As Specialist Palliative Care Social Workers and Bereavement Support we will listen to make sure we understand your needs.

Coming to terms with serious illness can be difficult and distressing.  We know when someone is seriously ill everyone around them is affected. Strong and sometimes unfamiliar emotions are common: you may feel depressed, helpless, frightened or angry.  You may be worried about your children and other family members and may be unsure as to how to talk together about what is happening and how to support each other.  There may be financial or other new problems for you or your loved ones to deal with.  You may be worried about the future and feel overwhelmed by everything.

So, what is a Specialist Palliative Care Social Worker?

Specialist Palliative Care Social Workers are experienced in working across multiple areas of health and social care and often provide a link between them all.  Social workers are systemic trained, this means we work directly with all the family and their systems.  We work with children and adults in their own homes, in our community bases or in the In-Patient Units.

The aims of our services are:

  • To provide practical support, advice and signposting to other services.
  • To provide emotional and psychosocial support in a situation that can often feel lonely and overwhelming.
  • To support patients coming to terms with approaching the end of their lives and to facilitate legacy and memory work.
  • To be a link between patients and their families and other services.
  • To support families in challenging situations.
  • To advocate for the needs, decisions and rights of patients in palliative and end of life care.
  • To provide support and information to other services and professionals.
  • To provide specialist, age appropriate, resources for children and young people, e.g. books, memory boxes, links to bereavement support services.
  • To support families in talking to their children about illness.

Remaining adaptive and fluid is key for the Social Work Team in negotiating challenges and crisis in the fast-paced lifestyles of those we support.

Helpful Links:

The following organisations provide information on making a “Will”.

Other Helpful Links:

Precious Times – a handbook on Palliative Care for parents of children with cancer.

This book is designed for families of children who have advanced cancer.  The purpose of this book is to give you and your family information which will hopefully help you during palliative care.

https://www.cancer.ie/sites/default/files/2019-12/Precious%20Times%202019%20web.pdf

A Time to Care – Caring for someone seriously ill at home booklet

This booklet is to help you if you want to care for a seriously ill family member or friend at home.

or friend at home.

https://www.cancer.ie/sites/default/files/2019-11/a_time_to_care_2017.pdf

Irish Childhood Bereavement Network:

This website provides information and guidance to parents and guardians about communicating and breaking bad news to children in advance of the death of a family member.

https://www.childhoodbereavement.ie/families/supporting-children-before-a-death

Our Bereavement Support Service is a continuation of the care we offer:

Here are a few variables than can influence grief:

  • Cultural Support system.
  • The nature of the relationship.
  • Religion.
  • How the person died.
  • Comments that people make.
  • The supports the bereavement person has.
  • Additional stresses within the family.
  • Stigmas.
  • and many external variables that are outside of the grieving person’s control.

Grief is a normal and natural reaction to death.  Love and grief are inseparable – they are yin and yang – so when we lose those we love we experience grief.  It is a normal response and it has been a part of the human condition since the beginning of time.  You can see grief in every culture.  some cultures embrace this experience more directly than others.  Some, unfortunately, sweep this experience under the rug or pathologize it.

Anyone affected by grief is invited to view this pre-recorded talk, which is designed to give general information on grief and bereavement to bereaved people, their family and friends.  Please allow yourself some quiet time to listen to the talk.  It may be helpful to listen with someone else for support or, if that is not possible, to talk to someone over the phone afterwards.

The death of a person can send ripples throughout the community. Bereavement not only affects the family, but also friends, work colleagues, teachers and neighbours.  Following the death of someone close, we may experience strong and conflicting emotions. Grief can be powerful and feel overwhelming.

The information is recorded in two parts, which are approximately 35 minutes in total.
You may like to light a candle to remember the deceased or have a photograph of them beside you as you listen to the presentation.

Online Bereavement Information Talk:

Part 1:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6QHM31VL2o

Part 2:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75CQQDn0pH0

The Bereavement Service is here to support the families of patients we cared for and this may come in the form of individual or Group support.

If you would prefer to hear this talk in-person, we would encourage bereaved families, friends, and anyone effected by loss to attend our free talks: In 2024

  • VENUE:  Milford Care Centre, Castletroy, Limerick V94 H795.
    TIME:  7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
    Tuesday 27th February 2024
    Tuesday 28th May 2024
    Tuesday 27th August 2024
    Tuesday 26th November 2024

The Social Work Department at Milford Care Centre also offer the following services for bereaved people:

  • Individual support and counselling, which may be a one-off session or a number of meetings over time. (this is only available to families whose relative was cared for by Milford Services)
  • Telephone support for those who cannot travel to Milford.
  • Group support for children and young people.
  • Group support for adults grieving the death of a child, a spouse or their parent.  Different groups are offered depending on which loss is being experienced.

If you would like further information on any of these services or up to date times and dates of groups you will need to contact Milford Care Centre’s Social Work Department (Mon to Fri 9am to 4:40 pm) by:

  • email: socialwork@milfordcarecentre.ie
  • Phone Call: +353 61 485800

If you need more support, there are organisations that provide:

  • helplines
  • bereavement self-help resources and support
  • support for people bereaved by suicide
  • counselling

Click on this link: https://www2.hse.ie/mental-health/services-support/bereavement/

The Irish Hospice Foundation Bereavement Information leaflets are accessible HERE

An additional support to the service is our Bereavement Support Volunteers who assist the Social Work Department in the provision of a range of services. Such as support groups for adults who are grieving the death of their spouse, their parent or their child.

We ask bereavement support volunteers to draw on their knowledge and understanding of the process of grief and demonstrate their capacity to show empathy to others who are grieving. Volunteers use listening and group facilitation skills to create an atmosphere of warmth and understanding, in a safe place where bereaved people can share their experience of loss with others who understand. These groups can facilitate grieving adults who didn’t have previous contact with MCC.

A pre-requisite of becoming a bereavement support volunteer is to participate in the 12 week Bereavement Support Education Programme. Details of this course are available on the Milford Care Centre website.

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