FOR patients like Brian Elias and his family, the new $3.5 million palliative care ward at Liverpool Hospital has become more like a second home.
The new unit which was officially opened on Tuesday, July 16, is fully equipped with 16 palliative care beds, two lounge areas, a Wi-fi study space, kitchen and dining areas, an outdoor balcony and barbecue area, a therapy sensory room and mobile water chairs for patients who are too unwell to stand.
There are also a number of specialised palliative care nurses and allied health staff available in the ward.
The ward is designed to care for patients living with life threatening conditions including cancer, heart failure, renal failure, motor neurone disease and other neurological conditions.
Mr Elias who is terminally ill, has been admitted to the ward four times in the last six weeks.
His family members including his wife, daughters and grandchildren are able to stay the night with Mr Elias while he is in hospital.
His daughter Belinda Shehata said being able to stay the night and spend quality time with her father meant everything to them.
"It brings him peace having his family around," she said.
"It's important for him to be able to have the people he loves and cares about around him.
"It feels family orientated, homely and warm here."
Mr Elias's second daughter, Joanne Burns said her family felt comfortable being in the ward.
"It feels like you're spending another day in hospital and not in a palliative care ward," she said.
"You can stay together as a family, like when the State of Origin was on, we were all able to get together, eat dinner and watch the football game in the lounge room.
"It felt like we're back at home."