Wanaka’s first dedicated hospice suite was occupied within three days of its official opening on September 30 last year and has remained busy ever since.
Admissions to the Stina Mooyman Palliative Care Suite in the Aspiring Enliven Care Centre has exceeded expectations, with occupancy at 70 per cent.
Upper Clutha Hospice Trust chairman Russell McGeorge said the suite has been in used for part of all of each month since opening and there are now plans to buy a second patient room.
“The average occupancy for the six months to March 31, 2017, is 70 per cent, which is considerably above the trust’s expectations,” he said.
* Wanaka’s new Aspiring Enliven Care Centre celebrated with two high teas
The official opening ceremony of the Aspiring Enliven Care Centre and hospice suite was one of Wanaka’s biggest public functions last year.
The suite was the culmination of years of fundraising that included Dame Trelise Cooper’s fundraising fashion show at the Glendhu Station woolshed.
Another six figure sum was received by from the suite’s name sake and “fairy godmother”, Stina Mooyman, a former Wanaka resident aged in her 90s.
The suite has one patient room and a family room.
A second patient room connecting to the family room is available and has been required twice since opening, McGeorge said.
McGeorge said the trust anticipated buying the second patient room from the Aspiring Enliven Centre when it extends.
In the meantime, the trust is exploring ways to gain more access to the second patient room, he said.
The suite has been used by patients requiring end-of-life palliative care and by terminally ill patients for short term respite care, to assist their carers.
Aspiring Enliven Care Centre staff manage and service the suite.
The suite is supported by the Upper Clutha Hospice Shop and was “a wonderful example of self-help by a committed community,” McGeorge said.