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Improving palliative care through volunteering in Southwestern Victoria

  • by Volunteer Hub
  • February 4, 2017

Pic and original story by Madeleine McNeil in The Standard.

Palliative care volunteers are needed to help reduce the pressure on family members caring for a loved one.

South West Healthcare South Western (Victoria) Regional Palliative Care Team co-ordinator Andrea Janes said volunteers would help to support patients and give their regular carers a much-needed break.

She is calling for volunteers from both Corangamite and Moyne shires to give an hour or two per week or fortnight.

Mrs Janes said tasks could include sitting with patients so their carers can do some shopping or attend personal appointments, visiting patients, taking them for a drive or giving them hand and foot massages.

The volunteer could also help the patient complete the autobiography initiative My Life, My Memories.

Mrs Janes said volunteers would receive ongoing training and support.

“It’s an opportunity to take the pressure of their families,” Mrs Janes said.

“If we don’t have these volunteers out there we’re often very limited with the support we can put in place.

“Currently we have 33 palliative care volunteers helping with our Warrnambool patients.

“If we could get 10 to 12 Corangamite volunteers to help with our Corangamite patients – we currently have 27 of them – that would be such a blessing for everyone.”

Mrs Janes said five volunteers in the Moyne area were also needed.

‘We want to support Corangamite and Moyne shire patients and families the same way we do in Warrnambool. People living in shires can be even more isolated than those living in cities. With volunteer support they’ll be so much better off,” she said.

She said volunteers were specifically matched with a patient and their family’s particular support needs.

Volunteers will not conduct any nursing, hygiene or housework duties, she said.

“Whatever time they can give us, we’re grateful for,” Mrs Janes said.

Training begins on March 1 and runs for nine weeks. For more information contact Andrea on 0417 033 150.

Pic: Help needed: South West Healthcare South Western Regional Palliative Care Team coordinator Andrea Janes is looking for volunteers in the Corangamite Shire.

Pic and original story by Madeleine McNeil in The Standard.

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