Frequently Asked Questions

Thanks for checking out our FAQs. Hopefully you will find the answers that you are looking for here - but if not, don't hesitate to call us at Hospice House on 09 834 9750

Hospice West Auckland is a registered charitable trust that was set up in 1985. We offer care and services at no cost to people in West Auckland who need support, care and advice during life-limiting and terminal illness. Our care extends to families/whanau and carers as well as patients.

Hospice is a philosophy of care which focuses on supporting the needs of people who have a life-limiting or terminal illness.

The concept of Hospice has been evolving since the 11th century.  Then, and for centuries thereafter, Hospices were places of hospitality for the sick, wounded or dying.  The original name ‘Hospice’ means “A place of rest for weary travellers”.

The modern concept of Hospice includes palliative care for the incurably ill in their home, hospitals, nursing homes, institutions and in the community.  Many of the foundational principles by which modern Hospice services operate were pioneered in the 1950s by Dame Cicely Saunders.

Palliative [pal-lee-uh-tiv] Care is specialised care for people with serious illnesses.  Care focuses on providing relief from the symptoms, pain, physical and mental stress of a life-limiting or terminal illness, with the goal of improving quality of life for both patient and family/whanau.. Palliative care embraces the physical, social, emotional and spiritual elements of wellbeing – tinana (body/self), whanau (family), hinengaro (mind) and wairua (spirit/soul). 

People can access specialist palliative care services if they are assessed & accepted as having a life-limiting condition, with a life expectancy of less than 12 months and a complex or high palliative care need. A patient need not be diagnosed with cancer to receive Hospice care; patients with other life limiting illnesses such as Motor Neurone Disease and Respiratory Disease may also receive care.

Referrals are accepted from General Practitioners, other healthcare providers, hospital clinical teams, residential care facilities or from the patient or their family/whanau/carers. Patients must consent to a referral.

You can request a referral through your GP or primary health care provider or call us 09 834 9755 to find out more.

The best time is when you or your loved one has first been diagnosed with a life expectancy of twelve months or less. It’s a good idea to contact us sooner rather than later, as this will give you an opportunity to learn about and really utilise the services which Hospice offers. It may be that we provide advice and support for a period of time and, if symptoms resolve for some time, we discuss discharge from our services. In this case, you can be referred again later if our services are required again.

Our unique blend of care services extends to families and caregivers and we offer holistic support both at Hospice House and in the home.  Our assistance is practical, physical, emotional and spiritual.

We care about quality of life, dignity and comfort at the end of life and aim to provide help and support to those loved ones who will be left behind.

Yes.  Your GP is still your primary health care provider. Hospice West Auckland works closely with your GP and other health care providers, such as District Nurses and specialists.

Hospice West Auckland provides an integrated approach of medical and complementary treatments. Alongside leading-edge medical treatment, we also offer massage, art therapy and aromatherapy.  Hospice West Auckland also provides social services support, family support, bereavement counselling and spiritual support. 

Medical staff, specialist palliative care nurses, health care assistants, social workers and counsellors, art therapists, complementary therapists, spiritual care coordinator, educators and coordinators, administrators, accountants, volunteers, a fundraising and marketing  team, business and operations managers and a CEO.

Our care and services are offered at several locations; Hospice House on Te Atatu Peninsula, at our Living & Learning Centre in Henderson or we can visit you in your own home.  Our Living & Learning Centre hosts several of our support groups and a relaxed and welcoming environment is always provided.

Yes, Hospice West Auckland currently has four specialist palliative care bedrooms, called the ‘Kowhai Suite’, located at Hospice House on Te Atatu Peninsula.  The ‘Kowhai Suite’ provides short stay care for patients with more complex symptom management requirements.   

People go into Hospice for many reasons including respite care and pain and symptom management. Often a short stay can be enormously beneficial in helping with medication management and hence, improving quality of life.

People sometimes request to go into a Hospice to die and this wish is carried out, where possible.

Yes.  Sometimes people have remission (meaning they do not have symptoms for some time) and so they can be discharged from Hospice care.

There is no correct answer here, as it depends on how soon patients are referred to us.  Sadly, some people are in our care for a very short time, and others are with us for a year or more.

Most people prefer to die in their own home.  Your GP and specialist palliative care nurse will care for you, and your nurse will provide all of the information that you will need at the time.

No. All care provided by Hospice West Auckland is at no cost to the patient and their carers and family/whanau.  

Currently, 40% of our funding comes through the Waitemata District Health Board. The remainder needs to be fundraised through donations, grants, trading income from our Hospice shops, events and sponsorship. Hospice West Auckland needs to raise 60% of its annual expenditure to continue to provide our services at no cost to the people of the Greater West Auckland region.

This means that your gift is a ‘gift for life’ and the funds are used as we see fit at the time the donation is made. We are excellent custodians of money that is gifted to us, we do our very best to utilise all donations in the very best possible way.

There are many ways you can help, such as giving a one-off (or regular) monetary donation, organising a private fundraising event at your home or workplace, supporting our donation appeals and events, becoming a volunteer, or donating your quality, pre-loved items to our Hospice shops.  If you choose to, you can organise to leave a bequest in your will or ask that donations, in lieu of flowers, be made at your funeral.

We appreciate you telling your friends, family/whanau, colleagues and neighbours about the work Hospice West Auckland does in your community.

Every person is unique and will have questions specific to their own personal situation.

If you would like to know more about Hospice West Auckland, have any further questions or wish to discuss making a donation we welcome you to contact us.