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Living Well

It's not about end of life - it's about rest of life

Designed for you

Our Living Well service is designed to help patients living with an advanced or terminal illness, and those closest to them, to manage the impact of their illness, cope with changes, improve wellbeing and remain as independent as possible.

If your health deteriorates and you need our support, please contact our Advice & Referral Team on 01252 729440 or PTH.adviceandreferral@nhs.net 

How Living Well services can help patients and carers

  • Monitoring and managing unstable symptoms.
  • Guidance on coping with stress and anxiety.
  • Advice on issues such as strength, balance, mobility and tiredness.
  • Tips on diet, taste changes and weight gain/loss.
  • Complementary therapy, meditation and emotional health therapies.
  • Helping you to explore your creative side and nurture your talents.
  • Teaching relaxation techniques.
  • Guidance on advance care planning.
  • Providing information, advice and support for patients, families and carers.
  • Giving you details of the services which you can access to help you with practical, physical and emotional matters.
  • A place to meet others and make supportive friendships.
Patient with complementary therapist

Helping you to live well

The Living Well service empowers people living with an advanced or terminal illness and their families and carers, to adapt to their lives, with dignity, and provides an acute support system to help them anticipate and cope with changes resulting from deteriorating health.

Our clinical nurse specialists and doctors may be the first point of contact that you have with us, which may be by phone, video or face-to-face visit.

The Living Well team is made up of specialist palliative care professionals including doctors, nurses and health care assistants, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, complementary therapists, psychologists, counsellors, patient & family advisors, dietitians and chaplains, who together provide a range of medical and therapeutic services to promote physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. It is about what matters to the patient, and their carers and families, working towards goals and supporting the development of skills, knowledge and confidence, so people can live as fully as possible until they die.

We support patients in their own homes, through phone calls and home visits, and at the Beacon Centre, where we offer individual sessions and support groups. These relaxed and friendly groups run over several weeks and cover a range of topics. We will monitor progress with each patient and, once the therapeutic outcomes have been achieved, they may be discharged from the Living Well service. However, if things change, we are here for them to turn to again. Our Living Well services are all offered free of charge to you and your family and carers.

We work in partnership with our colleagues inside Phyllis Tuckwell, and our NHS partners outside, to ensure that patients can access the support they need, knowing it is joined up with other aspects of their lives and care. Our Living Well service works in harmony with our In-Patient Unit and Hospice Care at Home services.

We recognise that it is important to support carers and families too. Some activities are for patients and carers to attend together, and others are for carers only.

Phyllis Tuckwell then continue to support families into bereavement.

Two 8-week programmes to help you live well

In addition to support at home, we offer two programmes, run at the Beacon Centre in Guildford. Both programmes are made up of eight weekly sessions, which are held on a rolling basis. Patients who are assessed and would benefit from our service will be invited to join at any time within the programme and still complete all eight sessions. Up to ten patients can attend each session and each person will follow the rolling programme, so you will be able to chat to and get to know each other over the course of the eight weeks. 

Patient reading sleep management leaflet

Living Well with Illness programme

Sessions are two hours long, with an hour-long talk and discussion on that week's topic, and 30 minutes before and after this main session when you will be able to see our doctors, nurses, therapists and Pastoral Care team, socialise with other patients and have some refreshments. Each session covers a different topic and they all link with each other to form a comprehensive basis for supporting you as you live every day with your illness. They will also give you the opportunity to meet others and make new friends, share tips and advice, and receive individual care from our staff. It is therefore important that you attend every session, if you can, even if you don't think it's relevant to you. The eight sessions cover the following topics: 

Introduction to Living Well and Rehabilitation
This session explores how the support we provide can help you to stay mobile and active, and enable you to continue living your daily life. We'll explain what you can expect from the Living Well with Illness programme and find out what things matter to you the most, so that we can set some realistic goals for you to work towards over the coming weeks.

Managing your Mood
In this session we will discuss the various ways in which physical illness can affect your mood. We will help you to understand the emotions which you may experience as you adjust to your illness, and discuss strategies that can help you adapt and maximise your emotional wellbeing. 

Improving Sleep
In this session we will discuss normal and abnormal sleep patterns, and the impact of daily routines and circadian rhythms on your sleep. We look at how sleep can be affected by age and illness, discuss your expectations of sleep and sleep problems, and look at some simple changes and techniques which may help you to improve your sleep.

