A cancer diagnosis is upsetting for any family. One of the core activities of the Junts Contra el Càncer (Together Against Cancer) organisations is to offer services to patients, family members and carers in order to improve their quality of life during all the phases of cancer treatment. Below are the main support areas and services for patients and families afforded by the Junts Contra el Càncer organisations.
INFORMATION ON THE DISEASE
LEISURE IN HOSPITAL
WORKSHOPS AND ACTIVITIES
This section covers the services that Junts Contra el Càncer provides for patients and their families to help resolve their most immediate daily problems and practical issues that must be considered when a person is diagnosed with cancer, throughout the whole of the treatment process.
1. Economic aid.
This service provides economic resources which the Junts Contra el Càncer organisations give directly to patients or families in financial straits so they can access the treatments or services they require.
2. Housing .
Junts Contra el Càncer offers free accommodation to patients and their families who need to move to another city to receive a specific treatment or therapeutic process for recovery.
3. Guidance for finding external resources .
This service provides advice about the external resources that may be useful and accessed by patients and their families.
4. Loan of clinical material.
This resource facilitates the free provision of clinical material to the patient’s home, improving his or her wellbeing and supporting the work of the carer.
5. Legal advice (work information).
This is an information service regarding the work rights and obligations that can affect cancer patients and the family members who care for them.
6. Home Assistance Service (HAS).
HAS allows oncology patients to lengthen their stay in their family home and lighten the load of the principal caregivers through the support of family workers.
7. Home Care Service.
The Home Care Service allows the cancer patient to remain at home for longer and further alleviates the main carer’s burden by means of Family Worker support.
8. Social Worker.
This professional advises patients and relatives, in relation to their particular case, on the services that best adapt to their needs, as well as administrative and/or legal measures that can be useful.
9. Dietary advice.
This service is offered by a diet and nutrition expert who provides information on the most suitable diet for the patient at every moment of his or her treatment.
10. Loans of other material.
This resource facilitates the free provision of leisure, educational, electronic and audiovisual material to the patient’s home or during his or her stay at hospital.
11. Wig bank.
This service provides wigs on loan to cancer and blood disease patients.
12. Oncological aesthetics advice.
Advice on skin care carried out by volunteers. The program provides some basic guidelines and simple solutions to minimize the possible effects of cancer treatments.
This section shows the services offered by the Junts Contra el Càncer organisations to provide guidance and psychological support to patients diagnosed with cancer, seeking the wellbeing and psychological and emotional quality of life of patients and their families.
This is a guidance service focused on providing short-term, dynamic and quick assistance on specific difficulties where the health professional, together with the patient and his or her family, can find the best solution to their problems
2. Clinical, emotional and psychotherapeutic support
This service provides emotional support as well as the possibility of carrying out a therapeutic process, either individually or with the whole family, moderated by a group of psychooncologists.
3. Support Groups
These are groups of people who have suffered or are currently affected by the disease and/or their relatives. The sessions are guided by therapists and focus on resolving difficulties.
4. Mourning groups
These are groups formed by family members who are dealing with the loss of a loved one. The groups are guided by specialised therapists and consist of people in the same situation. The aim is to help families adapt to this new situation.
5. Group Therapy
Group intervention led by professional therapists specialized in oncology. It involves the application of psychotherapeutic techniques to a group of patients to facilitate psychosocial adaptation to the disease, to its treatment and to cancer survival.
6. Sex and marital therapy
Advice and support to resolve the difficulties in the relationship and the fear of intimacy. As well, it contributes to a better marital relationship in order to facilitate adaptation to the disease and the treatments.
Manual therapies are a series of therapies focused on providing physical wellbeing for cancer patients by means of therapeutic massages.
1. Reflex therapy
Reflex therapy is a service that provides a therapeutic foot massage, acting by means of a reflex reaction to restore the energy currents which activate and balance the tone and vitality of the organs which it influences. This type of massage is always provided under medical consent.
2. Chiropractic massage/Other Massages
This service carried out by physiotherapists and professional masseurs proposes different types of massages for complete physical wellbeing, alleviating tension and improving the physical condition of the cancer patient.
3. Home physiotherapy
Service providing quality of life and physical well-being with the recovery and/or maintenance of potentially diminishing physical capabilities in palliative care patients through physiotherapy rehabilitation work.
These are services to handle the consequences of cancer treatments.
1. Throat cancer rehabilitation
An educational proposal targeted at throat cancer patients to help them get their voice back and learn to talk again. New skills and abilities of great use in their new conditions are worked on to foster autonomy and adaptation to the new situation.
2. Lymphatic drainage
This service improves the lymphatic system, with a consequent improvement in the mobility of the affected member; at the same time, it helps to remove lymphatic liquid. It is especially suitable for lymphedema treatment in women who have undergone breast cancer surgery.
These are the services offered by the Juntas contra el Càncer organisations to patients and relatives in hospital, to make their stay more pleasant.
1. Entertainment Rooms/Clowns
This service offers recreational spaces for children and young cancer patients, as well as performances put on by professionals to transmit hope and wellbeing to the children and young people during their stay in hospital.
2. Workshops/ Leisure
These cover various activities targeted at children of different ages and seek to teach and amuse the patients and lighten their spirits.
3. Therapeutic elements
These are suggestions that help make the time spent in hospital more pleasant.
This service provides cancer patients with an informal meeting space to improve their wellbeing.
This involves different activities targeted at adults to foster their physical and emotional wellbeing during and after treatment: reike, sophrology personal development, qigong, laughter therapy, music therapy, breathing workshops, sewing classes, dietary information…
2. Children’s Camps/Trips
Monitored activities organised for a week or week-end and targeted at the children and young people who have suffered a disease; this beneficial experience permits the children to make new friends with whom they can share their experiences.
The Junts Contra el Càncer affiliated organisations draw on volunteers to improve the quality of life of cancer patients and their families. These volunteers are defined according to their functions.
1. Hospital Volunteering
This kind of volunteering, in the oncology field, involves acting as a companion, organising recreational and educational activities, providing emotional support and contributing to the smooth operation of the various therapeutic programmes. The volunteers make life in hospital more pleasant for patients and attempt to take their mind off their disease. The volunteers make the most of the long hours of free time to organise activities of interest.
2. Testimonial volunteering
These volunteers have first-hand experience with the disease (either because they have been through it or because they are close to someone who has). They know perfectly well the physical and psychological problems that cancer brings and enough time has gone by for them to have overcome all the difficulties. They share their experience and resources and provide information on all these aspects in order to support patients and help them adapt to their new situation.
3. Home Volunteering
These volunteers offer entertainment and companionship to the cancer patient in his or her home. Home volunteers provide support on a daily basis and aid with practical aspects of daily life, trying to encourage the personal autonomy of the patient and making it possible for the main carers and other family members to take a break and feel supported.
4. Volunteering in activities and trips
These volunteers accompany and support children with cancer in activities and on excursion, camps and trips, acting as monitors and companions.
5. Logistic Support Volunteering
These volunteers normally don’t have any personal contact with the cancer patient. They take part in organisational tasks and help develop the activities organised by the Junts Contra el Càncer organisations (conferences, charitable social events, etc.), help out in fund-raising campaigns and provide administrative and management support.
6. Government Positions Volunteering
These are the people who belong to the boards of directors or sponsors of the different organisations, who hold a representative, managerial and administrative position in each entity, as well as in Catalan Federation of Organisations Against Cancer (FECEC) organisations.