Calvary Mater Newcastle has onsite accommodation available for rural and remote patients receiving active treatment as an outpatient at the hospital. Thanks to Dry July funding, the hospital has been able to purchase occupational therapy equipment to assist patients staying in the Villas.
New equipment includes shower chairs, toilet aids, recliner chairs, highback chairs and bed wedges. The equipment has increased the safety and independence of Villa patients and it has improved the comfort of patients who, due to disease/treatment-related issues or comorbidities, have been unable to use standard equipment. While much of the equipment is now located in patients’ rooms for comfort and ease, one of the high-backed sitting chairs (which has a height adjustable seat) has been placed in the shared lounge area. This means that patients with mobility difficulties are able to enjoy the company of other patients and feel confident that there will be a comfortable chair for them to use safely and independently. A Villa patient commented “The chairs are very comfortable and easy to use,” while another said, “the personal care equipment has helped me to maintain my independence.”
Nicole Orozovic, Haematology Occupational Therapist, said, “The equipment has provided staff with options to assist patients who have issues with pain management, breathing difficulties, or high needs due to cancer-related issues or comorbidities. By having this equipment onsite it means that Villa patients are less likely to be admitted to hospital due to unmet care/equipment needs. This significantly improves patients’ quality of life.
Nicole concludes, “We are extremely grateful to Dry July for this generous donation. Our aim is to provide the best possible care to patients receiving cancer treatment and this donation has certainly helped us to improve the comfort of Villa patients and to ensure their safety and independence. Thank you.”