A cancer diagnosis and a prolonged and intensive confinement to hospital can take an immense toll on a young adult’s life. Thanks to the Dry July Foundation, the amazing people who abstained from drinking throughout Dry July and the contribution of a number of community fundraisers, The Alfred has been able to implement a new adolescence and young adult’s breakout area and provide a space where they can relax and act their age.
The Alfred treats thousands of adult patients living with cancer but the needs of someone who is 19 vary dramatically to that of a 49-year-old. There has been growing recognition in recent years of the unique medical, psychosocial and information needs of adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer. To deliver appropriate care to this unique patient group, we need to have an appreciation of how their age and stage of life may impact their distress levels, self-esteem, peer relationships, self-identity and perceptions of future.
Thanks to the dedication of nursing staff on Ward 7East who were passionate about creating a better environment for their patients, and the support of the Dry July Foundation, a newly refurbished Ward 7East has the addition of a dedicated area for adolescence and young adults. Brigitte Mahony a social worker at Alfred Health believes this bright new space will give our young adult patients a place to go and explore their feelings or spend their time, it will give them access to engage in normal, everyday activity with their friends and peers and help distract them. “The planning of the room has taken years of consideration with numerous disciplines and professions contributing. The implementation of the adolescence and young adult area is a first for The Alfred and will be truly beneficial for our patients.” Added Brigitte.
Ward 7East nurse and Dry July participant, Simone Waterman is also excited about the new space. “Having cared for a number of young patients and looked after the families for a long time I felt there was more we could do to support them. Taking part in Dry July gave me an opportunity to join others to make a real difference, my fundraising helped build something that may distract someone from their day to day medical needs or the effects of their treatment. I am so pleased with the result.”
The space is furnished with comfortable seating, tables to study or play games around and a Smart TV so patients can access streaming services and simply chill and zone out, leaving behind the worries of their treatment and illness. This amazing new facility will make a positive impact and real difference on the care we are able to provide.
Thank you so much to everyone who helped fund the adolescence and young adult’s area. We appreciate your contribution and acknowledge your support may have been one of first-hand experience; a former patient, a thankful family. It is through the generosity of others that we are able to continue to innovate and improve, offering an even better level of service and care to patients now and in the years to come.