What is hospice?

Hospice is for people who have a life-limiting condition for which no cure can be anticipated. The aim of this care is to maximise the quality of a person’s life through care that extends beyond the physical needs of a person to their emotional, social and spiritual needs as well.

Hospice is like a hub for the provision of palliative care throughout the region it serves.

What does ‘hospice’ mean?

Hospice is a philosophy of care which focuses on supporting the needs of people who have a life-limiting condition. The concept of Hospice has been evolving since the 11th century. Then, and for centuries thereafter, hospices were places of hospitality for the sick, wounded or dying. The original name ‘hospice’ means “A place of rest for weary travellers”.

The modern concept of Hospice includes palliative care for the terminally ill in hospitals, nursing homes, institutions and in the community. Many of the foundational principles by which modern hospice services operate were pioneered in the 1950’s by Dame Cicely Saunders.

What is palliative care?

It is the care provided for people who have reached a stage where their condition or illness is terminal. Palliative care services are aimed at improving the quality of life for the person and their family/whanau. Palliative care aims to neither hasten or postpone death.

What is specialist palliative care?

Specialist palliative care teams work in a consultative role with general practitioners and other health care providers when the patients needs cannot be met by primary care teams, across a range of health care services from hospitals, hospice care, or in the community such as home or aged residential care.

Do I still see my GP?

Yes. Your GP is still your primary health care provider. Arohanui Hospice will work closely with your GP and other health care providers, such as District Nurses and specialists.

GP teams are trained in palliative care and work in partnership with Arohanui Hospice. You may even be eligible for free care by your GP team.

Is it true that once you go to a hospice you’re unlikely to leave?

No. Many patients spend a short time in hospice for symptom control and pain management, or respite care, before returning home where their care is continued. Most of the care hospice provides takes place within the community at the patient’s own home.

What does hospice care cost?

Hospice care is free of charge to patients and their families. Arohanui Hospice is only partly funded by the government and the remainder needed to ensure services remain free, is raised from the community through fundraising activities. Volunteers help to keep operating costs down by giving their time.

Who can qualify for hospice care?

Hospice is here to help anyone living with a life-limiting condition. Most who use this service are people with cancer, but include patients in advanced states of other illnesses such as respiratory or heart disease, motor neuron disease or HIV-AIDS. Patients are referred by their general practitioner or other health specialist.

What does hospice do to help the family?

Hospice care not only focuses on the patient, but also supports their family, whanau and friends. Hospice provides social work and family support professionals to offer personal and practical support to the families of patients. Arohanui Hospice has an open-door visiting policy, welcoming patients’ family and friends. Limited overnight accommodation is also available to those who wish to stay on the premises.

Hospice offers an inviting, comforting support-network, which provides wrap-around care for patients and their families, aiming to make each patient’s quality of life the best it can be.