20 February, 2020

Hospice has started a public discussion about training volunteers to support adults who are unwell but not ready for specialist palliative care.

When we heard of a Canadian programme that was tackling this issue, we invited its founder to come to New Zealand to share her experience.

With generous support from the Ralph and Eve Seelye Trust, we organised a public symposium where Dr Wendy Duggleby shared insights from the successful Canadian programme, Nav-CARE. She also led a discussion about how such a programme might work in New Zealand.

Nav-CARE trains volunteer navigators to advocate for those needing support, coordinate access to services and promote connections and activity. Volunteers are people from Hospices, aged residential care and health boards attended the discussion and many were interested in looking at next steps. These could include a pilot programme in one of the Harbour Hospice communities, as an extension of our existing volunteer training programme.

People volunteer at the shops for all sorts of reasons. For some, it’s a way of giving back after a loved one has received hospice care. For others, it’s a way to make friends or reconnect with their community after living elsewhere. Some are customers who fall in love with the op shop culture and others follow a family tradition.

Wendy Duggleby and Barbara Pesut developed Nav-CARE after research found people living at home, aged 65- plus, often did not receive the support they needed, especially in the transition between chronic illness and specialist palliative care. This was because seniors were less aware of how to connect with the support and resources available to them.



Harbour Hospice Clinical Services Manager Bev Platt, Dr Wendy Duggleby, Harbour Hospice Medical Officer Heidi Conway and Professor Rod McLeod at the Nav-CARE Symposium.

Nav-CARE Bev, Wendy, Heidi and Rod blog