We support hundreds of newly bereaved people each year and, in our experience, friends and family are generally very sympathetic at the time of death and for many weeks afterwards, but over time this falls away. We know that grief is an ongoing, long-term process and people often find that they have more problems (particularly emotional) several months after the death.
Our service is ongoing and people will speak to the same personal nurse adviser each time. Therefore a person can benefit from long-term support from a nurse who they get to know and trust. The service is tailored to the needs of each person, so it may be that they need help with lots of practical things initially but as time goes on they can benefit from emotional support.
We have contacts with lots of organisations, including charities and support groups, and we have a vast selection of resources available that we can send to people free of charge, such as books, CDs, workbooks and fact-sheets.
We also find that bereaved people can benefit significantly from complementary therapy such as massage or they may need specialist bereavement counselling.
All of our personal nurse advisers have been trained in bereavement support and we have many years of experience in dealing with bereaved people.
Many practical issues can arise as a result of the death of a family member, for example:
- Care issues. For instance, the main carer may have passed away, leaving the family to sort out appropriate care for the person left behind; we can provide practical guidance, help to source care, give reassurance and put the family in touch with appropriate support organisations.
- Practical support. We help families fill the practical gaps, coping with all the “juggling” of, for example, childcare, school and work.
- Support for parents. We help parents cope with their children’s grief as well as their own.
- Back to work support. We help people when going back to work and getting back into social circles.
- We help people deal with milestones such as anniversaries, birthdays and Christmas.
In addition, the personal nurse adviser can research and identify relevant charities and self-help groups, such as Grief Encounter, Winston’s Wish, Way Foundation, Cruse and Child Bereavement UK.
Or, we simply provide an opportunity to offload: a compassionate, non-judgemental listening ear.