Helderberg Hospice – skilled care and support

Patricia McNaught Davis

When my life is measured in months, weeks, days, hours, I want to live fee of pain, free of indignity, free of loneliness. Give me your hand. Give me your understanding. Give me your love. Then let me go peacefully and help my family to understand.”

These words express the purpose and work of Helderberg Hospice, which strives to provide quality of life, dignity in death and comfort and support in bereavement. Apart from dedicated nursing care, Helderberg Hospice also provides emotional and spiritual support to the patient and their family.

This specialised holistic care is available to all in the Helderberg who have need of this kind of expertise.

This week is Hospic Week which celebrates the hard work and care that goes into the establishment. Home nursing is the core service of Hospice and makes it possible for patients to live their last days in the comfort and familiarity of their homes, surrounded by their loved ones.

The Home Care Sisters co-ordinate a service of care which is aimed not only at the management of pain and physical symptoms, but also provides vital support for the patient and their family members. Two social workers and a team of trained volunteer caregivers work together to provide this support.

For those who need more intensive medical attention there is a 10 bed in-patient facility at Hospice House, providing specialised nursing for pain and symptom management, family respite and terminal care. Patients are admitted for a short-term stay of up to two weeks at a time.

For those patients who are well enough, Helderberg Hospice offers the opportunity for group activities and outings through the work of the Day Hospice. Patients get to be people, not just patients, and to socialise with others who face similar situations.

Having fun together certainly adds to the quality of life.

The specialised care services of Hospice are augmented by the support of willing volunteers. There are many avenues of involvement ranging from practical and administrative help to fundraising, be-reavement counselling and caregiving.

In order to sustain the high standard of care Hospice renders to the community, it is essential to maintain a sound financial support basis.

A donation to Hospice, a gift in your will, signing up for a MySchool card or becoming a member of Club 1000, which provides a guaranteed monthly income to support the Home Care service, are simple ways to contribute to the important work of Helderberg Hospice.

By supporting the three Hospice shops in the Helderberg, you can help raise funds for the work done and get yourself a great bargain at the same time.

For more details on how you can benefit from the services of Hospice or become part of this important work, visit www.helderberghospice.org.za or call Hel-derberg Hospice on 021 852 4608.