There are many misconceptions and myths associated with Hospice care, including what happens when you are referred to the Hospice, where your care takes place, how care is paid for and what care is provided.
Here are some common misconceptions that have been communicated to Hospice staff. The facts and truth in response to these statements might surprise you.
MYTH: Hospice is a place to die
FACT: Whilst some patients do come to the Hospice to die, most prefer to die in the comfort of their own home, surrounded by the people that love them, their pets and their personal treasures.
Only 31% of Hospice patients were admitted into the inpatient unit last year, usually for a short stay to manage symptoms before they go home again, or to assist with the transition from hospital to home.
Arohanui Hospice takes a holistic approach to care, considering the physical, emotional, cultural, social, and spiritual needs of our patients and their families. Our wrap around service includes both patients and their families with social and bereavement support to navigate their end-of-life journey.
MYTH: Hospice only cares for people with cancer
FACT: The Hospice cares for people with any life-limiting illness which, at the time of referral to the service, is incurable and the patient is expected to live less than 12 months.
Last year 71% of the Hospice’s patients had a cancer diagnosis. Whilst this is a large majority of patients, many patients have other diseases such as respiratory, renal or heart disease, motor neurone disease to name a few.
MYTH: Hospice is that building on Heretaunga Street
FACT: Arohanui Hospice inpatient unit is situated at 1 Heretaunga Street in Palmerston North. The inpatient unit (IPU) has a ten-bed facility for overnight stays and one bed for day procedures.
On average there are 38 admissions into the IPU every month, with the average length of stay being six days. This service is offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
With only 31% of the Hospice’s patients being admitted into the IPU, most of our care is delivered in the community by a team of specialist palliative care nurses that visit patients in their own homes, and also work alongside aged residential care providers to support our older patients.
MYTH: Hospice only cares for old people
FACT: Hospice care is provided to patients with a wide age range, typically from 18 years onwards.
MYTH: Hospice is funded by the District Health Board, so why do you need my help?
FACT: Arohanui Hospice is partially funded by the Ministry of Health receiving around 50% of the core operating costs from the MidCentral District Health Board and the Whanganui District Health Board.
The Hospice is committed to providing our services at no cost to patients or their family. However, whilst the services are provided free-of-charge they still cost the Hospice to deliver. The remaining 50% or $3.5 million required is fundraised each financial year to address the core operating shortfall.
This is achieved through a variety of initiatives, including five Hospice shops across the region, the Farming for Hospice programme, generous donations, and bequests from individuals. Arohanui Hospice also hold a series of fundraising events each year and receive grants and financial or in-kind support from local and national business partnerships, as well as support from community groups and service clubs.
About Arohanui Hospice
Arohanui Hospice provides specialist end-of-life care to people with life-limiting illnesses, from which a cure or recovery is not anticipated.
The Hospice’s vision is that “all people with life-limiting conditions live well and die well, irrespective of their condition or care setting”.
Established in 1991, Arohanui Hospice delivers excellent care to people in our community with life limiting illnesses and support to their families/whānau. They pride themselves on providing excellent palliative care to our patients and the wider medical community, so that those in our region with life-limiting illnesses can ‘live every moment’ with empathy and compassion … and above all, with aroha.