A Compassionate Community is a community that is at ease with itself in talking about the issues arising from ‘ageing’ and sickness and is an active approach to community development. It actively involves citizens in their own end-of-life care and support concerns and solutions. In the process this can change social environments, cultures, conduct and attitudes towards end of life experiences and self-care and the potential to greatly reduce pressures on over stretched Statutory Health, Social services and Third sector supports with citizens who are informed and able support each other to think about, talk about and write down their future care plans. Planning for our future care-needs involves talking about death, dying, caring and grief and this is a topic that is not addressed very well by the general population. In addition there is a lack of facilitated support to enable individuals, families and groups to talk about these issues together and to take control and responsibility for our own health care in the future.
The aims of the project include: to improve the quality of life for those living with advanced illness and experiencing death, dying loss and care; to reduce the fear, uncertainty and lack of knowledge that function as barriers and obstacles to accessing palliative care; improve access to resources amongst the general public / community groups / those living with a life limiting illness; promote and develop an evidence based public health approach to palliative care and to develop and evaluate resources that can be freely adapted for use locally. We will develop a range of activities around 4 GP Clusters in Pembrokeshire , namely Saundersfoot, Pembroke, Solva and Brynberian. These activities are aimed at enabling the people living in those communities to talk more about living well and dying well (Death, Dying, Loss and Caring). This will be planned with existing organisations working in the area of Elder Care and EOLC.
The project is here to support people in the County to think a little differently about end of life care and death, to encourage people to plan ahead, talk with others and offer practical support within the community to those facing the end of life. We will take a Community Developmental approach to all our activities in facilitating a series of events, workshops and community gatherings that will enable communities to enhance their collective Social Capital (in terms of Trust, Empathy and Cooperation).