So much more than just a building
Most people think about Hospice Southland in the physical sense – the building, couches, and beds for instance.
We have a lot of great equipment, much of it donated by people or groups in our community, which help patients feel comfortable and well-looked after, from the electric beds for better positioning to the syringe drivers that administer medication over a period of time.
We are lucky enough to have a warm, inviting, and comfortable building to treat patients in.
They appreciate the meals that are lovingly prepared to suit their needs and personally delivered by the house manager.
They feel comfortable in their clean, warm and spacious rooms.
They appreciate the comfortable furniture.
But take a minute to stop and think about all these things.
They are all inadequate without our staff who bring all these items to life.
Hospice Southland needs $4 million every year to keep its doors open.
About half of that comes from government funding and the remaining half needs to be raised through grants, fundraising and donations.
It goes towards wages, fuel, cars, equipment, maintenance, food, computers, and supplies – just to name a few things.
At any given time we have about 120 patients on our books.
Most are out in the community, in their own homes.
Which is where our community team comes in.
They spend most of their time travelling throughout Southland and the Wakatipu caring for the community.
Sometimes we can have as many as six patients in the inpatient unit.
When they come through our front door our main priority is to get them well enough to return home.
It is not a one-way ticket.
I have found people who come through our doors say it’s such an amazing place.
But it’s not about the things, it’s about the care they receive from our team of wonderful staff.
It’s not just the people working in the hospice who make the difference.
It’s also you, who donate time or money towards our charity.
While it is our staff who take care of the patients, it is you who help to take care of us, to make sure we can carry on providing our service at no cost.
We appreciate everyone who supports us in any way, shape or form.
As part of our striving to be the best we can and give the best service to the people of Southland and the Wakatipu Basin, we have recently rewritten our core values.
They are collaborative, engaging, respectful and passionate.
All these are centred around the value we believe is most important – gratitude.
Denise van Aalst is the clinical manager for Hospice Southland.
Hospice Southland clinical manager Denise van Aalst