Galway Hospice has launched its Impact Statement for 2022. The report shows demand for hospice services continues to grow.
A significant portion of Galway Hospice’s care is provided to people in their own homes and in nursing homes. Referrals to Galway Hospice’s community service have doubled over the past 10 years.
In 2022, Galway Hospice’s team of specialist community nurses cared for 971 patients in the community. 76% of the patients cared for in the community were over the age of 70, and 36% of all those who died in Galway during 2022 were under the care of Galway Hospice.
The 18-bed Hospice Inpatient Unit in Renmore cared for 322 patients during 2022, with occupancy in the Unit increasing 7% year-on-year. Once in the Unit, patients and families often experience relief on having symptoms – which may have been difficult to manage at home – controlled and their quality of life improved. 2022 was also the second year of operation of the 14-bed Mayo Inpatient Unit, which cared for 255 patients.
Day Care, which had been suspended due to the pandemic, resumed in Galway Hospice in February 2022, with services also beginning in Mayo Hospice last year. The service allows patients to access a medical review, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, art therapy, aromatherapy, medical social work, pastoral care and personal care. Day Care is often the first introduction to Hospice for patients and their families, who may have many fears and worries about palliative care. The warm welcome and relaxed atmosphere created by staff and volunteers helps to reduce these concerns.
The Medical Social Work Department had a busy year in 2022, supporting patients, their families and carers. The total number of contacts for Galway and Mayo in 2022 was 2,444, an increase of 48%.
During 2022, 496 bereaved individuals were supported by the Medical Social Work Department, who facilitated a number of different Bereavement Groups for adults and children, as well as a Family Fun Day for bereaved families in Wildlands Adventure Park, Moycullen. Other supports include Remembrance Services and the Walk & Talk Group for bereaved individuals, which is supported by bereavement support service volunteers.
The Impact Statement also shares stories from patients and families, volunteers and staff. “I feel honoured to be a part of the Hospice team and dealing with the heartfelt emotions, thoughts and feelings of our courageous clients,” writes Carmel Murphy, Bereavement Support Volunteer.
“The Hospice is dedicated to ensuring that people with a life limiting condition and their families have access to quality services at which they are the centre,” explained Mary Nash, Galway Hospice Chief Executive.
“Above all, we are about life, and enabling our patients and their loved ones to live their life well for as long as possible and to facilitate them where possible to die in their place of choice with dignity and respect. We strongly believe that everyone should have the right to a good, natural and peaceful death with their loved ones supported, so providing excellent end of life care will always be an essential part of our work.”
She added, “None of this would be possible without the dedication of our workforce, both staff and volunteers, and the generous support of our local community. We are grateful to all who have contributed this year and look forward to working together to secure the future of Hospice care in our community.”
The Galway Hospice Impact Statement 2022 is available to download from www.galwayhospice.ie/publications