation and enhance resilience and well-being.
Given the challenge of not being able to visit families at home or invite them in to the hospice building for play and therapy interventions the team have had to find a range of inventive ways to engage with families across Wales.
We have daily videos with sessions from a range of our play and therapies team. From sing-a-long Makaton with Josie to calming story massage with Katie, the team have found hidden performing talents they didn’t know existed. Play therapy and music therapy sessions continue to be delivered via virtual means and our active Facebook groups ensure a steady flow of important and useful information is made accessible to families.
And of course in the sad event of a family needing specialist end-of-life care the team will be here just as they always are to ensure that families are not alone.