Palliative care has proven to be an effective way of caring for patients

This week #HospiceVisits highlights Hospice East Rand which is a community-based organisation whose mission is to provide high quality holistic and non-discriminatory care for the terminally ill and their families, irrespective of the ability to pay.

We had a chat with Sindisiswe Mdlalose, Patient Care Manager for Hospice East Rand. She describes her experience with hospice and palliative care and the difference Hospice East Rand has made in the communities that they serve.

In 1998 was the first time she came into contact with hospice. A friend of hers had mentioned that she was working for hospice and she had only positive things to say. Sindisiswe then became interested to find out more about this concept of hospice and palliative care.

“When I joined hospice I learnt about a different way of caring for patients, I learnt a holistic approach, which is an approach that does not just focus on treating the patient, but also looking at their emotions, the families’ emotions and many more factors. Palliative care is a beautiful concept, and its one I am extremely passionate about”, she said.

“From my experience, I have noted that families really do take on the burden of their loved ones illness just as heavily as the patient and at times they feel really hopeless, lost and confused. That is where our counsellors come in and talk to them and give them peace of mind. This is a very important point for me and very underrated. You focus so much on the patient, when in fact, the family needs just as much focus.”

Sindisiswe then dug deeper into the impact that Hospice East Rand is making in the communities they serve. “We treat 98% of our patients in the comfort of their own homes. It’s a better setting, there is better comfortability and they are at peace with their loved ones by their bedside”.

In a hospital everyone knows how difficult it is to manage everyone’s needs, and at times, you are left very isolated which leads to a lot of poor care in that setting. For Sindisiswe, the impact of hospice and home care compared to hospital care is the quality. She feels strongly that the health department should have a much needed and more open-minded approach to the impact that hospice and palliative care can make in South Africa’s health system.

Some interesting facts about Sindisiswe is that she is a mother of 5 children and she draws all her inspiration from God, her family and loved ones.

If you would like to find out more about Hospice East Rand click here.