Hospice not just for ‘palagi’

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

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.

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Pa­cific style: Mercy Hospice has a num­ber of key Pa­cific Is­land staff to en­sure mem­bers of the Pasi­fika com­mu­nity are catered for.

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