"The Friends' Hospice Paphos" Services
What is Hospice Care?
The Hospice is not the building but the concept of total care of the patient with a life-limiting illness. That care is medical, nursing, physical, emotional and spiritual and encompasses not only the patient but also the family who require support in managing their relative’s illness. To meet all these needs, patients are assessed and the care tailored to their specific requirements. The care is provided by a multidisciplinary team in order to meet the wide needs of patients with advanced disease.
What the Friends' Hospice Paphos does.
There are three basic functions that the Hospice undertakes: Symptom control, Respite Care and Terminal Care.
Symptom control – in the late stages of diseases such as cancer, symptoms such as pain, vomiting or breathlessness can be very distressing and sometimes difficult to control at home. In the Hospice, these symptoms can be assessed by staff experienced in dealing with advanced disease and a number of therapies used to alleviate them. Medication can be assessed by the specialist team and alterations monitored for effectiveness. The answer is not always simply to use drugs.
Often, addressing issues such as fear and anxiety with quiet understanding, explanation and the use of complementary therapies can allow the drugs to work more effectively and relieve the distress that patients have.
Symptoms may be aggravated by factors such as where and how a patient sits or what and how often the patient eats. These things can be assessed in the Hospice and small alterations can make a great difference to how somebody feels and how they cope with their symptoms. Factors within the home may also aggravate symptoms. For example, seats at the wrong height for the patient or furniture making it difficult for the patient to get about the house. These issues can be discussed with the Community Nurses and adjustments made to ensure the comfort of the patient when they leave the Hospice.
Complementary therapies – our volunteer therapists provide massage, aromatherapy, and reflexology to patients and to their families/carers. These therapies, in common with the other care within the Hospice, are free of charge. They can help reduce stress and discomfort and induce restful sleep. They can also augment the effects of drug therapy as well as producing a feeling of calm and relaxation. Such therapies are part of the holistic approach adopted within Hospice care.
Respite Care – caring for somebody with a life-limiting illness is both physically and emotionally exhausting. There are times when a carer needs a short break from the task of caring full-time either to recharge their batteries or because the carer requires care himself. Under these circumstances, patients can be admitted to the Hospice for an agreed period of time. Sometimes the carer will continue to provide care for the patient but with the back-up of experienced and trained nurses and carers who can provide 24 hour care.
The respite is also appreciated by the patient who can see that the everyday carer is getting a break and this helps the patient too. Therapies, such as massage and reflexology, are available to respite patients and their relatives and can contribute greatly to the sense of well-being when it is time to go home again.
Psychological and emotional care – life-limiting illness imposes emotional and psychological demands on patients and families which can be complex and difficult to manage. Our team, including a psychologist, helps patients and families to deal with their emotions and helps them find strategies to cope. This care can extend over a period of time after bereavement. It is very comforting for people to be able to anticipate ongoing emotional care from someone with whom they have established a rapport.
Spiritual care – although we are a non-religious, non-denominational organisation, we recognise the spiritual needs of our patients and have a dedicated Spiritual Adviser. Naturally, a patient’s own priest or minister is always welcome in the Hospice.
Terminal Care – the function of the Hospice in this context is to provide the patient and family with care which is compassionate, dignified and professional. The care extended to the patient is designed to relieve distress physically and emotionally in calm and peaceful surroundings. The support for the family is an equally important part of this type of care and the presence of experienced and professional staff can help to ease the distress at this time. Emotional and psychological support can be given to the family as well as complementary therapies as described below. There is access to agencies which can help to deal with the formalities following death.
In carrying out these three basic functions, the Hospice has a large number of agencies and contacts with whom the specific needs of individual patients may be met. There is a very close relationship with the nurses from the Cyprus Anticancer Association and PASYKAF who care for patients in the community. With their assistance, patients can go home following symptom control or respite with a specific care package in place. This will include regular visits by the nurses for nursing care and support. In addition, physiotherapy and psychological therapy can be accessed in the community.