ABOUT PALLIATIVE CARE & HOSPICE Palliative care is active total care of patients and their families suffering from advance and terminal illness when the disease is no longer responsive to curative treatment, ego - Cancer, AIDS, Dementia, COPD. Hospice and palliative care is a holistic approach to caring for patients going through the last stages of their lives. It aims to meet all needs (physical, emotional, psychosocial and spiritual) so as to alleviate suffering and maximize quality of life for patients and their loved ones. Staff and volunteers work multi professional teams to support these patients and their families, and enable patients to live their last days fully. A Hospice is a place of rest, a haven of peace, where such patients are treated. It offers specialized care of an institution and the love of a home. We insure our life but do we ensure our death? Palliative care is our death insurance ensuring a pain free and dignified life till the finality of death.
“I feel like screaming out loud and banging my head against the walls” he would tell me, “I feel that this human existence is worthless” and “sometimes I feel like committing suicide, consuming poison or jumping off a roof. His spiritual concerns also would surface “I keep thinking as to which (previous) birth’s ‘karma’ I am suffering and to why was I born in this world?”
Availability of oral morphine is still an unrealized dream in most parts of India and if you live in a village or a small town, then its better that you do not even dream of it! But our hospice could make oral morphine available to him in a ‘consistent and accessible’ manner and we could thus control his physical pain. Ongoing compassionate presence and empathy went a long way in attenuating his psychosocial and spiritual concerns. We were thus able to restore a sense of ‘meaning’ to his life although he still would keep saying “I miss my college and my friends…”