The Clare Holland House expansion project that began in 2020 is nearing completion, and as it does so there’s a call for community input on stories, tributes and donations that will ease the way for patients and their families and friends as the end of life approaches.
A community fundraiser is being run by Hands Across Canberra, Snow Foundation and Calvary Health Care, recognising that almost everyone in our regional community has been touched in some way by the palliative care facility. The goal is to raise $50,000 that will go towards improving the level of comfort for all users.
Clare Holland House provides world-class specialist care that includes inpatient services – including respite and end-of-life patients – outpatient clinics, home-based services, and the PEACE program of specialist aged care, primarily in retirement and aged care facilities.
It’s also one of the few growing palliative care facilities in Australia. The $6 million expansion will create eight new beds, enabling palliative care for an additional 250 patients each year, including the 30 per cent of regional patients who access its services. Some of those beds will now be more accessible for children and make parents more comfortable.
In addition to the beds, there will be improved work spaces for staff and a new family lounge, recognising that end of life is a journey that includes family members and friends.
Funding for the expansion, expected to be complete by mid-June, 2021, came from a $2 million donation from the Snow Foundation and a $4 million grant from the Federal Government. The ACT Government contributes operating costs for the facility.
Donations would enable extra measures of comfort that will make a difference to someone’s stay, whether it’s landscaping, furnishings and fittings, or a playground for children.
There are several donation options: family and friends can create a dedicated fundraising page for a loved one to be shared with their social network, replacing traditional advertising of donations or collections at the person’s funeral.
Alternatively, you could create a fundraising event or occasion focusing on something specific such as a paediatric palliative care bundle, furnishings and fittings for patient rooms and common areas, or feature items for the Clare Holland House grounds and gardens.
Or you could simply donate directly.
“There is a lot of community affection for Clare Holland House, and there are many people across the ACT and surrounding areas of NSW who have directly or indirectly been in touch with CHH’s services,” said Dr Suharsha Kanathigoda, director of palliative care at Calvary Health Care.
“We often find people asking how they can demonstrate their gratitude or do something that will help more people receive the treatment and care provided to their loved one.”
Dr Kanathigoda said the principle that underlies specialist palliative care services is that every moment of life is as important as any other.
The goal, through services at Clare Holland House and in a residential setting, is to help the patient and their family and friends to feel well cared for, involved, respected, comfortable with their symptoms being managed, and informed of what may lay ahead.
You can find out more about the expansion and community fundraising project here.