Client J is an under 65 y/o client with challenging family issues who has stayed at Leo’s
“Although I understood what was being recommended, I couldn’t understand why. To me, palliative care is restricted to the last few weeks of life, at a stage when classified as a high needs patient involving 24-hour medical care. I wasn’t at that point yet, so I asked the nurse why she was suggesting my GP refer me there. At the end of our conversation, I realised palliative care provided layers of services for people suffering from life-threatening or terminal illnesses and was not the same as hospice care. Shortly after my visit with the GP, I established a relationship with the Palliative Care team at Canberra Hospital.
Knowing that the end of your life is fast approaching creates a kaleidoscope of emotions. Feelings of desperateness when you realise you can’t slow down the merry-go-round – deepening depression when thinking about missing loved ones and not being present for family milestones – the effect on those close to you as they face the reality of losing their loved one – a sense of urgency but already feeling defeated because of the limited time available – putting your affairs in order; and then there is fear of the unknown. These are just some thoughts that go through your head as you come to terms with life limiting illnesses. It was during one of my visits to Palliative Care, when voicing some of these concerns, that I was referred to Leo’s Place.
The major advantage for having a respite care facility like Leo’s place is it can be accessed while you still have some control with self-management of life. Visiting Leo’s gives you the opportunity to take time out from the pressures that are faced daily, which are not just restricted to the patient, There is also a heavy burden placed on family members who are providing care daily and also dealing with their own emotions and sense of pending loss. Sometimes they need a break too.
Leo’s provides a safe and friendly environment for me to take some time out, clear my head and give my family providing my care some space to breathe, knowing that I am being taken care of to the highest of standards in a beautiful home.
Leo’s affords those with life limiting illnesses a great deal of dignity because at Leo’s they understand what you and your family are facing and provide care that helps everyone cope better. Having the service available for Carers to use is also of value to all concerned.
Leo’s provides a safe environment where you don’t have to mask your emotions for fear of upsetting your loved ones which often happens at home. You can relax and get on top of the particular issues that are confronting you, of which there are many. It creates the opportunity to control the stress and pressure around the patient and also gives family members some time to rest and come to terms with everything. Having Leo’s place available as part of the Palliative care process has been a valuable resource that I am extremely grateful to Palliative Care ACT for creating Leo’s Place, it has made a major difference in my life. I can’t imagine the past year without the services the management and staff provided me with whilst in their care and I hope those facing life limiting illnesses will be given the opportunity to use Leo’s Place services well into the future.”