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Hospice Awareness Week

Hospice Awareness Week

The national awareness week for the 29 hospice services throughout the country runs from 11-18 May and is an opportunity for everyone to step back from the daily grind and think about who and what is important and what living every moment means in a personal sense.

“You don’t have to be dying from a life limiting condition to take the opportunity to review how your life is going, to ask yourself what living every moment means to you” explains Mary Schumacher, CEO, Hospice NZ.

“The purpose of Hospice Awareness Week is to raise awareness of the care and support the 29 hospice services around the country provide – but also to spread the underpinning philosophy of hospice – to live every moment – throughout the community” continues Ms Schumacher Hospice is no just a building it is a philosophy of care which extends beyond physical needs, encompassing emotional, spiritual and social needs of a person and their family.

Beth, whose husband and family used their local hospice service several years ago recounts the time as a very special time for the whole family.

“When were told hospice was something we should consider, we thought that meant the end.

In hindsight it was the beginning of a very special time for our family. Doug was only in the hospice inpatient facility for a few days the first time.

Nothing was too much trouble, we joked that he better not get used to being waited on! Family and friends could visit anytime; our son ended up staying the night in his room more than once.

The support continued when he came home, Sue, his nurse visited often to make sure we were coping. It wasn’t just Doug she was checking on, she always made time for me.

There were times when I had to admit that I needed a break – that is when we discovered the day stay programme, where Doug could go for a few hours a couple of times a week and talk with others in a similar situation, share a meal and speak to the support staff running the group if he felt like talking.

After he died they suggested I talk with a grief counsellor, which really helped. The hospice made a terrible time not only bearable but in a funny way enjoyable. It is truly remarkable we didn’t have to pay a cent for such wonderful care and support.

I will never forget the kindness of the volunteers and nurses. Thanks to hospice we didn’t have to worry about caring for George, we could just love and spend time with him - what a remarkable gift”

“It is not uncommon for people to comment that becoming involved with hospice is nothing like they expected and they wish they had been in contact sooner” Mary says.

Hospice Patron Jo Seagar encourages everyone to get into Hospice Awareness Week. “I really hope everyone takes the opportunity to support their local hospice – there is so much happening throughout the country. Open days, memorial services, street appeals and hospice cuppa events.

More information can be found on hospice.org.nz. Take a look and get involved”
ends

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