Warrnambool and District Community Hospice calls for volunteers

Warrnambool’s unique Hospice in the Home program is on the lookout for more volunteers to bolster its ranks.

The next round of training begins in February and assistant manager Fred Chatfield said a group of about eight volunteers would go through the fully-accredited course.

Volunteers help Warrnambool and District Community Hospice to provide practical assistance to dying patients, their families and carers and give family and carers the chance to take a break.

The not-for-profit organisation helps fill the gaps in existing services to allow people to achieve their final wish of dying at home.

Warrnambool and District Community Hospice's Eric Fairbank and Deidre Bidmade with some of the hospice in the home volunteers.

Warrnambool and District Community Hospice's Eric Fairbank and Deidre Bidmade with some of the hospice in the home volunteers.

Hospice in the home provides trained volunteers to fill the gaps in existing palliative care services, providing extended daytime, weekend, and overnight care to support the terminally ill and their families and carers.

Hospice president Eric Fairbank said volunteers were specially trained for their role.

“They can help with hygiene, make someone comfortable in bed, or just do practical tasks in the home so that families have more time to spend with the person who is dying,” he said. 

Dr Fairbank said most people died in hospital, although statistics show most would have preferred to be elsewhere.

“Although 70 per cent of people say they want to die in the familiar surroundings of their own home, with carers and pets around, rather than in the busy, clinical, and often noisy environment of a hospital with diminished privacy, only 14 per cent manage to do so,” he said. 

”Dying at home can leave wonderful memories of family closeness, the opportunity to give a loved person their final wishes, and lead to a peaceful and gentle death. Good memories, not bad ones.” 

For more information on Warrnambool and District Community Hospice visit www.wdchospice.org.au

To apply for a place in the program contact Lu Butler or Fred Chatfield on 0488 271 224 or email info@wdchospice.org.au for more details.

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