Welcome to Living Well.

We know that when you’re affected by a serious illness you will have your own wellbeing and support needs, whether you’re a patient, carer, family member or someone who has experienced a bereavement. The Living Well service is here to support you and to help you find ways to enhance your wellbeing, which we hope, in turn, will enable you to live your life in a happier, more fulfilling way.

What is Living Well?

The aim of Living Well is to enhance the wellbeing of people affected by a progressive life-limiting illness. Wellbeing means different things to different people and so our aim is to offer a programme of varied support and activities within which we hope everyone will find something right for them. 

The Living Well service is run by a multi-professional team across both Katharine House and Sobell House hospice sites. The team includes nurses, doctors, health care assistants, chaplains, social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, a music therapist and an art therapist, and it’s supported by a team of volunteers. All of our team bring something different to the service and contribute to the varied program we provide.

The Living Well team standing in the garden at the hospice.

The Living Well team in the gardens at Katharine House, early March 2020.

Living Well at Katharine House

The Living Well service is open to:

  • anyone with a life-limiting illness
  • carers and families of someone with a life-limiting illness
  • and those who have experienced bereavement within the last two years.

Some of our activities, such as the choir and health walk, are also open to our local community. If you're interested in registering for Living Well, please read this page.

Living Well at Katharine House

This autumn will see the welcome return of our fantastic Living Well service, which has been greatly missed since Covid restrictions put a temporary stop of many of its popular activities last year.

Staff and volunteers responded quickly to the pandemic, ensuring that the wellbeing and support needs of Katharine House patients were still met. But from September, patients and carers will once again have access to a whole host of face-to-face and group services when a new and improved Living Well opens its doors again.

We are not yet able to reintroduce our popular drop-in sessions, but we are delighted to introduce our new eight-week bookable programme.

Our new eight-week bookable programmes

New referrals are now being welcomed by the Living Well team. This may be a self-referral or a referral from a healthcare professional (see below for more detail).

Following referral you will be invited to an initial appointment where our team will provide some further information about the service and we will try to find out what is important to you and how we can support you and meet your needs. Together, we will plan an eight-week programme of activity developed to specifically meet your needs.

The programme will continue to be centred around our Five Ways to Wellbeing, which we know enhance individual wellbeing. Our service users will also now be able to benefit from a greater range of services at both Katharine House and Sobell House (our sister hospice located in Oxford).

The ethos of the service itself hasn’t changed. We will continue to provide support for people from the point of their diagnosis of a progressive life-limiting illness, equipping them with the holistic support and tools they need to help them live the rest of their lives with a sense of empowerment, purpose and wellbeing.

The services at both sites will be available to the full catchment area.

Living Well eligibility

Living Well is open to adults over the age of 18 who:

  • have a progressive, life-limiting illness
  • have a GP within the Katharine House Hospice and Sobell Hospice catchment area
  • are independent with their mobility and personal care needs. If they are not independent with these needs, a carer will need to attend with them and will be expected to attend to these needs
  • have needs that can be met by the programme offered

or

  • are a carer to a person with a progressive life-limiting illness from within our catchment area with needs that can be met by the programme offered.

Referring to Living Well

Five Ways to Wellbeing

Five Ways To Wellbeing

The Living Well programme is based on the Five Ways to Wellbeing, these are five themes of activities that are known to enhance wellbeing and support people to live their lives in a happier, more fulfilling way. One of the themes might really resonate with you or perhaps a combination of them all. 

Click on any of the links below and you will find a number of ways to support your wellbeing. These are a combination of external websites, online activities and some online support being delivered by our Living Well team.

Connect …

… with the people around you. We know this isn’t as easy as normal at the moment, but it is more important than ever to find ways to connect with others. Think of your family, friends and neighbours as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day. 

Ways to Connect>

Be Active …

Step outside. Walk around your garden. Take an extra step. Climb the stairs. Move gently to music. Garden. Try an online exercise class. Walk across the sitting-room. Exercising, however big or small, makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.

Ways to Be Active>

Take Notice …

Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are out in the garden, looking out of your window, eating lunch or talking to friends on the phone. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

Ways to Take Notice>

Keep Learning …

Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Combat technology. Try cooking a new recipe. Explore a virtual museum. Listen to an interesting podcast. Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.

Ways to Keep Learning>

Give …

Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Give someone a wave from your window. Join an online community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.

Ways to Give>

The Living Well resource centre

Although the ways in which we explore these themes may have changed in recent times, they are now more important than ever, and we have put together a large selection of resources to help you do this in each of the pages linked to above. 

Many of the resources are online. There is so much out there at the moment that it can feel a little overwhelming, so we have selected some online resources that we thought you might like to explore. We’ve broken them down into categories so that hopefully you can find the sort of thing you are interested in easily. However, as these resources are externally created and managed, Katharine House Hospice cannot be responsible for the content, we are simply signposting you to them. 

Please explore these pages and let us know what you think. We love to hear your feedback and we want to make this as helpful as possible to you, so please email us at [email protected] to let us know what you think and if you have any ideas.