Turning Grief Into Blessing

Categories: Care, Featured, and People & Places.

At the end of life, fulfilment can often be achieved when patients are accompanied by their family members. It brings comfort not only to the terminally ill but also to those that live on. “In my husband’s final moments, our entire family was gathered at his bedside. When his breathing eventually stopped, we felt only a sense of peace and comfort,” Ibe recalled with emotion.

Ibe’s husband, Mr Chan, was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer this past February. After some research, Mr Chan decided to transfer from private hospital to the Jockey Club Home for Hospice (JCHH), a facility that was peaceful, close to nature and respectful of his wish to refuse life-sustaining treatments such as nasogastric tubes and oxygen ventilators.

Thanks for Reminder

Ibe was still coming to terms with her husband’s diagnosis when it was time to say goodbye. While visiting her husband in March, Ibe and her family received grief counseling from clinical social worker, Tina Yu. “I had planned on returning home that evening, but Tina suggested that we stayed. She explained that my husband was entering the final stage and could pass away within a few days,” said Ibe. “I am so thankful for her reminder because sure enough, he passed away peacefully that night!” Ibe believes that unlike public hospitals, which mainly provide physical care, JCHH prioritizes the well-being of both body and mind. “As a terminal patient, my husband not only needed a comfortable environment but also a warm and attentive clinical team. We found both and more at JCHH.”

To help cope with the loss of her husband, Ibe turned to volunteer work. Even though she had no prior experience, she was keen to volunteer at the Society for the Promotion of Hospice Care (SPHC) and use her personal experience to support other families facing significant loss.

Adding Life to Days

SPHC offers many volunteer opportunities including conducting follow-up phone calls, assisting with home visits, supporting in-patients and organizing activities.

As a volunteer, Ibe has been assisting with the“Afternoon Tea Service” held Monday to Saturday from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at JCHH. Volunteers are responsible for serving refreshments to visiting family members and in Ibe’s case, offer a listening ear to those who wish to share their experiences. “After volunteering for some time, I am looking forward to serving in different ways to bring warmth and love to more terminal patients and their families. I also hope that more people will become aware of palliative care and plan for it earlier.” Ibe already has a plan: to finish her life’s journey at JCHH as her husband did.

P02- Every Wednesday, Ibe volunteers at JCHH by serving refreshments to visiting family members.

JCHH is a comfortable environment for family members and caregivers alike.

To help cope with her grief, Ibe turned to volunteer work.

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This information was published with permission from The Society for the Promotion of Hospice Care.

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