What is Hospice Care?
The type of care offered by Hospice is known as “palliative care” and this is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as: “The active total care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment. The control of pain, of other symptoms, and issues of psychological, social and spiritual problems are paramount.
In providing a sensitive alternative to existing health care systems, Hospice offers physical and emotional care and comfort when treatments aimed at cure are no longer an option. All services offered by this Hospice are available to anyone who needs them, regardless of social circumstances.
Hospice’s multi-disciplinary team, comprising medical and nursing professionals, volunteer caregivers and social workers, offers a comprehensive range of specialized services to the terminally ill patient and his or her family members. As well as those services, Hospice Care can assist with all symptoms associated with progressive illness, provide an opportunity for patient and family to share anxieties, concerns and experiences, and offer practical and spiritual support wherever it is needed.
Our Hospice Intake Department is managed by trained staff and volunteers who listen to individual needs and record details. The department’s hours are 09h00 – 16h00 Mondays – Thursdays and 09h00 – 14h00 on Fridays. Requests for care and assistance are then channeled to appropriate members of the Hospice team for response.
Hospice Care is offered only after a direct approach is made by the patient, a loved one or someone else who is directly concerned with the patient, such as the medical practitioner, hospital, clinic, social worker or clergyman. The patient’s permission is essential.
We require a medical report from the patient’s doctor stating the patient’s condition and treatment given.
The areas covered include: Midrand, Alberton, Soweto, Ennerdale, Lenasia, Eldorado Park, Alexandra and the greater Johannesburg area.
Meeting the Costs
In keeping with our philosophy that Hospice Care should be available to all who need it, no-one is denied our services because they cannot afford to pay. At the same time, our organization is not state funded and is dependent on our fundraising efforts, on support from volunteer workers and the generosity of the communities we serve, to maintain our services and our staff.
Accounts for services rendered are submitted to all patients or families for settlement in full, where possible, or contributions in accordance with financial means. Our helpful Accounts Department staff are always willing to discuss appropriate arrangements for payment, or financial constraints.
Many Medical Benefit Schemes today recognize Hospice services and reimburse us accordingly. Others do not. Accounts will be submitted to Medical Aids. Ultimate responsibility for payment of Hospice accounts rests with patient/family members.
The Soweto Hospice, like the Houghton facility, has an Intake Department, In-Patient Unit, Day Care Centres, Home Care service, Counselling service and an Out-Patient Clinic. Our facility in Soweto is geared to meet the specific needs of patients living in and around this area.
Day care for patients from different areas is provided at both Mofolo and Mapetla and offers them the opportunity to meet with the Hospice doctor, to enjoy the company of other patients, learn handwork skills and to share a nourishing meal. Patients are transported to and from the Centre. Trained community care workers support the Soweto Hospice team in helping to care for patients at home and in the In-Patient Unit.
Community Care Workers
Soweto Hospice provides training of Community Care workers in basic nursing care in the Hospice Training Centre in the grounds of the Mofolo Primary Health Clinic.
These home-based Community Care workers work with the Home Care sisters, providing basic care to Hospice patients in their homes. Kit bags are provided containing essential items such as gloves, antiseptics, dressings, etc. which are replenished when necessary. The Community Care workers are spread throughout Soweto working in the areas in which they live.
Supervision is provided by the Soweto Hospice Co-ordinator for every care worker on a weekly basis. Meetings are held for :
· Continuous education
· Ongoing supervision.
Exit N12 at Old Potch Road / Soweto. Turn right at Regina Mundi Church into Roodepoort Road. Turn into Mofolo Clinic on right. Soweto Hospice is in the clinic grounds.
Important Telephone Numbers
Hospice Intake Department (011) 982-5835
Hospice In-Patient Unit (011) 982-5835
Hospice Administration and Accounts (011) 483-9100
Paging Service for Nurse contact (011) 321-0111
Secure parking is available.
Corporate Development Department
During the last year the Hospice Association of the Witwatersrand has responded dynamically to new challenges in health and palliative care. Capacity building, education and mentoring of external organisations are part of our daily undertakings. The training of unskilled, semi-skilled and professional health care personnel has expanded rapidly.
Hospice in Soweto is a leading AIDS program in the country. It is regularly visited by church groups, schools, medical students and overseas dignitaries, amongst others. The “pilot” project represents a partnership between professional Hospice staff and the community, which provides a model for replication countrywide.
Our benevolent donors have assured the stability and growth of our organization. Their generosity and foresight reflect a recognition of the essential role that we fulfill a comprehensive Health Care infrastructure.