Our organisation was formed in response to the needs of the dying and their carers and families in our community. It was started by a group of people including the recently retired specialist in Palliative Care, Dr Eric Fairbank AM and Palliative Care nurse Deidre Bidmade.
They recognised there was a gap in the services provided to palliative care patients and that many who wished to die at home could not be due to the need for additional support in the home which was not available at the time. The support was not of a medical nature but assistance to lift the burden from carers and family.
This support is now provided by volunteers, in our ‘Hospice in the Home’ program, who are specifically trained to give the additional assistance needed to prevent carer burnout. Planning for the service and raising of funds from the community began in 2010 and the service became operational in October 2015.
Our vision is for a caring and compassionate community that facilitates the choice to die in the comfort of home.
To support the provision of end-of-life care at home.
Compassion: We act with genuine warmth, understanding and empathy when listening, and responding to the needs of people.
Care: We have a person-centred approach to supporting the wellbeing of our clients, carers, and the workforce who supports them.
Community: We recognise that it takes a village to create opportunities for people to live and die well.
Choice: We believe people should have care options and be able to decide how and where they spend their final days.
Benefits Of Our Service
Since operations officially commenced in 2015, Warrnambool and District Community Hospice has positively impacted the community in the following valuable ways…
More locals are spending their final days at home – The rate of people dying at home in Warrnambool and district has risen from below the national average to more than double it.
Over half the people referred to the Hospice fulfill their wish to die at home – Many others are able to remain home longer thanks to the support they’ve received from the Hospice.
There is a reduced burden on local healthcare services – Hospice in the Home frees up hospital and aged care beds for those who really need them.
Public funds are stretching further – With the average daily cost of in-patient palliative care in excess of $1100, less people is hospitals allows funding and resources to be redirected to other areas of benefit to the wider community.
Valuable carers are receiving more care – The services provided by Hospice are designed to reduce the physical, emotional and financial load on the family and friends who take on the role of carer. Not only does this help prevent fatigue and “carer burnout”, it also allows family and friends to focus on their loved one and the things that really matter.
There is less emotional pain and trauma for the people left behind – When family and friends are able to help fulfil a dying person’s wish to stay at home, it gives them a sense of value and purpose and can help them in their grief.