Hospice is for people dealing with any life-limiting illness – effectively any illness that will end the person’s life.
These illnesses include, but are not limited to, heart failure, kidney failure, motor neurone disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), dementia, cancer.
Hospice support is available for people of all ages.
Hospice supports individuals with a life-limiting illness but also their family and carers.
Hospice can provide many forms of support to enhance the quality of life for individuals and families. These include sitting, biography writing, counselling, and therapies such as massage, reiki, reflexology and relaxation. Most of these can be provided at home. All services are free for clients and their families throughout Mid Canterbury. Books are also available for borrowing from the Hospice library. (See explanations below.)
Sitting provides caregivers the opportunity to have a rest, or do something for themselves, which helps them to keep a degree of balance in their life. For the person who is not well, it gives a break from their daily reality – having some different company where the focus is not on their illness but on doing things that they enjoy. This may simply be conversation or having the newspaper read to them, but in many cases it may involve getting out and about for a drive, going to a movie, or playing games.
Having life stories recorded is a very popular service. Our clients enjoy being able to take the time to recount their memories with one of our biographers, and many find it a very therapeutic process. The finished product becomes a treasured memento for the person’s family.
Counselling is available both for clients, caregivers and family members, providing strategies for coping at different stages of the journey.
Counselling can be hugely valuable for both the individual and their family members. Unresolved matters can make dying harder and grieving more difficult for those left behind. Hospice recognises that a person who comes to terms with dying has a less stressful death, and that the family benefits from a less complicated grieving process.
Bereavement counselling is also available for the family after the death of a client.
Massage, reiki and reflexology therapies can help to provide comfort, relaxation and relieve anxiety. Lymphodema massage is available for those who require it.
We have a comprehensive collection of books available for any members of the community to borrow.
These books include books for children, teens and adults, dealing with the subjects of illness, dying, grief, and caregiving.
Many people think that accepting hospice support means that the person has given up hope. In fact, hospice support enables a person to live every moment in whatever way is important to them.. The focus may now be on any number of things such as wanting to spend as much time as possible with loved ones, seeing an old friend, or visiting the beach. It also helps people with daily tasks such as shopping at the supermarket or getting to appointments. Hospice can help people to fulfil wishes and maintain hope.
All hospice support is completely free of charge.
Hospice Mid Canterbury is currently based in an office at Community House, 44 Cass St, Ashburton.
We are a community hospice which means we offer support for people at home or in rest homes. This support is provided by a team of trained volunteers and contracted service providers coordinated by the Hospice Manager.
We do not provide clinical care or 24 hour inpatient services.
Hospice encompasses a wide range of supports beyond clinical care, focusing on enhancing quality of life.