Day Stay Programmes
Amitabha Hospice is running two “day stay” groups, one Tuesdays called “Cuppa & Company” and on Fridays, an Art Class. Both run from 10.30am till 12.30pm.
These groups are well attended, with an average of 6 – 7 patients and some volunteers, which usually brings the total to10 – 12 people. Most volunteers are caregivers / drivers and some volunteers offer complimentary therapies, on the Tuesday, such as reiki, laughter-yoga, music / sing-alongs and poetry.
Occasionally there are guest-speakers from Well-Park and South Pacific College, who give presentations on natural remedies etc.
On Friday the focus of the group is art – drawing and painting. A volunteer art-teacher gives instructions according to patients’ capacity and needs. For some patients the art is the main focus and for others it is the social and therapeutic aspect; a safe place to talk about their concerns. The art-teacher focuses on the technical side. And Joop Van Herk, one of Amitabha Hospice’s Volunteer Coordinators with counselling experience is present to facilitate conversation and support whatever comes up for the patients.
The purpose of the groups is to establish a healthy social network to counter-act patients’ isolation. A lot of elderly and seriously ill patients in Auckland are very isolated. They have lost contact with the outside world and suffer from depression. Some them have no means of transport and have often limited contact with their families.
The groups provide a safe environment with professional facilitation, where patients are heard, (lively discussions) and are able to connect and establish friendships with other patients and volunteers. They provide respite, mental / social / creative stimulation and gives people a sense of independence and belonging.
The programs are designed to enhance patients’ general well-being (psycho-physical) and to empower and broaden their lives. At the same time it also enriches the lives of the volunteers by making stronger connections with each other and the patients. In this way, they are become part of the strong core of Amitabha Hospice.
Every week the patients comment about how grateful they are for the groups and how it has turned their lives around. They also contact and visit each other outside of the groups, and have email and telephone conversations.
To help with the groups or communicate with Joop please click here