Physiotherapist at Living Well session

Managing Fatigue
Fatigue is different from feeling tired. We look at why people can feel fatigued, and the difference between chronic and acute fatigue. We also discuss ways in which you can manage fatigue, conserve and improve your energy levels, and make the most of the energy that you do have. 

Remaining Active
This session highlights some of the benefits of keeping moving. With tips and advice, we'll help you manage breathlessness, remain active and stay motivated.

Food and Nutrition
It's important to understand the role of nutrition and hydration on physical health and mental wellbeing. These sessions provide insight into the nutritional content of food, offering you dietary tips on mood, sleep, weight stabilisation and the management of symptoms which may affect your eating and drinking habits.

Living with Illness
This session looks at the practical and emotional challenges that can be faced when trying to adjust to illness. We'll explore strategies and sources of support that can help you to make those adjustments and enhance your quality of life when living with a long-term illness.

Wellbeing Session and Assessment
At this sessions, the Living Well team will assess your ongoing needs and plan your ongoing care. It is also an opportunity for you to socialise with others in a similar situation.

Volunteer and patients at therapy through nature

Creative programme

Sessions are two hours long, with an hour-long talk and discussion on that week's topic, and 30 minutes before and after this main session when you will be able to see our doctors, nurses, therapists and Pastoral Care team, socialise with other patients and have some refreshments. Each session covers a different topic and they all link with each other to form a comprehensive overview of creativity. They will also give you the opportunity to meet others and make new friends, share tips and advice, and receive individual care from our staff. It is therefore important that you attend every session, if you can, even if you don't think it's relevant to you. The eight sessions cover the following topics: 

Therapy Through Nature
This gardening session will focus on the therapeutic benefits of nature, and the physical and sensory skills that you will use to complete a gardening task, such as potting up a planter or creating a flower basket, for example. Engaging in this type of activity can give a wonderful sense of achievement, and an enjoyment of the hope and living legacy that nature gives us.

Aromatherapy - Lotions and Potions
This workshop will give you an understanding of what Aromatherapy is, how it is used at Phyllis Tuckwell and the ways in which it can ease many of the symptoms that you may be experiencing. Using therapeutic essential oils in creams and nasal inhalers, we will make products which you can take home with you to help support your physical and emotional wellbeing. 

Positive "Moments in a Bottle"
In these sessions, you will be asked to recall positive moments, which we will help you to record in words and pictures, so that you can create a visual record of them which you can look back on, to support your emotional wellbeing and lift your mood when you are feeling down or going through a challenging time.

Patient and rehabilitation assistant at mindfulness with clay

Soothe and Calm
The aim of this session is to discuss how complementary therapies and essential oils can help various symptoms, such as insomnia, shortness of breath, anxiety and numbness in the hands or feet. We will finish with a guided relaxation.

Tracks of your Years
Prior to this group you will be sent a letter, asking you for any songs or pieces of music which have significance for you or bring back memories. We will play everyone's songs in the group, and all will be invited to share why they chose these particular songs. The aim of this is to bring to mind forgotten memories through music. 

Mindfulness with Clay
Clay is a very tactile, soothing and therapeutic medium to work with, and is easy to make into simple sculptures. Working with it can improve your mood, calm your anxiety and awaken your creativity. Combined with mindfulness, which encourages you to focus on the present moment, it can help you to explore your creativity and improve your wellbeing.

Confidence Through Cooking
At this session you will be able to take part in a cooking activity, regardless of your physical ability or previous knowledge. During the session you'll learn practical ways in which you can continue to cook at home, and will be given a Take Home Bag. The session will help boost confidence, and you'll be able to socialise with others in the group and talk about your past experiences of food.

Wellbeing Session and Assessment
At this sessions, the Living Well team will assess your ongoing needs and plan your ongoing care. It is also an opportunity for you to socialise with others in a similar situation.

Other ways to support you

In addition to our Living Well with Illness and Creative programmes, we also offer individual therapeutic sessions:

"I was isolated for nearly a year; coming out of that shell through the group discussions has been really wonderful."

Violah with complementary therapist
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Other services

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Please help us

All our services are free, but this is only possible due to the generosity of our amazing community. The Government/NHS only provide 25% of our costs, so we need to raise over £25,000 every day to provide our vital services.

Please donate what you can to help keep hospice care available to all those in our community who need us.

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