Suddenly there was someone who understood exactly what we were facing.
Camdeboo Hospice has cared for well over 1000 patients since its inception in 1998. Camdeboo Hospice fills a gap in health care services by providing holistic home-based palliative care to patients living with life threatening illnesses and their families. Such care is given free of charge. A team of home-based carers walks from house to house in their allocated areas visiting patients in their own homes to provide comfort, help and support to the patients and their families. Poverty relief is provided by the supply of food parcels (finances permitting) to the patients as well as donations of good quality second hand clothing and blankets. Patients suffering from life threatening illnesses (especially HIV & AIDS, Cancer, all VARIANTS of TB and Motor Neuron Disease) are admitted as patients on receipt of a letter of referral from a clinic or doctor. The Hospice Professional Nurse (Sister) will visit the patient and family to assess and register the patient. Confidentiality and privacy is essential and Hospice abides by the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013.
WHAT WE DO
Holistic Home-based Palliative Care
Awareness / Outreach programs
Community-based HIV Counselling and Testing Services (HTS)
Identification of People Living with HIV
Identification and referrals of HIV high-risk individuals to prevention programs
Identification of TB patients
Referrals to appropriate care facilities
Follow-up on referrals
I-Act Support Groups (Graaff-Reinet only)
Adherence Clubs (Graaff-Reinet only)
Palliative care is not just for the last days of a patient’s life. Palliative care may be a long term process and is holistic (all round) quality health care. Patients and family are educated about treatment, diet, basic nursing, adherence to medication. Pain and symptoms are assessed and monitored to ensure patients do not suffer. Counseling of patients and families involves emotional and spiritual support, decision making and, if necessary, preparations for dying and bereavement comfort. Patients diagnosed with a terminal illness may ask their doctor for a referral letter to hospice as soon as possible after diagnosis is received.
WHAT IS PALLIATIVE CARE?
- Specialised treatment for patients who are not likely to be cured.
- Focus of care: pain and symptom control
- Aim: to improve the quality of life of the patient and to help them to live as actively as possible while they are going through the experience of their illness
- Patient and the family form the core unit of focus of palliative care
- For people of all ages who are experiencing symptoms of a life-limiting illness.
TO PROVIDE QUALITY PALLIATIVE CARE, THE FOLLOWING ARE ESSENTIAL:
- Quality patient and family communication and updates – education on the illness, includes the cause, treatment, what to expect and the kind of help they can get. It is important for family to be included in the education updates and counseling as their support goes a long way regarding the care they wish to receive.
- Pain & symptom control. Pain is the most feared symptom and is very distressing for the patient & their family. Individual pain assessment and treatment are offered.
- Planning for the future: to ensure the patient and the family experience the best quality of life and support possible throughout the course of the illness, including where the patient wants to be cared for and who should be the decision-maker when they’re no longer able to make decisions for themselves. Advance care planning is an important part of quality palliative care. The patient’s preferences are clear and conflicts about decision-making are avoided. Confidentiality and privacy are essential and considered to be part of the hospice team’s responsibility.
- Emotional, spiritual, and social wellbeing – the holistic approach – helps patients find meaning in what they are going through and they and their families learn how to cope with the challenges they face.
Where is palliative care provided?
Patients usually choose to be treated in their own homes but may need to be hospitalized at some stage during the course of their illness. Unfortunately, most hospices have had to close their in-patient units because of the lack of funding to run such institutions.
Patient Care Equipment Hire
By paying a refundable deposit and minimal monthly rental fee, community residents may hire the following patient care equipment: wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, and commodes.
Making a Difference
In the semi-rural areas of the Karoo many patients suffering from life-threatening illnesses do not have easy access to appropriate care: ambulances are scarce, taxi fares exorbitant, and the distances to the nearest public health care clinics are too vast for sick patients to walk in their weakened condition. This means they are left at the mercy of their ill-equipped, desperate family and friends for help.
This is the gap that Hospice fills:
Hospice provides care and support to patients in their own homes.
During home visits, all family and household members are made to feel valued by:
- Being trained on basic care and support of the patient in the home
- Being educated on the prevention of the spread of the disease
- Being tested and monitored regularly to ensure that they have not become infected
- Being educated on basic personal and household hygiene
- Being afforded quality time to voice their queries, fears and doubts and to receive re-assurance, comfort, encouragement and support
- Having their social and spiritual needs attended to
- Having Individual and family group counselling
- Sharing sad and happy moments with someone who cares
Family involvement in a patient’s care promotes acceptance and understanding. Families are empowered with knowledge and skills resulting in the community at large benefitting significantly from the services rendered, at no cost, by Camdeboo Hospice.
Hospice instils a sense of hope in the lives of people in the final stages of their illness by meeting the patients’ constitutional right to care and dignity in death.