Older People Living with Cancer

Peer advocates supporting older people affected by cancer

Making a start on our “One Page Profiles”

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Laura Thomas from Age Connects Cardiff tells us about the introduction and development of their One Page Profiles. A one-page profile captures all the important information about a person on a single sheet of paper under three simple headings; what people appreciate about me, what’s important to me and how best to support me.

The work on our ‘One Page Profiles’ gave the staff that make up the whole of the Cardiff Cancer, Older People and Advocacy team, both paid and volunteers, the chance to meet each other, some for the first time and then to find out a little more than name, age, address, previous/occupation. One Page Profiles are new to us and are being developed with the support of Helen Sanderson AssociatesUntitled

The day began with the usual introductions. Alice our Volunteer Coordinator facilitated the day. She gave each member of staff a question, 9 questions in total.

Taking turns, a member of staff would ask each of the other members the same question. Alice took the time to write the answers down so that we were all able to concentrate on what each of us was saying.

Jeff and Lynda (Alice is writing their answers)

Jeff and Lynda (Alice is writing their answers)

The questions began with those that were easier to answer: ‘What qualities do you admire in others?’

We all gave the information freely and there was lots of laughter and people generally seemed to relax into each others company.

The questions became increasingly harder to answer without a degree of soul searching and honesty, especially those about oneself and possessions; for example ‘what are some of the things you can’t do without’. For some there were tears, others needed a little more time to think about their answers, but the group were supportive of each other and this helped them to continue.

Angela, Margaret, Claire, John, listening to Jeff give his answer

Angela, Margaret, Claire, John, listening to Jeff give his answer

The questions were designed in such away that people really did leave feeling that they had learned more about each other. What makes a person laugh, cry, what is important to them, what they feel they/we can do to enable us all to work more closely together. And why we perhaps do the things we do?

As a team we experienced emotions from one end of the scale to the other and all those in between. But we left feeling that it helped us to build together, stronger as a team. This can only be positive for the older people affected by cancer that we support.

This is still a work in progress, but one that has been met positively by all involved.

Laura Thomas, Age Connects Cardiff

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Author: Marie McWilliams

OPAAL's National Development Officer

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