Thank You Cnr Bob La Castra

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Dear Councillor La Castra,

On behalf of our compassionate community, our residents, volunteers, families, staff and nurses, we’d like to thank you for your most recent support of Hopewell Hospice and it’s Outreach services. It’s very difficult to put a monetary value on reducing stress, anxiety and depression and even harder to trail the impact that these experiences can have within a family circle, let alone the pressure on our Health system.

Through the support of your Divisional Grant, Hopewell Hospice was able to sup port 102 individuals caring for a loved one at the end of life at home as well as individuals coping with grief . The support was timely as it came at a particularly difficult period for many people dealing with loss in lead up to the festive season from November to December.

Through our Community Outreach Support and Bereavement Services, we allocated the funding to the following services:

Outreach Calls – 54 Clients

Our Outreach service is a much needed resource that takes the time to empower members of our community caring for someone facing end of life as well as for the palliative person. Our staff can give callers an overview of the range of services available an d take the time to explain how different services dovetail to complement their needs. These calls take the time to focus and support individual needs. For example, one call received was able to support a couple, whose husband had the wish to die at home, but for the wife the idea of continuing living in the same apartment after the experience was difficult. By having a frank and honest conversation with both parties, our Outreach staff were able to support the husband understand the long term impact of his wish. Building a supportive relationship eased many fears faced by this couple. It also meant that when the time came for the husband to need the extra level of care, the transition from home to the hospice was seamless with the familiar support officer on hand to welcome him into our care.

Outreach Visits – 1 Client

Our Outreach staff work alongside the nursing services available on the GC to help ease the pressure on carers ensuring that they are emotionally and socially supported. We know the difference this can make, we believe it can reduce the need for hospitalisation as a result of stress and the illness. Feedback we received recently and typically is encapsulated by a carer as follows, “We really appreciate the Hospice Outreach staff coming out to see us in our own home. Their guidance, support and understanding is so valuable during this very stressful time in our lives”. During this period the support we received from you enabled a visit to a mother caring for her daughter at the end of life; because a relationship and trust had been established through the Outreach phone calls, this visit meant that when our staff visited and assessed the situation which required the next level of support, both mother and daughter were comfortable with the idea of moving the daughter into the hospice.

Bereavement Calls – 26 Clients

Two to three months after the death of a partner is the hardest time. The business of funeral arrangements, estates are dealt with, the solace offered by friends and family starts to fade and life gets back to normal, except this is where normal faces the harsh reality of the loss and the grief. This is when our Counsellor makes a call to check in to have that conversation which starts with, ”How are you?”. From here Hopewell offers either one on one counselling support or an invitation to the monthly bereavement group. Your support this Christmas was invaluable as it offered twenty six grieving members of our community support to face their first ‘festive’ season without their partner. By supporting us you have enabled this free service to continue caring for people at their most vulnerable.

Bereavement Group – 21 Clients

Our wonderful counsellor facilitates a monthly bereavement group for members who have lost someone at Hopewell. Over time this group has become a very nurturing and supportive family. They have self - directed activities outside the group and are on hand to care for each other through the ups and downs of bereavement. They are very welcoming to newcomers and know through their own experience what may lie ahead, thus being very receptive and supportive. This group is important because of the isolation faced by many of our community members who have chosen the Gold Coast for a sea change, away from family only to find themselves isolated when their partner dies. This year it was great to see members of our group spend Christmas day together.

Cnr La Castra; they needed us and you were here to help us support vulnerable members of our community during a very difficult time.

Thank You

Board, Staff, Nurses, Families and Volunteers

Hopewell Hospice