Wheel of Life Palliative Care Support Group, Hayagriva Buddhist Centre, 64 Banksia Terrace, Kensington WA 6151, phone (08) 9367 4817, Contact Us
Developing a Model for the Pure Land Centre
Version of 2 March 2014
Volunteers from the Wheel of Life Palliative Care Support Group currently offer companionship, emotional and spiritual support for the very sick and dying and their carers. We run seminars, discussion groups and training courses, and make home visits. Our main activity in recent years has been the running training courses on the emotional and spiritual aspects of dying, death, grief and how to prepare for these inevitable experiences.
The Wheel of Life Palliative Care Support Group is a social outreach initiative of the Hayagriva Buddhist Centre, 64 Banksia Terrace, Kensington, WA 6151.
It is our intention to also create a centre for the dying that has a focus on emotional and spiritual care. The following points summarize the current version of our model for the Pure Land Centre, which would operate initially under the auspices of the Hayagriva Buddhist Centre:
Current Concept of the Pure Land Centre
The current concept of the Pure Land Centre is that of a facility where dying people, classified as requiring only palliative care, can die in a peaceful and virtuous environment. Such an environment will allow the person to die in what is more like a ‘sacred space’ than at home, which is often a ‘worldly place’.
The dying person will have a well-equipped private room, and there will be adjoining rooms for their carers, who will usually be their family, to live in.
The dying person’s own spiritual teachers will be invited to visit frequently to provide spiritual guidance at the most important time approaching death.
Trained Pure Land volunteers will be on hand to provide companionship, emotional and spiritual support, to both the dying person and their carers. A Resident Manager will live at the Centre. The family/carers will be expected to live in much of the time and to take responsibility for the nursing and medical needs of the patient.
Some ancillary services such as laundry, cleaning and meals, will be available.
A full hospice service will not be offered. The Pure Land Centre will offer only accommodation, companionship, emotional and spiritual care. As with ‘home care’, nursing and medical services will be arranged by family members, and will come from organisations such as Silver Chain.
To help meet the costs of running the Centre, the patient, and their family/carer will need to make a contribution towards the costs.
Thus, the Current Concept for the Pure Land Centre may be summarized as:
The Pure Land Centre will provide the environment for a peaceful and virtuous death, for those who wish for an emphasis on emotional and spiritual care during their last weeks. The family/carers will be expected to take responsibility for the nursing and medical needs of the patient. Visiting professionals, from organizations such as Silver Chain, will provide the requested nursing and medical care. The Centre will be run primarily by trained volunteers, with a Resident Manager. The Centre will be open to all, but the main users are expected to come from Buddhist groups in Perth, and their families.