So much more than just a build­ing

The Invercargill Eye - - CONVERSATIONS - DENISE VAN AALST

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

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