Palliative care is about treating each patient as a whole person rather than just their illness. Despite shortages of funds and staff, palliative care nurses employ this person-centred approach to meet the individual needs of each patient and their family members. Palliative care nurse in charge of Nakuru Hospice, Elizabeth, told us about the holistic care she is providing to one of her patients with our support:

“Esther is a new client of ours since a few months ago. She was diagnosed with bone cancer and told her only option for treatment was amputation of the arm just below the shoulder. After surgery, the government hospital sent her home with no follow up or plan for her care. We became involved when a neighbour called us, asking for help on her behalf. She has a sad story. Esther’s husband left her when she was diagnosed with cancer, and her children are unable to support her.”

When Elizabeth first visited Esther, she took time to get to know her, to understand her condition and her family circumstances, and to understand her needs. Without any help at home Esther has found ways to cope with her disability. She demonstrated how she chops vegetables, holding them in place with her left foot and carefully chopping with her right hand. To wash clothes Esther has nailed a brush onto the side of a bucket, using it to scrub the clothes clean, but finds that the clothes often get torn. She has suffered many burns to her legs while cooking because she has to hold the handle of her cooking pan between her knees.

Esther shows Elizabeth how she has found ways to adapt to her disability

“Our visits are so important to Esther. At our last visit, on seeing us she brightened up and welcomed us with a big hug. She brought a chair outside, telling us she’s ashamed her house was untidy. She struggles to keep on top of house-work now with her disability and caring for her two  young grandchildren. The help we give her has really made a difference to her life. Thank you to HCK for enabling us to help patients like Esther.”

~Elizabeth, Nakuru Hospice nurse

To help Esther with her immediate needs, the hospice team provided her with a food parcel for her and her grandchildren as, without an income, they had very little food in the house. They cleaned her house and bought her a better pan for cooking that was easier to use with one hand. No one had explained about services available to support her with her disability so they discussed enrolling her in a government social services programme for people with disability where she will get a small monthly income.

Holistic palliative care is life-changing for people living with life-limiting illness and the many complex challenges it brings for families. Please support us in 2023 by donating or signing up as a regular giver so that we can ensure more families are supported through the most difficult times of their lives.

£20 buys an emergency food parcel for a patient and their family

£50 pays for a day-care meeting where patients and their family members can receive counselling, advice and information

£100 covers the cost of transport and supplies for a hospice to carry out home visits over a week

Please DONATE HERE. Thank you

Appeal for support 2023

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