Residents of the Riverina will now have access to slow-stream palliative care with the opening of the The Forrest Centre Hospice in Wagga Wagga.
Locals will have the chance to tour the brand new $4 million dollar facility from 3 pm today. The centre officially opened over the weekend after local residents have been pushing for the hospice for 15 years and managed to bring in $2.4 million towards it with their dedicated fundraising.
The state government also chipped in providing $2 million in funding after Calvary Health Care Riverina, Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network and Murrumbidgee Local Health District formed an alliance with The Forrest Centre to ensure people have access to integrated end of life care.
The Forrest Centre had already been providing palliative care at both their residentail aged care facilities, Mary Potter Nursing Home and Loreto Home of Compassion.
The new 10 bed facility will provide palliative care services, pain control, symptom management and specialised care in a home-like environment for people of all ages.
Even though when asked people say they would prefer to die at home, when care needs become great this may not be the best option. Many different factors then come into play.
"Sometimes its just not practical, there's not enough family support or just environmental factors around the home," said Forrest Centre CEO Evan Robertson.
The facility has been designed to give families of the dying the option to stay overnight with their loved one. There is also a quiet room available to help people cope.
"It can be challenging, very emotional, very upsetting, so it just allows an additional room to just have some time out," said Tania Tellus, Nursing Director.
Referrals are already flooding in and the first resident is expected to arrive by the end of the week.