Archive: August 5, 2020

5 things to know about hospice care

When the time comes to decide about the symptom management of a loved one that is suffering from a terminal illness, family members often aren’t sure whether they should consider hospice care. This reluctance to consider palliative care by hospices frequently stems from the belief that accessing this type of care means that the patient and the family are giving up.

However, this is not the case, and is only one of many misconceptions that people may have about hospice care, like the services that HospiceWits provides.

Here are five things to know about hospice care.

1. Hospice care is not only for people who have cancer

Hospice care includes the management of symptoms and psychosocial support for a range of illnesses and conditions, not only for terminal cancer patients (known as palliative care). This includes other life-limiting illnesses like neurological disorders, stroke, AIDS-related illnesses or end-stage renal, heart or lung disease. Care is provided to patients who are no longer seeking a cure for their condition, but are rather looking for comfort, quality of life and symptom management.

2. Patients can change their mind

While patients have to meet certain criteria to qualify for hospice care, they are always free to pursue more aggressive medical treatment should they decide to do so, with the option to access hospice care again later, provided they qualify for it. No patient with a prognosis of six months or less is turned away from HospiceWits.

3. Hospice provides support to the family and the patient

Primary hospice care is provided to patients with life-limiting illnesses, but the hospice interdisciplinary team also provide psychosocial and other support to the family of patients. This includes grief, loss and bereavement counselling after a patient has passed away.

4. Accessing hospice care does not mean a patient is abandoning all medical care

Patients who are receiving hospice care may still wish to see their medical practitioner and make their own medical decisions. With hospice care, the focus shifts from curative treatments to other therapies that help manage pain and other symptoms, whilst assisting the patient to celebrate their life right through to the end.

5. With hospice care, patients may actually live longer

According to a study in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, patients receiving hospice care lived an average of 29 days longer than other patients that were not receiving hospice care. This is because patients often feel better once their symptoms and pain are controlled better.

If you or a family member have received a terminal diagnosis, you can rest assured that HospiceWits aims to ensure quality of life and support. To find out more, contact HospiceWits.

HospiceWits NWTS Lounge Edition brings stars together for a good cause

The annual HospiceWits Night with the Stars fashion show and fundraiser has become a mainstay of this organisation’s fundraising efforts, each year bringing together scores of celebrities, artists and top South African fashion royalty. The purpose of the event is twofold: raising awareness about the important work that HospiceWits does, and raising funds that are crucial to ensure that these services continue.

Over the past years, the HospiceWits Night with the Stars has brought more than 100 celebrities, newsmakers, musicians, and fashion houses and designers together for a fashion showcase that not only lets the light fall on the importance of end-of-life care, but also provides an opportunity to see entertainment and the amazing designs of the who’s who of fashion on a catwalk that has become legendary.

While this event is one of the most important on HospiceWits’ fundraising calendar, organising and producing the show in the traditional way was not possible this year, in the light of the Covid-19 outbreak. An initiative was proposed to ensure that the event was kept alive in 2020 – albeit in a different set-up.

The 7th edition of HospiceWits Night with the Stars saw more than 200 celebrities, actors, musicians and fashion designers take to the online sphere, and specifically Instagram, to get their message of support out. This also meant that the event’s reach extended a bit further than it might have in its original format, letting the public experience the digital fundraiser straight from their living rooms – hence the decision to call this years NWTS the “Lounge Edition”.

Said HospiceWits CEO, Jacqui Kaye, “This is a really exciting new concept. We wanted to keep the event alive in 2020 by celebrating the first six years of the show. The initiative allowed us to do just that under the circumstances of a new normal, and I’m really happy that we were able to appreciate the involvement of so many supporters on this platform. I believe it will reach a wider audience, and from that point of view, we are excited to see how many people get involved in this event.”

Among the big names were Lady Zamar, Pabi Moloi, Brümilda van Rensburg, David Tlale, Gert-Johan Coetzee, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Marcia Barret of the popular music group Boney M. Using their social media reach, these collaborators took to their Instagram accounts to raise awareness and appeal to their followers to donate to HospiceWits.

The HospiceWits Night with the Stars Lounge Edition took place on Tuesday, 28 July from 18:00 to 22:00. While the numbers are still being crunched and may change, it’s safe to say the NWTS Lounge Edition campaign reached more than 200 000 Instagram users on the night.

This fashion collaboration may be over until next year, but you are still welcome to donate to HospiceWits to support the critical and quality work offered to patients in the comfort of their own homes by this organisation, which is entirely reliant upon support from the public. Any donation helps, and you can donate in a variety of ways by clicking here.

As an NGO, HospiceWits is also always in dire need of volunteers to offer their time in service of our patients – please contact us if you would like to get involved.