Information About Your Stay at Hospice
Visitors are welcome to visit during the following times:
- 9 am – 12 pm
- 3 pm – 6 pm
If you are needing more support from your family, additional and unrestricted visiting access can be arranged with the Nurse in charge on shift, but we encourage patients and their families to understand that people can be tired, ill, overwhelmed, or need time alone. It can sometimes be a good idea to restrict visitors to short visits, or to certain times and numbers, or altogether.
If you have a large family/friend group, have them arrange a visiting roster so that it is manageable. One or two people are welcome to sleep overnight in the room with you if this would be beneficial to you.
Meals and food
Meals are served either in your room, or in the patient’s lounge. Meal times are flexible, but generally served at the following times:
- Breakfast between 7.30 – 8.30am
- Lunch between 12 – 1pm
- Dinner between 5 – 6pm
You will be given a choice of food from a menu, although individual wishes and tastes will endeavour to be catered for. Do not be afraid to ask. To eat something is better than not eating anything.
Your family is very welcome to bring in your favourite foods. There is a kitchen they can use to prepare simple meals or reheat food and a fridge is available to store foods. Coffee and tea is available for your family at all times.
Family meetings can be arranged by your care team on your or the staff’s request. These meetings are held to share information and plan care. They can involve you, as many family members as you wish, and various members of your care team.
You are advised not to keep money or items of value in your room. Nursing staff can arrange for these items to be locked away for safe keeping. However it is preferred that family members take such items home. Albany Community Hospice does not accept any responsibility or liability for valuables kept with you.
Your own prescribed medications will be used whilst in Hospice. If new, or more, medications are required your GP will write a script and Hospice’s partnering community pharmacy, Priceline Spencer Park, will deliver the medications to Hospice. An invoice will be sent to you by them to be paid at your earliest convenience. All medications will be kept in locked drawers in your room. Certain medications will require checking with two staff before being given to you.
You, as patient, are free to have a glass of wine, or a beer with a meal. Visitors are not encouraged to have alcohol whilst on Hospice premises, and Hospice has a zero tolerance to the abuse of alcohol or illegal substances. Visitors who are deemed to be inebriated or behave inappropriately will be asked to leave.
In line with the Albany Health Campus policy, smoking is not permitted by patients or visitors in any part of the Hospice grounds or buildings. Nicotine replacement therapy is available to you should you need it. Please speak with the Registered Nurse on duty.
Your room is equipped with two televisions and a stereo system. An Electronic Patient Information System (“EPIS”) tablet will be offered for your information and entertainment. You are encouraged to bring in your favourite music as the benefits of music on healing and relaxation are well known.
All electrical appliances such as laptops, DVD players, and shavers will need to be checked by the electrician prior to use. Please speak with the nurse on duty.
A portable phone is available so that family members/friends can speak to you. If it is urgent, outgoing calls can be arranged, but we would prefer you use your mobile if at all possible.
The dining/lounge area and courtyards can be used for family celebrations. Please liaise with the Nurse prior to the event so that we can assist you in your preparations, with consideration for the other patients in our care.
Children are most welcome in hospice and we encourage you to spend this precious time together with your family. Please be considerate of other patients, and supervise your young ones. Toys and books are available in the patient lounge and feel free to shut your room door if you please.
Well behaved pets are welcome to visit their owner under strict supervision of their handlers. They must be kept on a lead or contained and the handler is responsible for safety, cleanliness and noise control at all times.
Legal and Social Matters
Often there are important issues to be dealt with that we may be able to help you with.
If you need help with legal matters such as creating or updating a will, appointing an enduring power of attorney to manage your financial matters, appointing spokesperson in an enduring power of guardianship for your health and lifestyle related matters, help to fill out an Advance Health Directive, help with accessing My Aged Care for increased support at home, or help with completing paperwork for entrance into residential aged care please speak with the nurse.
A social worker from the Palliative Care Team is available for assistance on consultation.
Being at peace with yourself and the journey you are on is very important. We do not have a chaplain in Hospice, but we do have a contact list of pastors, ministers, priests and spiritual leaders from the various churches and faiths in Albany. We are more than happy to contact them for you if you or your family would like to see someone.
Length of Stay
Albany Community Hospice will provide care as long as it is needed. However, we cannot provide long term residential care, and if your condition stabilises but you are unable to return to your home, this will be discussed with you and your family/carer we will provide guidance and support to find another place of care. Repeated admissions for symptom control and carer respite are possible and may be expected throughout the course of your illness.
Tips to Make Your Stay as Pleasant as Possible
Be open and honest with the staff so that they can help you as much as you need/desire it.
Do not hide or minimise your symptoms/problems because this will increase your suffering and make the journey more difficult than it needs to be.
Feel free to bring in your own pillows, soft toys and favourite blankets.
Surround yourself with your own music
Bring in photos, pictures and personal items which remind you of the things you love.
Tell your family/friends what is important to you.
Should any aspects of care or service provided by Hospice fail to meet your expectations, and/or you have a suggestion to make, speak with the Registered Nurse or Hospice Manager and all efforts will be made to review the situation and come to an acceptable solution.