Hospice Care

This short clip gives you an overview of hospice services in New Zealand.

Whilst the majority of hospice services have inpatient facilities, it is important to know that hospice is not just building; it is a philosophy of care.

Hospice provides palliative care which is a specialist medical service specifically for people who are dying.  Palliative care is very active total care – it is not about giving up and doing nothing.

Palliative care is for people whose illness is no longer curable, the goal is around providing quality of life, managing pain and symptoms to enable people to live every moment in whatever way is important to them.   Whilst physical needs like managing pain and symptoms are a priority, equal importance is placed on cultural, emotional, spiritual and social needs as the end of life approaches.   Support is also provided for family and whānau both before and after the death of their loved one.

There are 33 hospices services in New Zealand, covering most parts of the country.  Please click here to find your local service.

When support is offered

Most often people are referred to hospice when their illness is no longer curable, when their illness has entered a terminal phase.  In some circumstances people may be referred whilst still undergoing treatment – e.g. radiotherapy for symptom management.  It is important to talk to your key health care provider about the options available, including hospice care.

Many people feel fearful of accepting a referral to hospice as they view it as the “end of the road”.  However in most cases we hear people say they wished they have become involved with hospice sooner.

End of life care does not mean doing nothing and just letting someone die, it is not about “giving up”.  Stopping a treatment does not mean no treatment, palliative care is very active total care.

How to access support

There are two main ways to be referred to hospice for support – through a health care provider (hospital team, G.P, aged care facility) or self referral.

Please talk to your health care provider or care team about gaining a referral to hospice or you can contact your local hospice service directly or on behalf of your loved one or friend to find out more about the referral criteria in your location.

What does it cost?

All care and support provided by hospice is completely free of charge to people using our services.

As an essential health service hospice services receive the majority of funding from Central Government, it costs around $155M each year to provide the care we do.  Fundraising plays an important part in keeping services free of charge.  Each year we need to raise around $77M from the community to bridge the gap.

Services offered

The services offered will differ from hospice to hospice but are likely to include:

  • medical and nursing care
  • cultural support and liaison
  • pain and symptom control
  • therapies, including physiotherapy and complementary therapies
  • spiritual support and care
  • practical and financial advice
  • bereavement care
  • training and support services for family carers
  • support groups e.g children’s bereavement support, art therapy groups, bereaved men’s group

©2019 Hospice New Zealand

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