Home Based Palliative Care Service
By Dr.Iresh Jayaweera , President CCA-Karapitiya Branch
A patient with an advanced stages of cancer and when a cure is no longer possible with active treatment he/she is referred to as Terminally Ill. These patients usually do not survive more than 3 to 6 months and they are badly affected both physically and mentally with the fear of death.These patients should be ideally kept in a Hospice and cared for.Relieving their symptoms and frustration is referred as Palliative Care.Palliation includes Nursing care,Pain relief and Counseling and Spiritual development of the patient and also of family members.Social worker address various other problems like economic support for the poor.
A Hospice is a place which provides shelter and medical care free of charge to patients who are terminally ill with cancer in order to promote their spiritual well being with preparation to the final event. In addition it provides education to family members on how better to care for their loved ones and hospice also offers support for the family who faces eminent loss.But unfortunately facility is not available to all of them.Many people with terminal illnesses are more comfortable in spending their final days at home.
When there is no active treatment going on these terminally patients are discharged from hospital and sent home to be looked after by relatives.When there is a chronic problem needing nursing care relatives face a lot difficulty at their homes.Some of them are facing financial difficulties to an extent where they cant even afford traveling by public transport.
Cancer care association- Karapitiya branch with the guidance of Dr.Upul Ekanayake and Dr.Samdhi Wishwanath Rajapakse initiated the “Home based Palliative Care Service” for the first time in Sri Lanka for those needy terminally ill patients initially in the Galle district with the intention of expanding to the whole Southern province in the future.
As a group who follow the great saying “Whoever would tend to me,” he said, “should tend to the sick.”-by Lord Buddha,our members only concentrate about the merit and work with a great self satisfaction.
Patients were identified and their consent was taken along with relatives for the palliative care support during their hospital stay.Consultants recommendation is essential for this service.(Ref:Form 01)
First visit was really successful with a positive feed back from the patients family.
CCA is planning to continue this service initially in the Galle district with the noble intention of expanding to whole Southern province in the Future.
Also you can donate dry rations/Nutritional supplements or simply participate in the activity with your labour to help the patients.