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Durban Hospice closes inpatient facilities due to lack of funds – SABC News

Families in Durban say Highway Hospice in Sherwood has been an incredible support system for them while caring for loved ones with terminal illnesses.

The hospice is among several NGOs that have come under financial pressure since funding fell during the Covid-19 pandemic. Highway Hospice presented its annual meeting via video and announced the decision to close its inpatient department and opted to shift its resources and focus on the home care department. They had also been pushed to reduce their headcount from 102 to just 42 employees.

Until two years ago, the Highway Hospice in Sherwood was one of the few palliative care centers in the greater Durban area that offered an inpatient facility.

The organization determined that closing the inpatient unit would be a better use of donor funds as the inpatient unit cost R500,000 to run. They can still send caregivers to more than 600 people for home care in the greater Durban area. This is now their main service area. But this also requires funds to cover the costs of petrol, medication and the nurse or doctor.

Countless people and families have come forward to speak out about how hospice has helped them when they needed it most and are calling for the inpatient facility to reopen as it offers patients a respite as well as their families and carers.

Shirley Smith, 85, from Durban was forced to become the primary carer for her 60-year-old son when he was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer. This was her first experience caring for someone with a terminal illness, and she says Highway Hospice responded to her calls for help immediately.

“He actually asked Nurse Lauran to take him to the hospice, but then she made it clear to him that they don’t have inpatients, so only do district visits. I think he wanted to go [to the hospice] he felt safer with them because they are in the medical field. He must realize that you can do more for him than I can. They might take better care of him at the hospice than I would at home, although we tried our best to do everything for him,” Smith recalled of her experience.

Giselle Haupe, a cancer patient, says she is grateful for the support and encouragement she receives from nurses at Sherwood’s Hospice. Much of the care Haupe required was focused on pain management, and nurses supported her by supervising her use of morphine for the pain. She says the help from the hospice staff has improved the quality of life she has lost due to her pain.

“I can never explain how grateful we as patients are for the hospice staff and how much we appreciate them for tending to our physical needs, from holding hands to wiping tears when the struggle gets too much. We thank them for giving us dignity and quality of life. Life is so precious and that’s exactly how we feel every day.” Haupe continued.

Sbonelo Mvaba, whose wife recently died of cancer, shares the support he and his family have received from the hospice and is grateful that the hospital where his wife was treated referred the family to Highway Hospice.

“The hospice is very important because it takes over when the hospital says there is nothing more they can do. They do so much to help families and patients,” Mbava concluded.

Highway Hospice continues to seek fundraising from donors, and donation details are available on the hospice’s website for interested donors.

Durban Hospice closes inpatient facilities due to lack of funds – SABC News

Source link Durban Hospice closes inpatient facilities due to lack of funds – SABC News

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