There are many practical issues those living with a life-limiting illness will have to deal with, but there is help available to ensure patients remain safe in the home and have access to the services they need.
Many patients with palliative care needs will be seen by the Northern Trust multi-disciplinary team e.g. district nurse, occupational therapist and social worker, but there is also support available from other sources to ensure patients are safe, comfortable and as independent as possible when facing practical issues.
If you or your family are finding it difficult to manage at home then speak with your GP or other professionals involved in your care, as there may be services available within the Trust that could help you e.g. equipment, respite care and training.
Macmillan Information and Support Service
This Service enhances and supplements information already provided in areas such as transport, health improvement programmes, local support services available, finances, treatment and care.
T: 028 9442 4000 ext 333079 M: 0779 5845 435
Good Morning Northern Ireland Network
Good Morning is a community based telephone support service for older and vulnerable people, supporting them to remain independent in their own homes. It provides daily phone calls, alerting others if a call is not answered, thus providing service users and their families with peace of mind.
For information on the contact numbers for Northern Trust areas, please see our Palliative Care Services Directory.
Age NI First Connect Service
The First Connect Service offers emotional and practical support at difficult times to people in later life. It is available to older people living in a First Connect area who need support at home or in the community to access local services. Freephone: 0808 808 7575 www.ageuk.org.uk
ICE (in case of emergency) contact
People sometimes have accidents within the home. It is therefore beneficial for ICE contacts to be included in their phone (i.e. In case of emergency contacts), for example, ICE Mum or ICE daughter, along with the phone number. It is important to let other family members and friends know that you have done this and encourage them to do so as well. This will help speed up responses from emergency staff when they have to decide who to call in case of your injury.
Trips and falls
Falling is a common problem, but as people get older or are ill the risk of injury from falls gets higher. The Northern Trust has produced a booklet ‘The ups and downs of falling’ which provides useful tips to help people in the home avoid falls.
British Red Cross wheelchairs
The British Red Cross provides short-term loans of wheelchairs and other equipment at various outlets in the UK. They provide wheelchairs on loan as a mobility aid for those in Northern Ireland.
For more information, please visit www.redcross.org.uk or call the Antrim branch on 07738 341753 or the Coleraine branch on 02870 342569.
Red Cross equipment is usually available within 24 hours in an emergency.
Volunteer Support Services
Volunteers work throughout the Macmillan Unit alongside the professional team to enhance the practical and supportive care offered to patients, relatives and visitors. Areas of service include transport, reception, hospitality, social activities, resources, support and flower arranging. For further information, contact the Macmillan Volunteer Coordinator on 028 9442 4394 ext. 336531.
Northern Ireland Hospice volunteers
Northern Ireland Hospice volunteers work directly with patients with life-limiting disease as well as their families to enhance their quality of life. If you would like to explore the opportunity of a Northern Ireland Hospice volunteer assiting you, contact the Northern Ireland Hospice on 028 9078 1836 or visit the Northern Ireland Hospice website at www.nihospice.org.
The Translink Journey Planner can help you plan your travel to appointments. T: 028 9066 6630 www.translink.co.uk
Some people are eligible for free or subsidised travel. To find out if you are eligible, please contact Translink on 0845 6000049.
NI Direct website provides information on all forms of transport and travel in Northern Ireland. www.nidirect.gov.uk