Pretoria – This year’s theme for World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is “my care, my comfort”, and Centurion Hospice is honouring this by reopening the in-patient unit that closed around four years ago.
The general manager of Centurion Hospice, Annette Reed, said with 14 beds, the facility will provide much-needed care for patients who cannot afford palliative and respite care.
She said they were pleased that the opening of the newly refurbished in-patient unit (IPU) coincides with World Hospice and Palliative Care Day which was last weekend.
The unit closed in 2017 due to financial constraints, but also because of the narrow admission requirements Centurion Hospice set for taking in patients.
Reed said a local hospice played an integral part of a community’s response to health care for people who do not have access to private medical care.
“Palliative care is not high on the list of local public health services and hospices step into that gap. We therefore urge the community to get involved by either donating previously-loved goods, supporting us by giving cash donations or becoming a volunteer,” she said.
She added that there were so many challenges and demands on medical staff and on resources, that palliative care was not top of mind, and that culturally there was a reluctance to take up these services.
While home-based patients needed visits to assist them with cleaning, washing and a little company, in- patients on the other hand needed a little company.
Reed explained that activities such as reading or just conversation were just as important as shops needing sorters and assistants.
Centurion Hospice was founded in 1997, and has since then been providing professional palliative care either at home or in the in-patient unit.
Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients facing the problems associated with a life-threatening illness, through relief of suffering by means of early identification and treatment.
Reed said the new unit would officially open on October 23 for invited guests, but interested parties were welcome to visit on the Friday during an open day.
“We’ve now expanded the definition of what an IPU patient is and we now include patients with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses.
“This will include pre-terminal and aged patients who are totally unable to care for themselves and who are more than 50% bedridden.”