16 May 2022
Harbour Hospice seeks community support to fill desperate need for nurses
Often described as “angels without wings”, hospice community nurses are in short supply and this Hospice Awareness Week [May 16 – 22] Harbour Hospice is asking the community to donate to help meet the growing demand for specialist palliative care.
Thanks to the generosity of donors, most Harbour Hospice patients are cared for at home during their final weeks and months of life, and it’s the community nurses, among many others, who play a huge part in making this happen.
“We don’t have enough specialist Hospice nurses and know that a growing number of people (and their families) need their support. More patients are being referred every week, and our local population is growing rapidly as well as ageing,” Harbour Hospice Chief Executive, Jan Nichols says.
Hospice Awareness Week is an opportunity to raise awareness of the incredible work of Hospice nurses, doctors, counsellors, social workers, cultural and spiritual support, physiotherapists and more. It’s a chance to share how your local hospice makes a difference to the lives of many families/whānau, helping people live every moment.
The charity is asking for people to donate to its Appeal online during Awareness Week and visit its Facebook page to share how hospice has made a difference to you and your family/whānau.
Kenina Court, who along with her family cared for her mother Clara Gillanders during 2018, says she was humbled by the amount of time that Hospice nurses spent with her mother, as well as the undivided care and attention they gave.
“Not once did I ever feel we were on a timetable. They gave Mum as much time as she needed to work her way through decisions. They were like that with the family too. They knew how to make us feel useful and we were encouraged to be a part of taking care of Mum. For us, that was an honour and a privilege.”
Kevin Cameron also cared for his wife of 50 years, Judith, at home in 2021 during the last 10 weeks of her life and says the nurses “came in and out of our home seamlessly”.
“We never felt judged, we never felt under any pressure. They always empathised and they had this way of making you feel like they’re always there. One night I rang them at midnight and the nurse who answered the phone was so reassuring. She told me, ‘Don’t worry, you’re doing the right thing. But if you have any more trouble, ring me back any time.’”
DID YOU KNOW? In the last year...
- 1 in 3 people who died in our community received our care
- 365 people across 2500 days received care in Harbour Hospice Inpatient Units
- It cost $14m to run its clinical service
*Harbour Hospice Impact Report, July 2020 - 30 June 2021