Knowing that you have an incurable illness can leave you with questions and sometimes a feeling of uncertainty.

The Pilgrims team can support you to talk about your wishes and help to answer any questions.

Support groups and information

Hearing that your illness cannot be cured can be distressing and there is a lot to take in. Afterwards you may have questions about what is going to happen to you physically, to your family, at work and about the future.

It can be helpful to talk with others who are in a similar situation, and hear how they cope with these feelings.

Our team of professionals is available to answer any questions you may have. Pilgrims also runs a range of social support groups for people who are living with an incurable illness at venues across east Kent.

We can also tell you about other local groups, email contact, phone lines and web forums.

Expressing your future wishes

Serious illness and ageing bring challenges that it’s natural to avoid thinking about. At the same time, planning ahead and making your preferences known is a good way to make sure that anyone who provides care for you, whether that’s family or health professionals, tailors that care to your wishes.

‘Advance Care Planning’ (ACP) is another important talking tool that hospices, GPs and other professionals can use to help someone plan quality care towards the end of life. It’s also a tool that anyone can use to express their wishes.

Pilgrims runs regular Advance Care Planning workshops, inviting people using our services to talk about their future care and wishes.

The workshops give information and the opportunity to discuss experiences or concerns about expressing patients’ preferences and wishes for their future care. Family and friends can be there, too, if you want that.

Knowing what to expect: a Pilgrims guide

As you reach the end of your life, you may have a range of concerns about your journey.

It can understandably be very hard to talk about these, but knowing what to expect can help you make the most of the time you have.

Pilgrims, together with other care providers in east Kent, has written a short helpful pack for patients nearing the last stage of life to support some of these conversations.

The guide covers issues such as choosing where you want to be looked after, sorting out unfinished business and getting financial help. It also offers guidance on who can help if you are being cared for at home and what to expect in the last few days of life.

If there is anything you want to talk through with one of the Pilgrims team you can also call our Advice Line 24/7, or talk with your GP if you think you might benefit from a referral to our services.