The Sungardens Hospice in the east of Pretoria is not only a care centre for terminally ill cancer patients – it also offers a specialised home-based programme that offers care to patients and their families.
The centre caters to patients who suffer from an array of terminal illnesses like cancer, HIV/Aids, final stages of emphysema and motor neuron disease.
“Although we have a seven-bed in-patient unit on our premises, which provides short-term medical care, including pain and symptom control, the main thrust of our work is for our professionally trained nurses to visit the patients and their families in their own homes.
The nurses provide physical care, practical help and emotional support to approximately 300 patients at any given time,” said psychosocial manager at Sungardens Juanita Kruger.
“The hospice team is also involved in day-care programmes, bereavement counselling and training.”
The aim of Sungardens Hospice is to provide and promote a programme of comprehensive palliative care dedicated exclusively to patients and their families facing progressive and life threatening illness.
“We want to educate people about the term palliative care, which is what we mainly do at the hospice.
“Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing problems associated with life threatening illness.
“We do that through the prevention and relief of suffering, the early identification and impeccable assessment and the treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychological and spiritual,” Kruger explained.
She further said that although the hospice receives very little government funding, the centre will never refuse access to a patient that can’t afford to stay there.
“The cost of the care to the patient is explained to the family, and it is up to them to decide on the contribution. If the patient belongs to a medical aid scheme, the scheme will be approached for payment. There will be no difference in treatment or care to patients who stay at the hospice free of charge.”
What services does the hospice offer?
“Any family member or friend can refer a patient to the home-based care programme (with the patient’s consent). The hospice will obtain a referral letter from the attending doctor and a home-based care nurse will then visit the patient at home.”
– Home care nursing (Domiciliary Care)
– In-patient care
– Psychosocial services
– Bereavement follow-up
– Free HIV counselling and testing service (HTS)
– Referral forms
What can you do to help the Sungardens Hospice?
– Donate any unwanted goods like electrical appliances, clothing, books, art, mirrors, furniture, baby goods, sporting goods, etc.
– Subscribing to the Club 2 000.
– Supporting the hospice’s special events.
– Making monthly donations.
– Donating towards the patient care programme.
– Leaving a bequest in your will.
For more information contact Juanita Kruger at firstname.lastname@example.org