Hospice not just for ‘palagi’
Mercy Hospice will be spreading the word it isn’t just a ‘‘palagi service’’ at this weekend’s Pasifika celebrations.
The St Marys Bay-based hospice is joining forces with West Auckland Hospice to take part in the festival and facilitate better understanding of the cost-free palliative care services available to Pacific people.
In turn the hospitals would like to gain a better understanding of the needs of the Pacific community, Mercy Hospice social worker Maree Goh says.
‘‘Hospice is considered by many in the Pacific Community to be a ‘palagi’ service providing care that is different from the preferred model of care that is widely accepted,’’ Ms Goh says.
‘‘We see Pasifika as a great opportunity to engage with the Pacific Community this weekend and to hear what they would like.’’
Focus groups revealed that hospice is an unknown concept within the Pasifika community and very little is known about its services.
Over the weekend, hospice staff will man an exhibitor stand with materials describing its work, written in Samoan, Tongan, Cook Island and Niuean.
‘‘There is a belief that once you enter a hospice that you go there to die, but many patients simply come here to receive pain management or to offer their caregivers some respite,’’ Ms Goh says.
‘‘An increasing number of hospice patients wish to die at home, surrounded by their loved ones, and we try our best to accommodate this need. The majority of our work with our patients and their loved ones is actually community.’’
Mercy Hospice established a Culture Care project in June 2011 to extend its commitment to providing quality endof-life care to an increasingly diverse community.
The project is in keeping with the hospice’s values of advocating equal services for all of the community.
The hospice also has a number of key Pacific Island staff to enable better care for Pasifika patients.
Pacific style: Mercy Hospice has a number of key Pacific Island staff to ensure members of the Pasifika community are catered for.