Hospice Week

Tuesday 8 May 2012

5 years 8 months on … Deuce

The theme for this year’s Hospice Week is “Celebrating Partnerships”, as HPCA (Hospice Palliative Care Association) is celebrating 25 years of service. The mission of  Hospice is to promote quality in life, dignity in death and support in bereavement for all living with a life-threatening illness by supporting member hospices. In partnering with member hospices and partner organisations HPCA is able to reach out to more people who need palliative care in the country. This is one example of how the organisation relies on partnerships to provide palliative care, to promote awareness of it and for extending their expertise to reach the common goal. They rely heavily on partnerships with local and overseas funders, local government, generous corporate funders, partner and service organisations and volunteers. As the philosophy of palliative care reflects a multi-disciplinary approach, the patient’s doctor and the patient’s family are also considered to be partners in the care.

HPCA is a non-profit organisation that comprises 184 member hospices that independently provide palliative care to patients with life-threatening illnesses, including children with incurable illnesses such as AIDS and cancer. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), palliative care is “an approach that improves quality to life of patients and their families facing problems associated with life-threatening illnesses.”

Hospice Week is a national event which was included in the national Government health calendar will be celebrated from the 6 to 13 May 2012. These hospices will use Hospice Week to raise awareness of palliative care through various activities such as concerts and open days, and to highlight their essential services, which are provided regardless of race, culture, age or ability to pay. Hospice is a philosophy and not just a place as many people think. It is normally identified as “a place where people go to die” but through Hospice Week, we will be giving our 184 member hospices the opportunity to advocate what really takes place inside those buildings and in patients’ homes, where 98% of hospice care is given. In addition they offer care day care, support groups, in-patient units and training in palliative care.

To find out more about Hospice events or palliative care, please visit www.hpca.co.za

Issued by Eric Watlington, of HPCA

Tel: 021 531 0277

E-mail: eric@hpca.co.za