As a Hospice, we provide care for people with advanced, incurable terminal illness in the final stages of life. We promote Palliative care which is treatment focused on the patient as opposed to the disease. The goal is to, “make people feel better”. Not only physically by providing comfort but also emotionally, socially, practically, intellectually and spiritually. This starts at diagnosis and continues during treatment, and moves through to end of life as needed.
We provide Hospice care which is even more focused on the person; as it is provided once treatment has stopped. It is a specialized area of medicine as a lot of the focus is on comfort, pain management and symptom control where most medicine is focused on fighting disease for cure. Both Palliative care and Hospice care have the same focus, they both promote an improved quality of life.
The Difference Between Palliative Care and Hospice
Both palliative care and hospice care provide comfort. But palliative care can begin at diagnosis, and at the same time as treatment. Hospice care begins after treatment of the disease is stopped and when it is clear that the person is not going to survive the illness.
The reality of our service
Although our mission is to provide “Palliative care for all”, we are unable to make this a reality ourselves. Being funded by our community, we only have enough resources to provide Hospice care. We do however advocate, promote and train Palliative care as specialists in this area. Through creating this awareness, and by developing skills and knowledge in other healthcare providers we get closer to our mission. So, it is simply a reliance on resources which limits our ability to care for more people. The more we have, the more we can provide as there is a generic and growing demand for Palliative care.
To this end, we have an admissions policy which controls the patients we admit to our program. This ensures that we can provide for the community in a fair and sustainable manner; and that those that need help the most are cared for. Please read through the admissions policy here for more information.
Quality of life
As a Hospice, we are in a unique and privileged situation in that we are very in tune with the natural event called death. Yes, death! People don’t like to think and talk about it, but we will all experience it. We will lose loved ones, friends and family and eventually we will experience our own death. It is a matter of time, and it is the destiny of all of us. However, before the death of anyone, there is a life. The one and only life we get to live, this special, “it is not a dress rehearsal” time on this beautiful earth. It is counter-intuitive, but the more you think about death the more you appreciate life. So by default we become advocates for living an amazing life, no matter how long you have to live. It is your right to live a beautiful life, and to have a comfortable and dignified death.
We spend a lot of time promoting this fact, as the common theme in our work is a quality of life. And so you, the person reading this are of our concern even if you are not ill. This we promote to everyone we meet, and we include in all presentations and talks about our work. You will have been told that, “You only live once”, here we believe you only die once, but you live each and every special day until then. So go out there and remember, “Every Day Matters!”