Ready or not, death comes to us all. No matter the age, death seldom happens at the ‘right’ time.
For some, death comes swiftly and takes us unaware. For others it is a slow crawl toward the end of life. Whatever form death takes, the universal call is for a ‘dignified death’. Dignity will be as individual as each person. However, it is also universally acknowledged that each of us would wish to be surrounded by those we love.
At times this dying process will take place in an acute hospital. For others who have some warning and wish to die at home this may be achieved with family members supported by skilled community palliative care nurses and general practitioners. But what of those who cannot remain in an acute hospital and for whom home or a nursing home is not an option?
Sunshine Hospice sets out to provide the best possible care for those with life-limiting illness and those close to them. The modern Hospice movement continues to grow around the world and make extraordinary contributions to the alleviation of human suffering since its inception by Dame Cecily Saunders in 1967. Sunshine Hospice will continue this mission caring for a person’s physical, spiritual and psychological well-being as well as supporting their loved ones.
There is no accredited hospice providing overnight care anywhere on the Sunshine Coast.
Given the anticipated continued large population growth on the Sunshine Coast, coupled with an aging population and the vast array of medical treatments and interventions now capable of extending a person’s life (though not necessarily its quality), the need for a Hospice to provide sensitive, dignified and humane care at the end of one’s life is paramount.
Our experience in Palliative Care demonstrates that when symptoms of advanced illness are brought under tolerable control it is possible for the person to focus attention on the immediate present and realise the value in the life that remains. This cannot be achieved without the support of a team who acknowledge not only the capacity for suffering at the end of life but also the life-long human capacity for growth that exists for each dying person and their family.
We would like to acknowledge the teachings of Dr. Michael Kearney Palliative Care Consultant from Dublin, whose work has been a great inspiration to us.