Anxious and restless nights in armchairs are becoming a thing of the past for family and carers at Blacktown Hospital.
The facility’s innovative carer zones, a NSW-first, are being celebrated along with the people who use them as part of National Carers Week.
Blacktown Hospital hosted a mad hatters tea party for carers on Monday, but the 40 carer zones are a regular way that staff try to cater to the needs of family.
The zones feature a sofa bed, privacy curtain and access to the patient’s bathroom, in order to ease the burden at a difficult time.
Lydia Smith, who cares for her mother Pacita at home, recently used one of the zones during a hospital stint.
“Everything was so nice. The single sofa bed is the best thing. It’s not like when she [her mother] was in hospital last time; they only had the single chair and it’s not comfortable to stay in the hospital,” Ms Smith said.
Blacktown Hospital transition manager Peter Rophail said a need for carers accommodation was identified through consultation during the recent expansion.
“There was already a culture of carers staying with patients in the hospital, particularly people who were confused, from different cultural backgrounds or were young,” he said.
“Carers reported they were going home from hospital exhausted, stressed and needing to continue to care; we wanted to provide a comfortable space for them to stay with their family.”
The carer zone initiative is a finalist in this month’s NSW Health Awards.