VMCH’s O’Neill House open for end-of-life services

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Catholic Not For Profit organisation VMCH has opened its doors of O’Neill House, a 22-bed end-of-life comfort care centre in Prahran, 5km south-east of Melbourne’s CBD.

“O’Neill House provides palliative support for people in their last months of life, and ensures family and friends can maintain their caring role in this comfortable home, in conjunction with our care teams,” said VMCH CEO Sonya Smart.

“This new service offers people options at this important time of their life, so they can be supported in a home-like environment. We are then able to care for their physical and spiritual wellbeing, as well as ensuring their family and loved ones can spend valuable, quality time together.”

Ms Smart said in 2017, Palliative Care Victoria estimated that one in four Victorians who die each year (approximately 10,000 people), died without adequate access to palliative care.

“We also know that people are entering aged care much later in life, and at this stage, many of our residents are already palliative. The admission process into mainstream aged care can be very stressful for the older person and their family,” added Ms Smart.

“Our aim is to ease the burden for our people and their families. We also want to reduce the need for emergency department presentations and deaths during transfers to and from services.

“This building is a sanctuary for the person dying and their families and friends.”

Pictured: VMCH CEO Sonya Smart (right) and Mission GM Bridget O’Shannassy (second from right) with Therese Rush and Deslee Mortensen from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne at O’Neill House.