For this week, we round up our #HospiceVisits for Western Cape Province and visit Bethesda Hospice situated in George. We catch up with one of the carers, Felicity Omarjee who has been taking care of patients for over 9 years at the In Patient Unit.
Felicity has been a resident of the George community all her life and has been involved in the lives of many patients. Before joining Bethesda in 2007, she did private nursing for a lady from England who was suffering from severe diabetes for 6 years. When the lady passed away, Felicity was no longer employed and had to find other work but was in no hurry at the time as she needed to deal with the emotional disconnection. She eventually worked through her emotions and was ready to move on.
Felicity find herself in a very happy place since being at Bethesda Hospice. “I am passionate about my patients and will do anything to bring a smile to their face.” This is exactly what she does to most patients by entertaining them. Felicity describes that although Hospice is filled with patients who are suffering with a life-threatening illness, it does not necessarily mean it has to be a “sad atmosphere”. “The minute I sense some sadness, I start entertaining my patients by dancing and playing games with them just to lighten the mood. This has worked so well as patients would start laughing and smiling. “She added. It is so well accepted by patients that on my days off – I would be told that I was really missed. “I feel that I have a special connection with them.”
How did you find out about Bethesda Hospice?
Before Bethesda Hospice started, it was a crèche. I lived down the road and always walked past the building. People in the community often gossiped about this place, stating that “it was a place where all people die and nobody should work or enter the premises”. I didn’t want to believe this and wanted to find out for myself what actually takes place in these buildings. One day I decided to pay the hospice a visit. This was different from doing private nursing as I had only one patient to deal with. With my previous experience, I was willing to give it a try and today I find myself doing what I love. I do believe that patients should never be alone and that they will always need support and have someone walk the journey with them. This is exactly what I do.
Bethesda, previously known as the Christian Medical Service and Relief, is a Christian faith-based multi-denominational section 21 company. It provides comprehensive medical care, social work services, relief and pastoral care to destitute community members, irrespective of their race or creed. To learn more about this hospice, click here