Hospice UK is one of Dry January's official charity partners for 2018.

In this blog, Nurse Consultant Di Laverty tells us about the importance of hospice care and why Hospice UK's work is so important.

Each year, hospices provide care for more than 200,000 people living with conditions such as cancer, Motor Neurone Disease (MND), dementia and liver disease.

As well as delivering clinical care in the hospice, in patients homes and in the community, hospices also provide other support, such as counselling, physiotherapy, complementary therapies and nutrition and lifestyle advice.

A healthy and balanced approach to mind and body is part of the ethos of hospice care. Di Laverty, Nurse Consultant at St Joseph's Hospice in east London, explains how this holistic approach helps people with a terminal diagnosis to live well for the precious time they have left.

"Hospice care supports a healthy and balanced approach to mind and body, helping people with life-limiting conditions to live as well as they can and making every moment" she said.

"The diagnosis of a life-threatening illness is not the end. We are here to help people to learn to live again through a rehabilitative approach to their palliative care."

"...we take time to get to know our patients and pay attention to the little things that mean a lot to them"

"At St Joseph's Hospice we focus on people as individuals, which means we take time to get to know our patients and pay attention to the little things that mean a lot to them and their families. Often, as people approach the end of their lives, and the uncertainty, confusion and change that the end of life brings with it, familiar things mean a lot to them. If someone wants to watch a particular film that they love, we will find it for them."

"Other people might want to try something new, or realise an ambition they never had time to fulfil - we will do our very best to help them achieve it. Our Empowered Living Team provides nutrition advice and practical support to help people achieve their goals, however big or small. Sometimes just being able to dress themselves or brush their teeth is all that people want. It's an amazing feeling of achievement when it happens."

"...we do our best to empower our patients, to put control back into their hands"

"But most importantly, we give them time. If they want to have a luxurious bath with bubbles and oils, we'll take the hour it takes to bathe them - sometimes human touch is all that is needed."

"If they and their families need extra time to discuss the details of their treatment, we make it available. For many, the most valuable time we can give them is time spent with family and friends, reminiscing, laughing or just sitting peacefully together enjoying each others company. In a situation which can feel out of control, we do our best to empower our patients, to put control back into their hands."

Sadly, not everyone who needs hospice care gets hospice care. Hospice UK is the national charity working to ensure that hospice care is available for anyone who needs it. By taking part in Dry January and raising money for Hospice UK, you can help us to ensure that everyone who needs hospice care, gets hospice care - no matter who they are or why they are ill.

Hospice UK is a national charity for hospice care which supports over 200 hospices in the UK and helps to provide a voice for the world of hospice care. Part of the ethos of hospice care is "a healthy and balanced approach to mind and body", and Hospice UK is hoping that Dry January will encourage their supporters to make healthy lifestyle choices and raise funds for hospice care. You can visit their website and learn more about them here.

When you sign up for Dry January you can choose to fundraise or donate what you save from not drinking to one of our partner charities. In doing so, you will be supporting great charities like Hospice UK. Visit our fundraising page to learn more.