It was 12 months ago that Hastings resident, Jennifer Tozer, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell. It was a shock diagnosis for her to digest at the time, as she had no obvious symptoms presenting. After considering the diagnosis, she eventually decided to pack up her life in country New South Wales, and move to Hastings on the Mornington Peninsula to be closer to her daughter.
Jennifer became a patient of Dr. Natasha Curtin, one of Peninsula Health’s resident experts in haematology, where together they designed a suitable cancer treatment plan to meet her needs. A significant part of Jennifer’s treatment is for her to receive expert cancer care, with weekly chemotherapy treatments provided in the comfort of her own home.
“It’s much more relaxed here, and much more comfortable,” says Jennifer “I used to watch the nurses in the hospital, running really…they had a lot of pressure on them, to treat everybody sitting in the chairs. It’s also far less stress for me, as I have tumours on my back, so traveling to the hospital is quite painful, and also it took a long time, as they’re so busy at the hospital that I’d often be there over an hour at times just to have an injection and swallow five tablets, or an infusion which is only fifteen minutes. When the nurse comes here, it’s only 30 minutes at the most.”
Jennifer is one of an increasing number of patients receiving care in their own homes. With Peninsula Health undergoing significant growth and transformation in recent years, the swiftly evolving Peninsula At Home service now provides a range of treatment options that integrate and enable more patients to receive medical and rehabilitation care in their homes or community locations in Frankston, and across the Mornington Peninsula.
Peninsula Health’s Chief Medical Officer, Associate Professor Shyaman Menon, says “treating people at home has enormous benefits for everyone.”
“Although the last two years have been challenging with COVID-19 disruptions impacting health services, our At Home service has been growing behind the scenes, with significant benefits for our patients. By implementing At Home care, we are delivering world-class healthcare for our community, keeping people out of hospital, or reducing their time spent in hospital, while providing more medical care in the comfort of people’s homes,” added A/Prof Menon.
“I did feel obligated to my friends, relying on them for transport to and from hospital. I just enjoy it so much more, because it’s on a personal level here, and that’s really nice,” says Jennifer.
A/Professor Menon encourages everyone to talk with their healthcare team to see if, like Jennifer, At Home services are suitable for their care needs.
“Next time you or your loved one find yourself in one of our hospitals, please consider talking with your treating team about At Home care. You may be surprised by the possibility of continuing your treatment in the comfort of your own home.”
Peninsula At Home is the leading initiative to move additional medical care into the home and community environment, by making home the first preference for care.
For more information on Peninsula Health’s At Home Services, and which treatments are covered visit the At Home section of our website.