Palliative care providing service in time of need
24 May 2021
Benalla Health staff and patients are celebrating the important role palliative care provides in the community.
National Palliative Care Week will be held from 23 to 29 May, with the theme Palliative Care – it’s more than you think.
Benalla Health Acting Chief Executive Officer Andrew Nitschke said that Benalla Health Palliative Care team was made up of three staff, working with 48 patients and 80 clients.
“Palliative care is a vital service to our Benalla community, but is so much more than end of life care,” he said.
“It allows people living with a life-limiting illness to live as well as they can, and our dedicated staff are well-trained in helping our patients manage pain and symptoms to ensure their quality of life is maintained.”
Benalla Health Loss and Grief Coordinator April Betheras said her work supports people and their families, particularly around grief and bereavement.
“The services provided as part of palliative care are a valuable exchange of knowledge, experience and support and recognises the important and special understanding of people caring for those close to them,” she said.
“I have learnt so much from people we care for and like to think that I am able to take what I learn from patients and families and share this special knowledge with others in their time of need.”
Genevieve Bancilhon, who lost her husband Michael in 2020, said palliative care was vital.
“Because of the service, we were able to bring Mike home at his request and had the opportunity to surround him with those who loved him and who had shared his life with him,” she said.
“I believe it is a choice that everyone should be given to share these precious moments and grieve together while the person is aware and able to respond.
“Of course, it is hard and heartbreaking something no one wants to go through. However, at the other end when all is finished, I honestly believe that it helped tremendously with the grieving time.”
Former client Jude A Hoskin said the palliative care team and district nurses were wonderful to her mother during her illness.
“They treated her with dignity and respect and their care and compassion also extended to me as her carer, even offering a counselling service after her passing,” she said.
“I could not have coped and done it all on my own without their help during such as emotional time.
Volunteer and client Jean Hamilton said that she would always be grateful to the team for their support.
“Palliative care is a most wonderful service to help people and families through one of the most difficult times in their lives,” she said.
“I have personally experienced their help when my husband passed and as a volunteer l have seen other families benefit from the loving care given by the palliative care team.”
To find out more about palliative care in Benalla, go to https://www.benallahealth.org.au/CommunityHealth/PalliativeCare-611/