The Living Well Respite Centre was established in 2016 with the aim to provide emotional and social support for guests and home carers by offering them a social day out. Our respite services cater to those in the home caring for someone with a life-limiting illness or an serious chronic illness. At Living Well you can come and have a break, relax, take time to refresh and regather. Carers are given the option to leave thier loved one to be cared for and nurtured by us or to come together for a fun-filled social day out. By word of mouth and glowing reports from the medical community our respite service has grown in popularity. By the end of 2016, Living Well Respite Centre had won the award for the best Gold Coast Community Project of 2016 by Volunteering Services Australia.
In 2017, we introduced the Living Well Carers @ Home Support Workshops. The objective of the workshop is to provide support, education, and skills for home carers that aid in their caring abilities and help their loved one remain at home longer. Our one day workshop is currently offered four times a year and offers onsite respite services for carer's loved one whilst they attend the workshop. All of our services and workshops are totally free for guests and home carers, thanks to the kind support and generous funding from our partnership with Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre.
Julie commenced working for Hopewell in October 2011, originally as the Catering Manager for Hopewell Hospice and our Simply Divine Café, supporting the works of Paradise Kids. Julie has over 30 years’ experience in hospitality including owning her own café. Dealing with our palliative residents on a daily basis, caused Julie to develop a keen interest in palliative care, this has led her to further her studies here at Hopewell in palliative care as well as grief and loss counselling, also generally, by obtaining her certificate in training and assessment. Julie continues to be instrumental in the training of Hopewell volunteers, each month she facilitates our Workplace Health and Safety Training and also trains each of our café volunteers in food handling procedures.
2016, was an exciting year as Julie moved into the Hopewell Services Manager role which saw her skill set widen, it was also the year the idea of the Living Well Respite was born. After research into respite services and talks with fellow care providers, Julie discovered the demand for such respite services was high. Having such a beautiful facility right on our door step, a wonderful volunteer base already established and professional staff readily accessible from the hospice, Julie put a business proposal together to try and seek funding to run a pilot program.
Hopewell managed to secure funding for 10 guests and 5 carers, one day a week through CRCC (Commonwealth Respite Carelink Centre) for 14 weeks. Because of the success of the respite program, CRCC have committed to continue to fund our services until December 2017. We commenced Living Well Day Respite in May 2016 and from a slow start great things happened, we have maintained constant numbers for the last 14 months. The feedback we receive from our guests and carers is so amazing, and makes all the hard work so worthwhile. Julie's own words sum up the sentiment felt about Living Well Respite: "It is the most rewarding job I have done, and I feel blessed to of been part of such a wonderful service". "It has allowed me to grow and feel content in knowing we are making such a difference to the lives of our guests and carers".
Our Respite Team
The Living Well Respite Centre is run by highly skilled compassionate staff providing holistic care and professional nursing care. We have a qualified registered nurse, who oversees all medical care. Dedicated trainers and professional counsellors alongside passionate, caring volunteers that provide a loving family-like environment for our guests to feel valued, refreshed and supported. Each respite day comprises of two nurses, a professional counsellor and stroke support therapist. We also have specially trained caring volunteers that contribute vital support roles such as: personal care assistants, activities assistants, therapists and hospitality staff.