Background Palliative rehabilitative care and self-management aim to enable people to live fully until they die (Tiberini & Richardson. Rehabilitative palliative care: enabling people to live fully until they die: a challenge for the 21st century. 2015; Schulman-Green, Brody, Gilbertson-White, et al. Curr Opin Support Palliat Care. 2018; 12(3):299). Hospices are developing new models to provide this support closer to home (Abel, Kellehear, Karapliagou. Palliative care -the new essentials. 2018; St Columba’s Hospice. Adapting to a changing world: strategic plan 2020–2023). ‘Coorie In for Winter’ was an Edinburgh-wide programme to address loneliness and isolation by funding local partners to provide warm, welcoming community venues where people could connect and try new things. As part of this programme, we piloted support for people with life-limiting conditions by delivering hospice wellbeing services in a community-run venue.
Aims To reduce the social isolation experienced by local people living with life-limiting conditions.
To improve access to palliative rehabilitative and self-management support by providing hospice wellbeing and arts services in a community-run venue.
Methods The Edinburgh Wellbeing Pact funded participant transport and meals. Action Porty at Bellfield provided the venues, volunteers and publicity. St Columba’s Hospice delivered a programme of wellbeing taster sessions and art group sessions (February – April 2023). Evaluation of the programme is being used to roll out this model in other communities.
Results 50 people attended over the course of 10 weeks. Group sizes range from 4–15 people. Local publicity was an important source for widening participation. Participants valued the practical nature of wellbeing inputs such as goal-setting. The arts sessions facilitated discussion of death, loss, isolation, and joy; this reduced stigma around death and created a sense of community (Wilkerson, Dimaio, Sato. Music Therapy Perspect. 2017; 35(1):13–22). Providing lunch allowed people who live alone to have a meal prepared for them and enjoy it in company.
Conclusion Our evaluation re-affirmed the value of supported self-management. The community venue made it easier for people to attend, and assistance with transport improved access for anyone who needed it. Learning from the pilot is being used to roll out a similar approach to community venues across East Lothian.
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