The Palliative Care ward at Dhelkaya Health provides end of life care for our local community. It’s a place where people can stay close to loved ones, family and friends in a comfortable and supportive environment surrounded by caring staff. For staff, it’s challenging but incredibly rewarding to provide the very personalised physical and emotional support needed by each patient and their family at such an important time.
Bob and Eileen McDonald are well known as stalwarts of their community in Mt Alexander and showed how much this care meant to them by making a gift which will provide a lasting benefit for the care of others in similar situations.
Eileen McDonald recently presented the Palliative Care ward with a Princess Chair. Eileen was motivated by her experience of palliative care when Bob passed away in palliative care in December 2020.
“It was Bob’s idea, I’m doing what he asked me to do. Bob was in Bendigo for 10 days prior to coming back to Castlemaine. They had a chair similar to that in Bendigo, they could take him outside and he loved sitting in the sun.”
The Princess Chair has adjustable air cell support to relieve pressure and increase comfort. The chair has wheels to make it easy for staff to move patients around and outside into the sun, if they wish. For Eileen it was something she and Bob wanted to do to show how much they appreciated the care they received in their community and the little comforts that made all the difference.
“I wanted to say thanks to all those beautiful people on the Palliative Care ward. When it comes to funding, palliative care can sometimes be at the end of the line but we were so grateful to have the care we did in Castlemaine Health.”
Sue Race CEO of Dhelkaya Health (amalgamating Castlemaine Health, CHIRP Community Health and Maldon Hospital) reinforced what a difference a donation like this makes to the sensitive and personalised care that Dhelkaya Health staff provide.
“The support from our community for the ward providing our palliative care service has been transformational. It isn’t just about the clinical aspects but about surrounding our patients and families with an environment where their wider needs can be met. With this thoughtful gift from Bob and Eileen we have even better resources for providing that much-needed end-of-life care. It is incredibly rewarding for the staff to be appreciated in this way and we are deeply grateful.”