HospiceWits invited patients, families, local organisations and groups to a celebration of the services offered to all in Soweto who have a life threatening illness, and needing care and support in the comfort of their own homes.
Management and the staff members in Soweto reminded the stakeholders and the community at large that we all matter. The theme of this year’s Hospice Week celebration is : ‘Palliative Care – Because I Matter’. This speaks to the individual experience of people directly affected by serious illness. It highlights the importance of listening to people directly affected when planning healthcare policies and individual care and involving them in service planning, advocacy, communications and governance in hospice and palliative care worldwide.
The celebration held was to remind them that despite all the financial difficulties HospiceWits is facing as an organisation, we are still here to serve them and their loved ones because they matter and we matter.
We also wanted to correct the perception that HospiceWits in Soweto is closed, informing them that only the IPU was closed last year due to financial constraints, and that our Homecare team continue to very actively care for our patients in their homes.
We reminded them that Palliative care starts from the day the patient is diagnosed, or when the patient is discharged from Hospital, and ends when the patient reaches the end of their lives. The inter-disciplinary team we take them through the journey of celebrating their lives with them throughout this whole process. No patient should die alone or die in pain. We ensure that our patients are cared for holistically, and do not suffer from pain.
When a person is sick, their family is also affected, and we then involve our Social Worker who offers psychosocial support to both the family and the patient on an on-going basis.
In a nutshell, we celebrated the good work done by HospiceWits staff members in Soweto, to encourage all stakeholders to refer patients to us for assistance, and to dispel all the myths and attached stigma concerns about the care and support services we offer. We appealed to all to be our Ambassadors by sharing information with the community and encouraging active support in order to raise funds that will enable HospiceWits to re-open the IPU units in Soweto, Diepkloof.