A new ‘Accessible Bereavement Resource Pack’ has been produced as part of Beyond Words, a partnership project between Cruse Bereavement Care in Northern Ireland and the Stroke Association charity, which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Reaching Out: Connecting Older People’ programme.
The pack provides information on the impact on older people and stroke survivors and highlights the added difficulty that people with aphasia can have when expressing their emotions and dealing with grief. It provides advice and communication tools which can be used by health and social care staff and others to support people with communication difficulties to express their feelings associated with bereavement.
Tom Richardson, Stroke Association Director for Northern Ireland said: “The pack will mean that bereaved stroke survivors with aphasia can access bereavement support when previously there may have been a communications barrier. In Northern Ireland, out of 34,000 stroke survivors, approximately 10,000 have the communications difficulty, aphasia, which can add to the confusion and trauma of bereavement. We often think about the needs of carers and families when a loved one dies of stroke but we must also be aware of the impact of bereavement on the stroke survivor when they lose their carer or loved one. Therefore, Beyond Words acts as a voice for those with aphasia through the delivery of our specifically tailored services.”
Beyond Words Manager Paul Finnegan said: “We are delighted to launch the pack. It has been the product of a lot of research and analysis from a range of people. We are really indebted to the Cruse and Stroke Development teams and the Beyond Words Advisory Group for all the work they pit into developing the pack. All our BSV’s in Northern Ireland will receive their own pack and it is also available on our website. The use of the pack can only enhance the service that our volunteers offer on a day to day basis.
Second picture, from left to right:Professor Bob Stout - Chair NI Committee - Stroke Association; Colin White - Chairman, BWP Advisory Group; Carolee McLaughlin - Speech and Language Therapist, Belfast Trust; Anne Townsend - Director, Cruse Bereavement Care NI; Tom Richardson - Director, Stroke Association NI at the launch of the new guidance.