Hospice South Canterbury was established almost 30 years ago with the aim of providing a specialized health care service to those with life-limiting illnesses, along with support for their family. We operate a seven bed inpatient unit in the suburb of Highfield in Timaru which runs 24/7 throughout the year. A half of our patients arrive for end-of-life care, a quarter for symptom management and the other quarter for respite care, giving their main care giver a break before returning home. There are no time limits on length of stay and the service is free. We also run a day care centre on Mondays in our cottage for those in the community with life limiting conditions. These patients enjoy massage, reiki, activities and general camaraderie with others in like situations. We offer a biography service for those who wish their life service recorded and our bereavement team will remain in contact with a family after a death offering support. Recently we also launched a night sitting service in people’s homes, again, giving respite to family caregivers. All of this comes at a cost, and while we are 55 per cent funded through the South Canterbury District Health Board our shortfall each year is approximately $700,000. Our main sources of income are grants, donations, our shops and our own fundraising events. Meeting this target is always a challenge, but we are indeed fortunate to live in a highly supportive community.
Making Happy Endings