Providing Compassionate End of Life Care

17 November 2022
The Wesley Hospital volunteer End of Life Compassionate Companions standing in the chapel, wearing masks looking at camera

The Wesley Hospital Pastoral Care team have created the End of Life Compassionate Companion Service which provides companionship for patients who my otherwise die alone.

Since making a call out to the community for volunteers, 36 people been selected and trained to be End of Life Companions.

Volunteer Louise said this program was a wonderful initiative and would give peace of mind to patients and their loved ones.

“I was with my father in law when he passed away and I felt it was an honour to be with him,” Louise said.

Volunteer Pauline said she wanted to be part of the program as her grandmother had sadly passed away on her own and she felt that wasn’t right.

“I feel like we hide death in our society and it’s not something we talk about, it’s a natural part of life and it’s incredibly rewarding to provide patients and their loved ones with emotional support during this time,” Pauline said.

Clinical Nurse Manager Pip Livingston said the program was a wonderful addition to her ward.

“We recently had a patient come to us a lady whose family could not stay so we asked for the Chaplain's assistance and they had the roster completed within the hour and stayed until she passed away that night,” Pip said.

“They were amazing as they had not officially started the program yet but they didn't hesitate to help us out anyway.”

The program was created by Chaplain in Palliative Care and Oncology, Leanne Duncan who recognised from time to time patients find themselves approaching end of life with neither family or friends with them.

“No one is born alone, and in the best of circumstances, no one needs to die alone. This program embraces the belief that no one needs to be alone during their final moments of life,” said Leanne.

“It may be that the patient is from outside of Brisbane and does not have access to their support network. The service also supports families attempting a long bedside vigil for loved ones who are dying, that otherwise would not take that moment of respite.

“A calm, reassuring presence makes a significant difference for patients and gives opportunity to honour life with dignity and respect.”

The Wesley Hospital General Manager Sean Hubbard recognised the wonderful support the Pastoral Care team offers to all hospital patients, and the valuable contribution of their volunteers.

“The implementation of this volunteer program reflects The Wesley Hospital’s commitment to our patients to ‘Caring for you for life’ and is a valuable extension of our Palliative Care Service, caring for patients and their families through some of the most challenging moments,” Mr Hubbard said.

Media Enquiries
Urgent or after hours: 0412 674 013

Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.