Specialists in palliative care

Palliative Respite Care

Palliative Respite Care is a service that sees a member of the St John’s team come to sit and care for the patient in their home. This allows the carer of a patient to have some respite or time to rest.
Many people who are caring for their loved ones at end of life need a little respite time to recuperate so that they can better cope with caring for the ones that mean so much to them. This may be a few hours to rest or leave the home for an appointment, do some shopping or have a coffee with a friend. It may also be a night sit from the late evening to the following morning.

Respite Care is particularly helpful to patients in the last 6 – 8 weeks of life and respite visits are available both days and nights, 7 days a week, with prior booking.
What happens during a visit?
A member of the St John’s team visits the patients in their own home and provides care whilst the carer can rest or leave the house. A day respite visit is normally 2-4 hours long. A night respite visit sees the St John’s team member come to the house at 9:45pm and stay until approximately 6:45am the next morning so that the carer can have a good night’s sleep, safe in the knowledge their loved one is being looked after.

Your loved one will be cared for by a St John’s Hospice Health Care Assistant - our experienced health care assistants have received extensive training and have many skills and expertise in looking after patients and families who are experiencing the end-of-life journey. St John’s Hospice has been providing palliative care for over 35 years and has been rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission so you will be in good hands.
How do I access the Palliative Care Home Respite Service?
All you need to do is contact your familiar health professional e.g. your GP or District Nurse and that person will contact us. You will then receive a phone call from one of the St John’s team to chat about issues such as mobility, medication, property access, patient preferences etc. so that we can provide the best respite service for the patient and the person who is caring for them. This chat will also help you get ready for the visit from St John’s so you know what to expect.
If you would like more information or have questions on the Palliative Care Home Respite Service at St John’s Hospice you can contact the Hospice at Home team, who administer this service on: 01524 384887

Respite care brings precious hours of rest to people caring for their palliative loved ones at home and builds on the much-loved and much-needed night sitting service.

Rosemary had been looking after her beloved husband Les at home because she knew he wanted to be at home. Looking after someone at home, when you feel alone, can be tiring and feel daunting. In COVID times it can be difficult for a wider family and friends to come and help.   When Rosemary was told about the St John’s Respite service, she decided to take up their support – this is her story.

The treatment and care Les and I have received is phenomenal and I can’t praise the team enough. If I’m honest, I couldn't have managed without their help. Having their help meant Les could be at home, it made such a difference, especially with some of the issues I was struggling to manage. I remember one day Hospice at Home arrived, I’d had a very difficult day and poured my heart out to her. She took control and liaised with many other healthcare people from outside the Hospice to pull everything together. They're so practical and caring.  

The first time they came I went outside for a walk for an hour: to feel the air on my face for the first time since summer just felt so nice, I could enjoy being outside because I knew Les was safe inside with St John’s. Hospice at Home came to us on Christmas Day – I cannot describe how much that meant to me, that someone thought so much of us that they would come to us on Christmas Day.

Les had Parkinson’s and Myloma. That description paints a picture of a man and yet I think of him as a man who was a loving husband, an intelligent man who successfully wrote and published 14 books, was a Professor at Lancaster University and a fit and keen mountain walker.

I knew about St John’s as twenty years ago a friend of mine went there and found the experience of being there very comforting. For me the experience has also been comforting and gave Les the passing we both wanted – at home. Respite care may not sound vital but without this care Les could have died in Hospital.

Rosemary & Les

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