A charity which has provided equipment to improve the lives of hundreds of local people suffering long-term and terminal illnesses has held a fundraising coffee morning.
CACTI, which stands for Comfort and Care for the Terminally Ill, riases funds to buy equipment which goes directly to people in need, particularly those who are terminally ill and at home.
The charity recently held a fundraising coffee morning at Larne’s Prom Cafe on February 26.
The charity is completely dependant on public support to provide equipment such as pressure relieving mattresses and cushions, wheelchairs, electric risers, recliner chairs, pillow elevators, mobicare bed covers and one-way glide anti-slip sheets.
CACTI Chairperson Maggie Taggart told The Times that the group’s aim is to improve the comfort and safety of those suffering from illness who are being cared for at home. She explained: “We bridge the gap between district nurses and the Northern Trust.
“The district nurses assess the people and refer them to us if appropriate. For example, if someone is discharged from hopsital and can’t get proper equipment and we have it then we can supply it to them.
“This has increased since Transforming Your Care was introduced and a lot of people are being cared for in the community. The district nurses are under major pressure but they do an amazing job.
“I can source the equipment from a Bangor firm in a couple of days. We arrange for it to be provided, delivered and installed.
“It means that people can be comfortable and are able to stay at home during a difficult period.”
Maggie says that in addition to those suffering from terminal illnesses such as cancer, those suffering from long-term illnesses such as strokes or MS also use the service.
Maggie continued: “Families are very grateful and we have received lovely comments to say that people were so comfortable in their last days due to the chairs and beds. It gives the family peace of mind.”
While the equipment provided can cost hundreds of pounds, CACTI does not approach service users for donations.
However, some families whose loved ones who have benefitted ask for donations to the charity in lieu of flowers. Fundraising events such as coffee mornings take place throughout the year.”
Larne woman Diane Faulconer, whose family members have benefitted from CACTI’s services, commented: “My neice died two years ago and my mother died last September. CACTI are very good and they brought equipment to help them get out of bed and to help them walk, as well as pillows and things to make them a lot more comfortable.”
Prom Cafe worker Nan Barkley, whose father also received equipment from CACTI, added: “We got a special recliner for my father’s comfort otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to get himself up and down. It made him more comofrtable. CACTI do a brilliant job for the community.”