A little book of vouchers

By: The Little Box Of Sunlight  05/12/2011
Keywords: massage, spirits, Box Of Sunlight

These are  a list of services that can help increase the level of care for the one you are caring for.

In time I hope to find and recommend professionals who can deliver these services. The idea is that friends or family members who wish to help can arrange and pay for one of the services. They will be giving the person they love a gift of a voucher for one of these special treatments. This page will become a directory and eventally others who receive the little box of sunlight can reccommend other professionals that have helped them.


This is the gentle massage of the feet. Reflexology can be a valuable supportive treatment in the alleviation of many physical problems and side-effects of treatment. From personal experiance I can tell you its also deeply relaxing. Research also supports its positive effects in releiving pain constipation; diarrhoea; poor appetite; nausea; breathing and communication difficulties; fears and tiredness. The reflexologist can also teach you techniques to give a gentle foot massages.  I used to give Aoife a gentle foot massage twice a day. The sense of touch is very comforting and is once of the senses that remains.


Many people receiving palliative care cannot receive massage therapy, however you as the primary carer can definitely benefit from one. The time spent sitting bedside and the strain and tension of the situation will inevitably cause stress to your back muscles. From personal experience I can vouch for the benefit of receiving a back and neck massage. A friend arranged a massage therapist to visit our house with a foldable massage table. She spent an hour working on my back. It gave me a new lease of life.

Hair dressing

Any woman will tell you, there is nothing as annoying as having greasy hair. It can be very difficult for someone who is not mobile to manage a shower. However there are special packs that are designed to facilitate washing of hair that don’t require moving from the bed and prevent the bed from getting wet. Clean smelling hair is a wonderful feeling for both men and women and it will definitely life the spirits.  

Speech therapist

Many countries include a speech therapist as part of their hospice support team. They can be of great support in a number of ways.

Should communication become difficult,  they can teach you other non verbal ways of communicating. It is extremely frustrating for someone who feels they cannot participate in the decision making process , similarly the inability to express their feelings to family and friends can cause emotional distress.

There may also be swallowing difficulties which the speech therapist can assist with ways ands means to reduce the discomfort.  

Spiritual care

This is a subject that weighed heavily on my mind. I would not consider myself very erligious. I had though a llittle about spirituality before but when you are faced with this situation you suddenly find yourself with big questions. For the one you are caring for is going to die, what happens next for them  obviously weighs heavy on their mind. What do you say? what do you think? One or both of you may feel very angry toward God? How do you deal with this? All I can say is that avoiding the issues is going to leave you both feeling isolated and afraid. 

I wish I could reccommend people but ask your friends for people they turn to in times of these crises and you’ll be surprised, pleasantly so I hope with the assistance that comes at times like  this.

Its true no one can say for sure what will happen but some truly spiritual people can enable you discuss these matters and help you both find solace.


This is an extremely stressfull time for you both. No matter how strong willed and positive you are, these are testing days. Sometimes you might feel like having someone to discuss things rationally with, someone outside your circle of family and friends, someone uninvolved so that you can unload your anieties and fears on, someone who is trained in the art of listening and not judging. If you are very lucky you might have a friend llike this. Otherwise you should consider talking with a counsellor. Your homecare team can probably recommend someone skilled in this practise. I had decisions I had to make as Aoife’s illness progressed. I was so afraid I would make the wrong one. It was great to talk to an impartial person and then to make the decission.

Keywords: Box Of Sunlight, massage, spirits,

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