14 January 2023

Refurbished accommodation creates 'home away from home' for regional patients and their carers

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living room

Out of Town accommodation provided by Canberra Health Services. Photo: Canberra Hospital Foundation.

It can be a challenging time for families who have a loved one in need of specialised treatment at Canberra Hospital suddenly finding themselves far from home.

Accommodation close to the hospital helps relieve distress for families affected by an unexpected or emergency health crisis, offering some relief during a traumatic and uncertain time.

Having family and carers close by is also beneficial for the health outcomes of the patient who may have been transported to Canberra Hospital via the retrieval service for trauma, intensive care, cardiac or obstetric emergency care.

Up to 30 per cent of patients being treated at Canberra Hospital are from regional NSW, and patients and carers who come from the region surrounding Canberra often need accommodation support. Canberra Health Services offers this through shared accommodation on the grounds of the Canberra Hospital for patients and their carers travelling from interstate for treatment.

The service is highly regarded by many of those who stay, who note how comfortable the facility is for the visitors and family of patients.

“It is well-appointed and has all the comforts of home. It is wonderful to have the laundry as well. I felt safe and secure with good locks on all doors. Thank you!” was one comment from a grateful family member.

Thanks to generous donations and community support, The Canberra Hospital Foundation was recently able to support the refurbishment of the onsite accommodation and help create a feeling of a ‘home away from home’. The purchase of a range of items helped to provide a comfortable and fit-for-purpose accommodation facility across the 12 apartments at Canberra Hospital.

Each apartment has a shared laundry, bathroom, open plan kitchen, dining, lounge room and two individual bedrooms, each with twin beds. This communal-style living allows guests to enjoy the support and company of persons who may be new to Canberra and experiencing similar circumstances.

People who stay onsite at Canberra Hospital may often be distressed and their length of stay can vary from a couple of days to several weeks, depending on their circumstances. The shared accommodation offered by Canberra Health Services recognises the financial burden of interstate travel, and some people may be eligible for financial support for the cost of accommodation and travel.

One unit in the new residences is held as an ’emergency’ room for overnight stays to cater to people who need urgent accommodation due to unexpected circumstances.

Thanks to our generous community’s support, this enhanced, welcoming space for patients and their carers who need to travel to Canberra for outpatient appointments or when visiting seriously ill family members is available.

With your ongoing support we can continue to assist with refurbishments like this, helping to make a huge difference to patient and family experiences. Please donate to the Canberra Hospital Appeal and help provide a ‘home away from home’ for those in need.

The Canberra Hospital Christmas Appeal is running until the end of January. For more information or to donate, visit Canberra Hospital Foundation.

Original Article published by Canberra Hospital Foundation on Riotact.


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