For much of last year, in-home support was suspended due to restrictions and uncertainty in relation to the COVID-19 Pandemic. It was a difficult time for those having to manage without our support, and our kind-hearted volunteers who desperately wanted to be able to help.
Thanks to a lot of hard work behind the scenes and the development of new COVID-safe volunteering procedures, we were able to resume Hospice in the Home late last year and keep it going through subsequent periods of lockdown and changing restrictions. As an organisation, we are constantly monitoring health and government advice to ensure we are operating withing guidelines, while minimising risk to our clients, their families, and our volunteers. This is no easy feat, but one we feel is worth the effort.
COVID-19 restrictions have limited support options for families providing end-of-life care at home, while increasing pressure to avoid admission to hospital or aged care. Unless death is imminent, patients are subjected to strict visiting restrictions and long, lonely days separated from their family and friends. The support provided by volunteers through Hospice in the Home has never been more vital or valued by its recipients.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful Hospice in the Home volunteers who have continued to provide essential caregiving to families this year. Without their dedication and willingness to follow an evolving list of COVID-safe volunteering procedures, we would be forced to stop service at a time when it is needed most. I would also like to thank our Committee of Management and Hospice staff for their contributions to keeping the doors open. It truly is a team effort.
Manager – Warrnambool & District Community Hospice