May 14–20 is Hospice Awareness Week 2018, an opportunity for communities to better understand how local hospices can help people who are dying, and their families, ‘live every moment’. “Many people dearly wish to be cared for at home, close to their loved ones”, says Ms Schumacher.
Hospice care is holistic, considering a person’s physical, emotional, social, cultural and spiritual needs. Hospices care for families and caregivers as well, both before and after a death. Most care is provided in the community, and it is completely free of charge for patients and their families.
People are often not aware that hospices provide care for people of any age, with any life limiting condition. Around 25% of people accessing hospice services have a diagnosis other than cancer – life limiting conditions such as heart disease, respiratory disease or motor neurone disease.
- Hospice is not just a building; it is a philosophy of care. The majority of people receiving support are cared for in their homes.
- Our goal is to help people make the most of their lives; to live every moment in whatever way is important to them.
- Hospices can provide care and support for anyone living with a life limiting condition – e.g. heart failure, motor neurone disease, MS or cancer.
- We care for the whole person, not just their physical needs but also their emotional, spiritual, and social needs too.
- We care for families and friends as well, both before and after a death.
- Hospices are independent charitable organisations providing care and support completely free of charge to people using our services.
- Whilst free of charge to people using hospice services it costs a lot to provide, in 2016 it will cost over $100m nationally.
- As an essential health service provider, hospices receive the majority of funding from Government; financial support from the community is essential to meet the shortfall – in 2015 the total required from fundraising efforts was more than $45M nationally.