Hospice Brings Valuable Kowhai Programme to Central Otago
The Kowhai Programme was developed by the Otago Community Hospice in 2010 following research undertaken by Dr Jennifer Angelo, a Hospice occupational therapist, using a research method called photovoice.
Patient caregivers were asked to take pictures of things that held meaning for them, what was challenging, what they struggled with as main caregivers for a loved one who was dying.
The research findings formed the basis of an education programme that gave caregivers the tools, knowledge and confidence to carry out the multiple tasks they need to perform to keep their family members safe, comfortable and maintaining a meaningful quality of life.
The programme covers off such topics as medication management; self-care; legal advice; grief, finding meaning and building resilience; nutrition made easy; what to expect in last days of life and funeral planning.
Due to resource constraints, Otago Community Hospice has to date only delivered Kowhai via face-to-face sessions in Dunedin, and created a website of content for those further afield.
Hospice CEO Ginny Green says it was clear Hospice needed to offer these face-to-face sessions throughout Otago.
“We recognised the need for the Kowhai Programme is far broader than Dunedin, with our region stretching to North and Central Otago. And we now have the resource to grow the programme.
It’s vital all our Hospice patient carers have the opportunity to attend a Kowhai session if they are able to. There is nothing like being in a room with the experts, asking the questions that keep people awake at night, and be able to leave a little better equipped for the challenging tasks ahead. It also provides a valuable opportunity to connect with others who are sharing similar experiences.”
The Kowhai Programme will start in Wanaka at Aspiring Enliven on 12th February and in Alexandra at St Johns on 13th February and will run for five weeks through to the middle of March. The programme will then move up to North Otago, before coming back to Dunedin.
The successful Kowhai Programme has been adopted by other Hospices all over New Zealand.
For more information contact:
Ginny Green, CEO, Otago Community Hospice, 027 487 2345
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