Galway Hospice has launched its Impact Statement for 2021. The charity cared for over 1,000 patients and their families last year.
The report shows demand continues to increase for hospice services at home and in the community, with 934 patients cared for by Galway Hospice’s Community Palliative Care Team last year, up 4% on 2020.
The Community Palliative Care Team provide advice and support on pain and symptom management, end-of-life care and bereavement support to patients of all ages with advanced cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. The team is accessible to patients and their families 365 days a year. In 2021, they made 5,499 visits and 26,787 calls to patients and families.
The Hospice also cared for 286 patients in its Inpatient Unit in Renmore. The average length of stay there increased from 12 to 15 days, with 45% of patients admitted being discharged back to their home or to a community based-setting.
Covid-19 restrictions saw the Hospice being creative with its resources, using outdoor space, adding new garden furniture and colourful landscaping to welcome families and visitors. At Christmas, the Hospice facilitated local musicians to play carols outdoors under shelter for patients and their families. The team there were also able to organise outings during the year, such as afternoon tea and visits to local beach Ballyloughane.
2021 also saw 5,265 therapeutic treatments for in-patients at Galway Hospice, including Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Aromatherapy and Art Therapy.
Despite Covid-19 restrictions, the Hospice’s Medical Social Work Team continued to find ways to support patients and families, including virtual family meetings, keepsake and memory work, the ‘Walk & Talk’ initiative in Barna Woods to support bereaved people experiencing isolation in their grief during Covid-19, recording remembrance services with the Pastoral Care Team and facilitating a children’s bereavement group.
2021 saw the opening of the newly constructed Mayo Hospice in Castlebar, in collaboration with the HSE and Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation. The report shows 110 patients were cared for in the new Hospice, with the average length of stay 9 days. 21 patients were discharged home or to another community-based setting.
“During 2021 we continued to face unprecedented challenges but we have worked together to provide compassionate care and companionship to palliative and bereaved individuals and families,” said Galway Hospice Chief Executive, Mary Nash. “I wish to thank our Hospice staff, volunteers and supporters for their continued support throughout this difficult past year. The resilience and commitment they have demonstrated this past year is commendable.”
The Impact Statement for 2021 shares stories from families supported by the Hospice, “We would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to all who looked after Grandad. The care you gave him and the kindness you showed to our family was humbling and something we will never forget. We are forever in your debt and we will remember you always.”
The Galway Hospice Impact Statement 2021 is available to download from www.galwayhospice.ie/publications