Background It is estimated there are 1.2 million lonely older adults in the UK (Campaign to End Loneliness). Increasing numbers of patients who were completing their day therapy programme reported they felt isolated and wished to continue linking into the hospice. As part of restructuring of Day Therapy it was recognised that social isolation was impacting patients at the hospice. A café style drop-in group was introduced which runs weekly.
To introduce a café style social drop in group
To evaluate the group using an outcome measure and patient feedback
To reduce social isolation in patients attending the group
Use the café as way to introduce people to the hospice.
Methods We introduced a therapy assistant and volunteer-led café for patients and their friends/families. Volunteer transport was available. The De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale (long version) (DJGLS) outcome measure was selected to evaluate the group and is completed as a weekly questionnaire by attendees. Qualitative feedback was also gained from the attendees.
Results An average of 16 people have attended the group on a weekly basis. The majority of people attending come each week, however for some people attending it has been their first contact with the hospice. More than 80% of the attendees are men. As the service is new, we do not yet have sufficient data from the DJGLS to statistically analyse, however, this will be completed by November 2018. Feedback from patients is positive and includes:
‘I always love coming here, I go home refreshed with the love’
‘Fantastic to look forward to each week’
The cost per session, has been calculated at £71, approximately £4.50 per person attending.
Conclusion The group has provided a low cost, ‘light touch’ social support service. Qualitative feedback has suggested that the group is providing appropriate support.
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