A matter of choice for care at home

Port Lincoln residents can now access out of hours and weekend palliative care following the success of an 18-month home hospice service trial.

The Eyre Peninsula Community Foundation and Matthew Flinders Home signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday to make the Eyre Peninsula Home Hospice Service permanent.

This comes after more than two years of work to establish a home hospice service to provide in-home palliative care all hours of the week.

Under the partnership the Eyre Peninsula Community Foundation will continue to manage and invest funds while Matthew Flinders Home will provide services under the guidance of a team of associated professionals and representatives from the foundation.

Foundation chair Dr Janene Piip said the project had involved two-and-a-half years of work.

“We’ve had a lot of support from the community, people have gotten behind the idea of a home hospice service in Port Lincoln,” Dr Piip said.

The signing of the memorandum followed a successful 18-month trial period that started in 2015 involving the community foundation and Calvary Community Care.

The Wanklyn family know how beneficial home palliative care can be after 93-year-old Brenda Wanklyn was cared for before she died at home on July 3, 2015.

Mrs Wanklyn’s daughter Helen Wanklyn cared for her before her death.

She said after her father Richard Wanklyn died in a nursing home in 2010 the family was determined to allow her to die at home.

“We’re grateful the service was there,” she said.

Ms Wanklyn said what impressed her, based on her experience and that of a friend, was how flexible the service could be toward each person.

The Wanklyn family made a donation toward the Home Hospice Service in gratitude for the care provided to Mrs Wanklyn and family members are pleased a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed to put a permanent service in place.

Mrs Wanklyn’s daughter-in-law Leonie Wanklyn said she felt the community understood the need to have the option of “dying with dignity at home”.

“I think the interest guided by the amount of money raised in the community indicates how interested the community are,” she said.

The Wanklyns said while it would not be possible for everyone to access the service it was great for the choice to be there.

At least six families took part in the 18-month trial.

Funding for the service has come from donations as well as proceeds from the Book Bazaar.

Dr Simon Lathlean from the Lincoln Medical Centre is one of the doctors involved in the service and said he had experience with home palliative care in Adelaide.

“There’s a real need for after hours palliative care in Port Lincoln,” he said.

Dr Piip said there was hope the service could be expanded in the future as several communities were looking to see how it would proceed.

“We’re sure it will be successful, we are working on the system as we’re going to make sure it’s successful.”

For information on accessing the Home Hospice Service or to find out more email at admin@epcf.com.au or phone 0400 685 520.

Anyone wanting immediate access to the service should go through their general practitioner.