Psychosocial and physical care and support – the multidisciplinary curative approach
Male patient, 36 years old. Diagnosis of HIV, and TB.
On admission to the Hospice programme, he was bedridden with bedsores, incontinent, weak and emaciated and suffered from bad neuropathy.
He has been on TB treatment for 5 months. He was staying with his sister in a family house in Ladysmith who did not take care of him and he was neglected. Fortunately for him, his uncle from our service area fetched him and we could admit him into our home based care programme. All treatments are now adhered to for TB, ART and peripheral neuropathy.
We commenced with intensive physical and psychosocial care and support. With the help of a physio and the use of our equipment (wheelchair, walker and air cushion) plus encouraging him to exercise and get out of bed, he slowly started improving.
The psychosocial issues were dealt with by our social worker after being referred internally by the professional nurse. Many interventions took place, including family counselling, as there were issues regarding conflict with his sister, access to a disability grant, education about positive living and a healthy diet and exercises were encouraged.
The psychosocial issues, especially conflict with family, dealing with his illnesses, and neglect from his family was making him feel depressed, and hopeless. Added to this the pain from neuropathy and poor nutrition were a strain on his physical wellbeing.
After just one month of care, there has been a significant improvement, both physically and emotionally. He is now able to walk unassisted, with the aid of a walker, and manages to get outside. He is gaining weight, and eating better. His incontinence has improved. His bedsores have healed. On the last visit, he was uncomplaining of any pain. He has accepted his diagnosis and is adhering to treatment. Emotionally he is much better, and has hope of a full recovery soon.
Words from the patient:
“I want to express my gratitude, appreciation and value to Hospice staff who have made a huge difference in my life. You have helped me so much, I’ll never forget your support and kindness. Just look how well I am doing. I’m waiting for my disability grant to pay out and my clothes are coming from my sister who was holding them for no reason. So now I can pronounce myself as healed, only minor challenges are left, but now I’m positive with Life.”