ENABLING seriously ill people to be cared for in their final moments at home is a celebrated service offered by a Dorset charity.

Jo Jury is Weldmar Hospicecare Trust’s only social worker, assisting patients with psycho-social issues across south, west and north Dorset.

A key aspect of her work is enabling inpatients at Dorchester’s Joseph Weld Hospice to return home by organising care packages with medical staff.

She said: “If someone is really unwell in the hospice and wishes to go home to die, I get to work as quickly as I can.

“I would liaise with the Primary Care Trust with regard to funding an appropriate and suitable care package so that person can get home and be cared for safely.

“To be able to carry out that final wish for them is so important.

“I work with inpatient nurses and doctors, district nurses and our community nurse specialists to pull all that together.”

She added: “It makes such a difference.

“It’s so lovely to see somebody at home. One woman I visited had the biggest grin on her face.

“It gives people peace of mind to be in the place of their choice, overlooking their gardens or with more flexibility for friends and family to visit.

“Some people prefer to remain in the hospice or to go to a nursing home and if that’s deemed appropriate, it’s absolutely fine but if they want to go home and their carer is feeling well supported then that’s what we’ll do.”

Jo also works at the Trimar day hospice at Greenhill, Weymouth and out in the community.

She helps people to get the benefits they are entitled to, advocates for people and helps with housing and re-housing issues.

Jo said: “When a young person with a family and a job becomes ill, they still need mortgages and bills to be paid.”

Another important role is charitable grant applications to help with the cost of a stair-lift, any aids or other adaptations.

She added: “Other funding can be arranged if a patient has lost a lot of weight and, quite rightly, still wants to wear nice clothes but can’t afford it.

“We try and maintain as good a wellbeing as possible really.”

Prior to joining the Weldmar in October, Jo worked for Weymouth Social Services’ older persons’ team in the community.

Previously Jo was an oncology – cancer – social worker at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester.

Jo said: “This job is so satisfying for me because Weldmar is providing such a service.

“We’re very lucky because there’s so much to draw on within our own trust.

“You can pull all that together and help support patients, carers and their families.”

Show them you care

THE Show Them You Care campaign has raised £5,017.20 since the appeal was launched on February 28 but there is a long way to go to hit the £60,000 target needed to pay for a community nurse for a year. All the money will be used to fund a nurse for a year.

Crucially, it would mean even more patients receiving all the support they need, when they need it most. Donate by visiting webpage www.justgiving. com/weldmarnurse

Send cheques payable to ‘The Weldmar Hospicecare Trust’ to the Dorset Echo offices at Fleet House, Hampshire Road, Weymouth, DT4 9XD.

We would also like to hear your stories of how Weldmar has helped you. Call Laura Kitching on 01305 830984.