What are Living Well courses?
Our free Living Well courses take place on Fridays and are designed for people with a life-limiting illness to help them to learn new skills, strategies and techniques through education, exercise, therapies, creativity, relaxation, and group support.
The courses are open to people living with a life-limiting condition such as cancer, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic kidney disease, Parkinson’s disease and motor neurone disease and who are registered with a south Worcestershire GP. With many courses participants will be encouraged to practice techniques to learn how to manage symptoms at home; to help gain the maximum benefit from the course and develop confidence to continue practising once the course has come to an end.
As the Living Well programme is individually tailored to your specific needs and goals, it begins with a short assessment, which lasts up to an hour. At the end of the assessment you may be offered an individual programme (which may be one or more of the courses below) or signposted to an alternative service. During your Living Well programme you will be offered a re-assessment at key points. Once you have come to the end of your programme you may wish to look at community-based projects and activities to continue to practice your skills and benefit from the courses you attended.
Read our supporting you to live well leaflet for more information
Courses on offer
Coping with illness: 6 – 8 week course: This is an informative and supportive group to help people manage and live well with life- limiting conditions. It will be an opportunity to share and learn from others who are going through similar challenges and provide practical and emotional coping strategies. The programme includes: dealing with stress, worry and uncertainty; communicating with others; tips for managing breathlessness and fatigue; coping with pain; the emotional journey and adjusting to the new me. The content is flexible and other topics chosen by the group can be included.
Relaxation: 6 week course: This course aims to help individuals learn why and how we need to relax. Relaxation is helpful if you are experiencing anxiety, sleep disturbance, pain, nausea, breathlessness or fatigue and enhances your general well-being. We will teach and encourage people to practice a range of techniques with the intention that one or more will become meaningful to them and be used in their everyday living.
Adapted Tai Chi: 6 week course Tai Chi consists of exercises, which combine deep breathing and relaxation with slow and gentle movements. The exercises are recognised as being good for stress, breathing, balance, blood pressure and general health. Classes are suitable for all conditions and can be adapted to meet individual needs. Two classes are available with one all-seated class and a second which involves some standing activity.
Managing your breathlessness 6 week course: This course gives an opportunity to meet others in a similar situation, find out strategies to help, discuss how being breathless affects people and receive support and advice for coping. The course covers understanding of how breathing works and skills to bring episodes of breathlessness under control. A carer may attend with a patient if considered helpful.
Sharing stories 5 week course: Therapeutic, creative and fulfilling – share stories based on memories, images and personal experiences to help express feelings, thoughts and emotions. Build a personal history of your life experiences to take away with you.
Arts and crafts – a variety of 4 – 6 week painting and craft courses: Take time out, relax, be creative and learn new skills. The timetable is variable and covers: exploring different painting techniques and a variety of arts and crafts; courses on card making, jewellery making, felting techniques as well as the occasional flower arranging classes
Finding inner peace 7 week course: In a busy world the opportunity for finding inner peace is challenging. This course is designed to support those seeking tranquillity and meaning in their journey through life. “Finding inner peace” will be led by members of the chaplaincy team and will explore spirituality using poetry, music, art and all of our 5 senses. It is designed to be suitable for all searching for answers, whether in faith or elsewhere
Complementary Therapies: Appointments subject to availability. Complementary therapy sessions are offered alongside conventional treatments. They may support on the physical, emotional and spiritual level, so may help with: relaxation; improve mood; aid sleep; relieve tension and improve a sense of well-being. Sessions available to book may include: back massage; Indian head massage; hand massage; reflexology and Reiki. Appointments will be subject to availability.
Our Living Well courses are co-ordinated and run by a wide range of hospice staff with support from trained volunteers. If appropriate you may be referred to other hospice services. Please contact the Gateway Team if you have any questions or to discuss the Living Well courses on 01905 63963.
We are unable to provide transport for the Living Well sessions. We do have a free car park and are easily reached by a regular bus service.
Please note we are unable to administer medications at Living Well.