Hospice care unit to reopen

Recently Hospice board and CEO had a vision to reopen the Hospice in-patient facility that was closed in Umkomaas some years ago because of financial constraints at the time.

 “The reopening vision has been on the cards for some time, but the time has come that we are getting serious about making this a reality in order to create a safe haven for people who need it. Some of the older generation might even recall visiting patients at Hospice House in Winder Street. Many people spent their last days there, cared for by dedicated medical staff and who died in dignity, not alone,” Hospice CEO, Neil McDonald said.

He said that nursing patients at a Hospice in-patient unit will make things much easier.

For instance, receiving food on time and a full inter-disciplinary team to see to the needs of the patients, like spiritual care, physiotherapy and a psychologist.

McDonald said they will also continue their home-based care programme as not everyone wants to go to an inpatient-unit, but it makes sense to admit people where there is 24/7 nursing care.

“If a patient has to be admitted to hospital, they are normally referred to a Durban hospital, which makes it virtually impossible for the family to visit the patient during the week as transport is a problem.

“Whereas in Umkomaas, on their way to work early in the morning, or on their way home, people will be able to visit their loved ones.”

The organisation’s area stretches from Umbogintwini to Hibberdene, a long stretch of coastline and about 40km inland and Hospice is planning on building the new facility next door to the old facility in Umkomaas, an old house.

“We have the land already paid for. Apart from the job- creating initiative, according to government’s appeal on the private sector to create jobs, the need is great in the area that we serve. Imagine the ripple effect and impact this job-creating initiative would have on poverty alleviation in this area,” McDonald added.

Hospice is looking for companies and/or private people who would like to partner with it in the project.

“We need the services of a structural and civil engineer, who will be able to see the project through. We need the services of a project manager, people in the building trade and people who would like to donate their time and expertise to Hospice,” McDonald said.

Donations in the form of bathroom fittings and accessories, kitchen cupboards and equipment, hospital beds and medical equipment, cutlery and crockery, linen, computers and furniture and interior fitting are also needed.

Anyone who is able to help can contact

Hospice on hospice@scottnet.co.za or 039 973 1783.