Hinterland Times February 2022

Page 8

Reverend Liena Hoffman - image Angela Reedman-Polinski

A free service supporting families and the elderly with difficult and challenging situations has arrived in the hinterland, and Reverend Liena Hoffman believes it will be of great value to the community. by ANGELA REEDMAN-POLINSKI

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alking about home care with family is not something we think about often; it’s uncomfortable and a little confronting. But when the time comes to act, you need support, advice, and answers.

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It can sometimes be easier to have difficult conversations with strangers, meeting together in neutral territory, and at The Conversation Hub families can make this happen.

The hinterland now has a free facilitator service, The Conversation Hub, to deal with this, and Reverend Liena Hoffman from Blackall Range Uniting Church shares the story of this new community project.

“We have trained facilitators and professionals in areas such as finance, law and aged care to share thoughts, explore options and investigate further professional areas of support,” explains Liena.

“The Conversation Hub is a new proactive, collaborative project between Speak Up Now and Blackall Range Uniting Church. It offers a free 90 minute facilitated meeting and is available for multiple appointments,” says Liena.

“You can attend an appointment via Zoom if you can’t be there in person. We know family dynamics can be difficult, and we can work with you all in uncomfortable situations to facilitate a positive outcome.”

“Along with talking about care options, the hub is also an important space for the Speak Up Now - Stop Domestic and Family Violence group.

For bookings call 0482 171 171 Shop 3, 1 Maleny St Landsborough 4550 misschisalon@outlook

“They aim to raise awareness of domestic violence, including elder abuse, through education, forums, and other information services, so that we all can help to reduce this kind of abuse within our community. “We provide a safe, confidential space for people to talk with trained professionals,” continues Liena, “and our goal is not to make decisions for people, but to facilitate these difficult conversations before a dispute arises.”

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Who might use the service? It’s beneficial for people who don’t know where to begin. Not everyone has a support network. You may have family in other countries but not here. Maybe you are dealing with the trauma of moving a parent to a care home who refuses to move. “We help people who need it. We understand the hesitation and the fear. These are tough situations for families, and it can feel lonely, scary and even shameful as people may feel that they should know what to do next. It can be challenging, and we are here to help,” smiles Liena. “When it comes to discussing care with family it can be a difficult conversation. While the choice is still theirs,

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8 FEBRUARY 2022 HINTERLAND TIMES