At St Michael's our approach to care is ‘holistic'. We do not treat an illness we care for the whole person, giving them emotional, psychological and spiritual support. Our continuing aim is to care for people who have a life-limiting illness and to support their families, friends and carers. Relieving burdensome symptoms, maintaining independence and quality of life as far as is possible; giving explanation and information to help people to be more in control of their situation and, when the time comes, to die in comfort and with dignity.
Family, friends and carers are all affected by the illness of the individual and they are included in our support network. By providing information, advice and understanding we can help carers to support their loved ones at home. We are also advocates for patients and their families liaising with other professionals to set up services which improve the quality of life of patients, such as equipment hire for the home.
The care we offer to individuals is not only for the body, but also for the mind and soul - caring for the whole person. When people are frightened or depressed they find the pain more difficult to cope with. Through explanation, misconceptions and fears can be removed. This knowledge also gives control, which in turn positively impacts on physical symptoms. Similarly, a fear of dying can cause distress, but talking through it, in whatever form, can reduce stress and worry and can have a positive impact.
At St Michael's this holistic approach to care is delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of nurses, doctors, therapists, chaplains and social workers.