Social Support

There are various opportunities available to patients, their caregivers, and family/whanau to access support through Hospice Whanganui.

Social Work:

The Hospice Whanganui social worker is able to assist with accessing support to ensure our patient and their family/whanau are aware of all funding provision they may be entitled to.

The social worker is able to provide assistance with social and legal services which may include Enduring Power of Attorney, rates rebates, and more.

Our social worker is also able to assist patients and their family/whanau who are concerned with the social and/or emotional impact of their illness. These needs can be referred by nursing staff, or patients and family/whanau members can contact the social worker directly.

Support may be short or long-term as needed.

Bereavement support is also part of the role of the social worker.

Pastoral Care:

Hospice Whanganui respects the faith and beliefs of all.

Illness can lead people to think about some big questions, and sometimes it helps to talk to someone who can give you the time and space to put these kinds of concerns into words. Our Pastoral Care service is here to help you find a way forward that respects your own point of view and beliefs.

Members of the service are able to visit our patients regularly, either in our inpatient unit, or at the place they call home.

Spiritual or religious leaders from the community are also very welcome to visit patients while they are an inpatient.

Biography Service – Life Reflections:

Some patients want the opportunity to leave a record of their life story (or parts thereof) as a special legacy for their family/whanau.

Hospice Whanganui provide volunteers who are carefully selected and trained to sit with a patient and record their reflections of their life. Some patients provide photographs to add to the story. Once their story is typed it is then reviewed and edited as needed by the patient. The final document is then bound and presented to the patient.

This process can take several weeks, or months – depending on how well the patient is and how big the story is that needs telling! Our volunteers can visit patients in the place they call home, or the inpatient unit. All our volunteers believe that it is a privilege to participate in this project as some of the stories they are told have never been spoken of before.

Bereavement and Grief Support:

The Hospice Whanganui bereavement and grief support team consists of the social worker and a volunteer team who are all trained and experienced in grief support.

The next of kin receive invitations to bereavement events during the first year of mourning. These events are open to all relatives and friends and includes bereavement morning teas, a grief course called “Surviving Grief”, and a remembrance service held at the end of every year.

After the first year, if needed, people can continue to access support from the bereavement and grief support team.

Carer Support:

A carer support group is also offered (and encouraged) to caregivers of Hospice Whanganui patients. This three week programme provides support and covers physical aspects of all illnesses and the emotional phases that may occur for carers. The group is facilitated by one of our enrolled nurses and includes discussion with a registered nurse, pastoral care person and input from the social worker.