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Families' page

Having a loved one in Intensive Care can be an incredibly stressful and upsetting time for families and friends, particularly during the coronavirus outbreak.It can be difficult to think straight when you feel like your whole life has been turned upside down, often without warning. If you live with, or have been in close contact with the person in Intensive Care with COVID-19, you will need to follow current guidance on self isolation and social distancing. In this section, we've provided links to the guidance, some general information and advice on how to make sure you and your family are kept up to date, and practical issues such as work, money and legal issues.

Sadly, some patients don't survive their illness. We have also provided what we hope is some useful information and advice on some of the things you need to do if you lose a loved one.We have also provided to some links to organisations who can provide you with emotional support. We are very sorry for your loss.




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Web Link: Money issues & COVID-19: the Money Advice Service

This link will take you to the UK Money Advice Service website and their advice on a range of money issues during the pandemic.There's a wealth of information to help you find out wht kind of financial support you're entitled to, the furlough scheme, managing debt, managing your bills (include rent and mortgage payments), borrowing and bereavement support. There are also some helpful tools to help you manage your budget, and you can contact one of their trained financial advisers...

Document: My epic journey: a poem by a former patient

This is a touching, insightful and inspiring poem written by Rose about her time in Intensive Care and beyond.She has very kindly given permission for us to include it here. My epic journey; a poem by Rose Fraser Edinburgh Time stood still 27 March 2013 At the Royal Infirmary Another world was dark Not knowing was sad Voices, voices repeated Time will test your desire How much do you want to live? Noises, echoes, echoes Ice-cream, Ice-cream Chocolate,...

Web Link: NHS Videos: Intensive Care and recovery

This link will take you to the NHS video library on Intensive Care. There is a range of short videos on many aspects of ICU and recovery. Topics include: The Critical (or Intensive) Care Unit Children, families & Critical (or Intensive) Care Step down to the ward Physical recovery Common psychological problems Hallucinations Nightmares, dreams & poor sleep Stress & anxiety PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Memory loss Going home Research

Document: Patient profile: helping staff get to know your loved one better

This document is the "Patient profile", a document created by Helen Whiting, a senior staff nurse in Intensive Care at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. It aims to help the ICU staff to get to know your family member as an individual, and to help improve their experiences of Intensive Care. It is a simple form that the staff can complete, soon after admission to ICU. It can be done with the help of family members.This can be done very easily over the phone or during video calls...

Web Link: Psychological support for older people & families

This link will take you to the MindEd website, and their mental health resources to help support older people, and those who care for them. There are some easily understandable advice and self-help resources on dealing with issues like anxiety and depression (including information on medication), poor sleep, loneliness, stress, physical activity, etc.

Web Link: Support and benefits for carers

This link will take you to the NHS page on support for carers. You'll find trustworthy information on carers' rights, carers' assessments, benefits for carers, breaks and respite care, and support for young carers.

Article: Things you can do to help

You might feel quite helpless while you can't visit your loved one in Intensive Care, but there's are some things you can do to help him or her. Many Intensive Care Units are keeping patients and families connected by phone or "virtual visiting", using a a phone or tablet, so that you can see and/or speak to your loved one. Research tells us that patients find family and friends are a real lifeline when trying to make sense of a very strange environment. Speak to him or...

Web Link: Virtual or online visiting (Life Lines project)

This link will take you to the Life Lines project, a project that enables virtual, video or online visiting in Intensive Care, whilst families are not allowed to visit in person. Life Lines enables families to connect with their loved one and with the staff looking after them, using a tablet or mobile phone and an app (called aTouchAway™) on a secure online platform. Not all ICUs are using this or platform, however, and there are a number of different platforms in use. Ask the staff...

Web Link: When someone dies: bereavement support (Cruse)

Sadly, not everyone survives Intensive Care. We are very sorry for your loss.This is the link to Cruse Bereavement Care, with specific advice for adults, children and young people on coping with bereavement due to coronavirus. There's also practical, regularly updated information on arranging and attending funerals.

Web Link: When someone dies: bereavement support for children

We're very sorry for your loss. This link will take you to the website of childbereavement uk. They are a UK-wide organisation who can help support families with children and young adults, when there is a death in the family. They provide a free confidential Helpline, staffed by trained professionals, face-to-face support (in some areas), and helpful leaflets that you can download or print off. Please see their website to find out more.