Older People Living with Cancer

Peer advocates supporting older people affected by cancer

Volunteer Peer Support Advocacy

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Our advocate was asked to support a gentleman who had recently been discharged from hospital with a terminal cancer diagnosis. He had made the very difficult decision that he wanted no further treatment after trying a session of chemotherapy and finding that he struggled to cope with the side effects.  The chemotherapy was to help shrink the tumour only. The gentleman decided that he wished to look for a care placement to allow him to be cared for outside the family home. With the assistance of a Volunteer Peer Advocate he was supported to view care homes in his local area to enable him to remain close to his family. He wanted to spend the remaining months of his life with as much dignity and independence as possible.

The gentleman’s wife has advanced Alzheimer’s and lives with his daughter – her full time carer.  He wanted to put no further pressure on his daughter as caring for his wife was a full time job, also with the insight and understanding that his care needs would only increase, this in turn would increase her already heavy workload.

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Our advocate was able to support this gentleman to act independently from his family with his choice to move into a residential home. He was accompanied by the advocate to view the care homes and the advocate helped him to discuss his care needs with staff and what the future will hold for him in respect of his terminal condition.

 ‘Their involvement meant the gentlemen could maintain his independence’

 

 Laura Thomas, Cancer, Older People and Advocacy Programme, Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale

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Author: Marie McWilliams

OPAAL's National Development Officer

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