Lit­tle things that count

Pal­lia­tive care vol­un­teers do their part

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Danielle Jarvis

MT Druitt Hos­pi­tal’s pal­lia­tive and sup­port­ive care unit has started a vol­un­teer pro­gram to raise the qual­ity of life for those with ter­mi­nal ill­ness.

The West­ern Syd­ney Pal­lia­tive Care Vol­un­teer Ser­vice will see vol­un­teers spend­ing time with pa­tients, do­ing any­thing from hand mas­sages and read­ing the news­pa­per to go­ing for walks in the gar­den.

“This vol­un­teer pro­gram was in­tro­duced as a re­sult of a statewide re­view of the ser­vices avail­able for pal­lia­tive care pa­tients,” vol­un­teer co-or­di­na­tor Kylie Clark said.

“Pal­lia­tive care al­lows pa­tients with a life-lim­it­ing ill­ness to have the best qual­ity of life while re­ceiv­ing this care.”

Gor­don Mun­day, 71, of Plump­ton, said he was ex­cited about the pro­gram.

“It’s some­thing I’ve been look­ing for­ward to,” Mr Mun­day said.

“It just fits in with my time. I drive spe­cial needs kids to and from school. So I’ll be vol­un­teer­ing be­tween 9.30am and 2pm. I just can’t sit still; I’ve got to be con­tribut­ing some­thing. Life’s too short to just sit back and waste time.”

Mr Mun­day said qual­ity was im­por­tant for those at the end of their life.

“It’s some­thing we look for, even when we’re healthy, but these peo­ple have been given a ter­mi­nal ill­ness,” he said.

“We’ll be do­ing all those lit­tle things: mas­sag­ing their hands, tak­ing them out into the gar­den, read­ing to them, or get­ting them cof­fee.”

For more de­tails, call 9881 1695 or email kylie.clark@health.nsw.gov.au.

Mt Druitt Hos­pi­tal pal­lia­tive and sup­port­ive care vol­un­teer Gor­don Mun­day and pa­tient Brian Jolly, of Rooty Hill.

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