The Hospice Egypt project provides care for terminally-ill patients in their final days. Hospice Egypt also aims at supporting their families even after patients' departure. Terminally-ill patients are a marginalized segment of the Egyptian community that are not only suffering from illness and pain, but also are desperate and fearfully awaiting death.
Hospice Egypt is not merely a program, but rather a life perception and a special way to spend the last days in life in a peaceful way.
Hospice Egypt provides services to support the patient and his/her family. The Hospice Egypt services can either be mobile where a well-trained team visits the patients at their premises, or stationary where the patient can stay and receive the same types of support.
Hospice Egypt services provided at the patient's home are called mobile hospice services which are provided free of charge to the patients regardless of their socio- economic status.
Hospice Egypt services are provided by a mobile team that includes: Doctors, Nurses, Psychologists, Pain Management Doctors, Caregivers, and Volunteers. The Hospice Egypt team moves immediately to assess the patient condition and determine their needs. The Hospice Egypt team then, puts a clear plan to follow up with the patient and their families as well as, decide on the most suitable team members and volunteers that match with the patient. Hospice Egypt support services continue for a specific time with the family members after the patient passes away.
Unlike any other patient, a terminally-ill patient suffers socially to massive extends. The truth is no one really knows what the patients are experiencing but the patients themselves. Their personality may change drastically, making them react passively or aggressively. They may feel isolated, desperate as a result of the increasing mental and physical burdens. The key is to listen and to be there for them.
The Hospice Egypt team addresses these feelings during regular visits through active listening and correct communication. The patient finds comfort in knowing that there are those who understand, care and listen to him/her.
A terminally-ill patient severely deteriorates and is delivered bad news about his treatment; this triggers feelings of frustration that develop into anxiety and depression. Furthermore, they may be fatigued and are unable to walk or undertake daily life activities independently. The patient becomes vulnerable and in need of someone to care for them often and this can make them feel helpless and a burden on their caregivers.
The patient feels lonely, fearful, worried as well as awaits death. This suffering extends to all members of their family who may be sad and grieving for some time. Hospice Egypt team offers psychological support and assigns well trained and qualified psychologists to deal with such cases and their families if needed.
One of the most requested needs once a terminally-ill patient is discharged from the hospital is nursing support at home. Managing to find a nurse that is both empathetic and committed is a hard task.The Hospice Egypt team supplies nurses at home when the patient requires installing IV solutions and fluids, wound dressing, IM injections or any specific nursing needs ordered by their treating doctor. The well-trained nurses provide optimal nursing services at home, completely free of charge.
Fulfilling and respecting the patient’s last wishes is of the outmost importance to the Hospice Egypt team. Some of these wishes may be to enjoy the activities they value the most. The team shares the patient’s interests and hobbies such as playing a game of chess or drawing. Moreover they may ask to spend a day away from home, outdoors. Whether it is spending a day by the sea, eating Humus by the Nile or sitting in a park surrounded by greenery, the Hospice Egypt team tailors the trip to match what the patient requires trying their best to satisfy their wishes. Their wishes may seem simple, but fulfilling them brings tremendous joy to the patient as well as to the Hospice Egypt team.
Even though medically the patient may not be cured, they might still be suffering from severe pain and develop extra symptoms associated to the deterioration of the illness. The patient may develop bedsores from spending a long period bedridden, be vomiting, anorexic, develop mouth ulcers due to the inability or unwillingness to eat, be confused and unable to concentrate, fatigued, complain of dyspnea, but most dominantly experience severe pain.
The Hospice Egypt team allocates different specialty doctors like pain management doctors to manage these symptoms and alleviate the pain and suffering of these patients. The Hospice Egypt team also provides the patient with medical supplies and medical equipment that helps improve the patient’s quality of life.
For a terminally-ill patient living in a middle-low income developing country, the cost of maintaining good quality care is expensive and not readily available. During the journey of treatment, patients and their families exhaust a lot of their financial resources on hospital visits, medications and specific equipment. This causes some patients' financial resources to be drained in the process, which negatively affects their standard of living.The Hospice Egypt team thoroughly assesses the patients' situation, and when needed offers limited financial support in different ways to improve their quality of life.
From the very beginning the Hospice Egypt team doesn’t only support the patient, but also supports the family. A lot of the time the family surrounding the terminally-ill patient is also going through a very tough time. The Hospice Egypt team provides continuous family support that also extends for up to 9 months if needed, after the patient passes, until the family is able to support itself.
If the terminally-ill patient happens to be the breadwinner of the family, our Hospice Egypt team discusses with the wife her capabilities to run a microfinance project that can sustain a constant income for the family in the future. Children may not take the loss and grief like adults do; some may struggle in their school or manifest psychosomatic signs of sadness such as incontinence, bad temper and unusual behavior. The Hospice Egypt team includes child psychologists that can step in and help. Hospice Egypt volunteers can also be assigned to take the children out, as well as network with other organizations in the neighborhood that can continue supporting the family.
Sometimes the patient and their families consider the Hospice Egypt team like their own family, the shoulder to lean on during this very difficult time. This makes the different possible ways of support, endless! They involve our team in all aspects of their life, asking them for advice regarding mending personal relationships and reaching out to distance relatives. The Hospice Egypt team can also help the patients and their families finish official documents, governmental paperwork and some pending legal issues.