About your stay at the Hospice
Everyone is accorded impartial access to Hospice regardless of race, colour, creed, sex, age, or financial status. Patients have the right to information concerning diagnosis, treatment, prognosis and services; to a second opinion; and to refuse or accept treatment based on informed consent. The Australian Charter of Health Care Rights brochure is available to each patient on admission to Hospice.
Every patient has the responsibility to provide full information to those involved in their treatment, care and support.
The Patient Care Team
Palliative Care Service
Albany Community Hospice forms one part of the Albany Palliative Care Service, and liaises with other Palliative Care Providers in order to give you, our patient, the best possible care.
Your GP remains the primary provider in your care and they will visit you on a regular basis. If your GP is not available, they will ensure that another GP covers for them. The GP will liaise with other doctors/specialists and may ask them to come and review your care if needed.
Registered Nurses are responsible for all clinical care, under the direction of your GP, or Medical Practitioner. Ongoing Palliative Care training ensures that the Registered Nurses deliver best practice care and stay abreast of any changes that occur in the Palliative Care area of specialty. Enrolled Nurses/Patient Care Assistants work under the direction of the Registered Nurse.
The Clinical or Hospice Manager oversees the day to day running of Hospice and is available to speak to Monday to Friday.
Volunteers are a treasured and dedicated part of the care team. They donate their time, effort and love to assist the nurses, and provide support and companionship to our patients and families. They assist in all areas of operation including being on the board of management, clerical work, meeting and greeting people, cooking and serving of meals, gardening, fund raising, patient support, and bereavement support.
Family and Carer Support Coordinator
The Family and Carer Support Coordinator will endeavour to make acquaintance with your family/significant others whilst you are in hospice in order to provide them with any support needed. She has a team of volunteers available to assist her.
Allied Health Professionals
Physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, social workers, wound care specialists, continence advisors etc. can be accessed from the Albany Health Campus on a consultation basis.
Patient and Family Information
Family meetings can be arranged by your care team on your or the staff’s request. These meetings are held to share information and plan care. They can involve you, as many family members as you wish, and various members of your care team.
Meals and food
Meals are served either in your room, or in the patient’s lounge. Meal times are flexible to meet your needs. You will be given a choice of food from a menu, although individual wishes and tastes will endeavour to be catered for. Do not be afraid to ask. To eat something is better than not eating anything.
Your family is very welcome to bring in your favourite foods. There is a kitchen they can use to prepare simple meals or reheat food and a fridge is available to store foods. Coffee and tea is available for your family at all times.
There are no set visiting hours and family/friends are welcome any time of the day. However, you as patient are the priority to the staff. If you are tired, ill, overwhelmed, or need time alone, it would be a good idea to restrict visitors to short visits, or to certain times and numbers, or altogether. Let the nurse know and she can work it out with you. If you have a large family/friend group, have them arrange a visiting roster so that it is manageable. One or two people are welcome to sleep overnight in the room with you if this would be beneficial to you.
Your GP remains in control of your medications. Your own prescribed medications will be used whilst in Hospice. If new, or more, medications are required your GP will write a script and your preferred community pharmacy will deliver the medications to Hospice. An invoice will be sent to you by the pharmacy. All medications will be kept in locked drawers in your room. Certain medications will require checking with two staff before being given to you.
You are advised not to keep money or items of value in your room. Nursing staff can arrange for these items to be locked away for safe keeping. However, it is preferred that family members take such items home. Albany Community Hospice does not accept any responsibility for valuables kept with you.
You, as patient, are free to have a glass of wine, or a beer with a meal. Visitors are not encouraged to have alcohol whilst on Hospice premises, and Hospice has a zero tolerance to the abuse of alcohol or illegal substances. Visitors who are deemed to be inebriated or behave inappropriately will be asked to leave.
In line with the Albany Health Campus policy, smoking is not permitted by patients or visitors in any part of the Hospice grounds or buildings. Nicotine replacement therapy is available to you should you need it. Please speak with the Registered Nurse on duty.
Your room is equipped with two televisions and a stereo system. You are encouraged to bring in your favourite music as the benefits of music on healing and relaxation are well known.
All electrical appliances such as laptops, DVD players, and shavers will need to be checked by the electrician prior to use. Please speak with the nurse on duty.
A portable phone is available so that family members/friends can speak to you. If it is urgent, outgoing calls can be arranged, but we would prefer you use your mobile if at all possible.
The dining/lounge area and courtyards can be used for family celebrations. Please liaise with the Registered Nurse prior to the event so that we can assist you in your preparations, with consideration for the other patients in our care.
Children are most welcome in hospice and we encourage you to spend this precious time together with your family. Please be considerate of other patients, and supervise your young ones. Toys and books are available in the patient lounge and feel free to shut your room door if you please.
Well behaved pets are welcome to visit their owner under strict supervision of their handlers. The handler is responsible for safety, cleanliness and noise control at all times.
Legal and Social Matters
If you need help with sorting out legal matters such as making of your will, appointing enduring power of attorney and enduring power of guardianship, advanced health directives, filling out paperwork for entrance into residential aged care facilities etc. please speak with the nurse. A social worker from the Palliative Care Team is available for assistance on consultation.
Being at peace with yourself and the journey you are on is very important. We do not have a chaplain in Hospice, but we do have a contact list of pastors, ministers, priests and spiritual leaders from the various churches and faiths in Albany. We are more than happy to contact them for you if you or your family would like to see someone.
Length of Stay
Albany Community Hospice will provide care as long as it is needed. However, we cannot provide long term residential care, and if your condition stabilises but you are unable to return to your home we will provide guidance and support to find another place of care. Repeated admissions for symptom control and carer respite are possible and to be expected throughout the course of your illness.
Tips to Make Your Stay as Pleasant as Possible
- Be open and honest with the staff so that they can help you as much as you need/desire it.
- Do not hide or minimise your symptoms/problems because this will increase your suffering and make the journey more difficult than it needs to be.
- Feel free to bring in your own pillows, soft toys and favourite blankets.
- Surround yourself with your own music.
- Bring in photos, pictures and personal items which remind you of the things you love.
- Tell your family/friends what is important to you.
- Should any aspects of care or service provided by Hospice fail to meet your expectations, and/or you have a suggestion to make, speak with the Registered Nurse or Hospice Manager and all efforts will be made to review the situation and come to an acceptable solution. “Compliments, comments and complaints” forms are available in this folder if you prefer.