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Hugh Lowson’s column: Providing hospice care services for younger adults

Thursday 26 July 2018

Hugh Lowson outside St Barnabas House

Hospice care is not just for the elderly. Life-limiting conditions sadly affect people of all ages, and last year 15% of the patients who were cared for by St Barnabas House were under the age of 65.

We tend to go through spells of having younger people attending the Day Hospice, and we try to group younger people, and those who are young at heart, together as much as possible.

An important aspect of the service we provide through the Day Hospice is the social element for patients, so it is important that younger people are able to bond and connect with those they see regularly.

If there are a few younger people, our Activities Co-ordinator will often try to adjust plans and activities to suit their needs. Sometimes we will put on extra outings or workshops, taking their hobbies into account.

Younger people tend to have more to juggle in life. They often have young children or are still working at the same time as undergoing treatments, so their Day Hospice attendance may not be as routine as an older person.

Generally, the younger patients we care for at the hospice or in their own homes tend to be more self-sufficient and often have a good support network of family and friends around them.

A lot of younger adults have less fear of the hospice than older generations do as there is not the same stigma that there once was. They tend to view hospice care as a source of support, rather than something scary.

Find out more about our services at www.stbh.org.uk/our-care.

Hugh Lowson is the Chief Executive of St Barnabas House. His column is published every Thursday in the Worthing Herald, Shoreham Herald and Littlehampton Gazette.
This column was first published on Thursday 26 July 2018.
Read Hugh’s previous column about the number of patients we care for.