Reaching out to the community to explain how to connect with family members and relatives with advanced dementia is seen by the hospice in Woodside Avenue, North Finchley, as an important step in promoting the work of the hospice movement.
North London Hospice already offers an extensive range of courses for health and social care professionals, as well as volunteers, but the aim is to welcome family members and relatives who would like to know more about helping those with end-stage dementia.
Advice is given on how to reach out and connect emotionally with the help of music, massage, colour, tastes and scents.
The two-day workshop specially for teenagers – to be held in July with another planned for October – is aimed at 15 to 19-year-olds who are considering a career in medicine, nursing or health and social care.
There will be sessions on the aims and principles of palliative care, understanding perspectives on death and dying, communication skills and the patient experience.
Jenny King, the hospice’s business development representative, said that depending on uptake the hospice could be flexible about the dates and timing for courses and workshops.
“We really want to get the message out that we are here to answer a need before that need actually has to be met.
That’s just where we want to help, and our courses are designed to widen that understanding
“We are here ready to help families and relatives who might be having to prepare to care for someone with dementia. So often we hear people saying, ‘I didn’t know who to turn to’.
“That’s just where we want to help, and our courses are designed to widen that understanding.”
North London Hospice, the first multi-faith hospice in the UK, began operating a community service in the London boroughs of Barnet, Enfield and Haringey in 1984, and the 18-bed hospice in Woodside Avenue was opened in 1992.
Support for patients in the community has expanded over the years and last year there were over 2,500 one-to-one appointments across the three boroughs.
Just 23 per cent of the hospice’s costs are met by the NHS and the rest comes from a continuous programme of fund raising.
The flagship event is the Big Fun Walk on Sunday 5 May – an 8.5-mile sponsored walk through beautiful parks from East Finchley to Westminster.
Last year 1,250 people registered for the walk and it raised £148,000.