LifeNow has created a model which involves Transitions Workers based in hospices and the community providing support to people in their 20s and 30s trying to navigate the care system. These workers liaise with services to facilitate appropriate care on the young adults’ terms, which often means being based at home, with family. They also offer a range of support and are there to help young adults with whatever they need to live a fulfilling life.
Shelley, our Transitions Worker at Derian House, works with young adults who are reaching the hospice’s age limit to address the fear that they feel about the future, and enables them to find their voice and use it regarding decisions about their care. Further to aiding the transition, Shelley helps young adults to find hope for the future they may not have known they’d have.
Some examples of types of support that our Support Workers offer to young adults include:
- Advanced care planning – many young adults have difficult conversations with family about what they would want if their health were to rapidly deteriorate. Our Transitions Workers help them make a plan and have these conversations with parents and carers.
- Exploring options for supported living – some young adults are able to be more independent and wish to explore alternatives to living at home. Our Transitions Workers are able to help them to explore this and work out what is most appropriate for them.
- Volunteering, employment and education – our Transitions Workers can help young adults to identify and pursue opportunities to work, volunteer, or pursue higher education if that is what they want to do.
- Independent living skills workshops – getting young adults to take courses which teach skills like budgeting and cooking, preparing them for having more independence.
- Peer support – many young people build community relationships while engaging with children’s hospices. Our Transitions Worker helps young adults leaving Derian House to maintain these connections through social events, social media, and online gaming.
In addition to this, Shelley provides one-to-one wellbeing sessions to those who require them, runs a monthly support group for the parents of young adults, and has over the past year provided support to the families of four young adults who we sadly lost.
Our model involves LifeNoW funding the salaries of staff members hired by hospices, who work specifically to meet LifeNoW’s objectives. This enables hospices to prioritise the care of young adults, which they are otherwise unable to do, and will enable LifeNoW to have a wider reach across the North West of England and North Wales as we replicate this model in more hospices across the region. The expertise of our Transitions Workers facilitates the co-creation of bespoke care solutions, and managing the transition and ensuring a continuation of care provides reassurance for both the young adults and the hospice staff.
Derian House has increased the age range we will be supporting to 21-28, having seen the incredible impact our Transitions Worker has had. There are 11 additional young adults at Derian House who will require our support in the next year, and we, therefore, need to hire an additional Transitions Support Worker to help support them through the transition from Derian House’s care.