Category: Care

Find treasures and make an invaluable contribution at HospiceWits shops

How often have you popped into a charity shop with the intention of just “quickly looking around”, only to leave an hour later with a few books, a new lamp for the lounge and something for the kids in tow?

HospiceWits’s charity shops are truly treasure troves, where those with a keen eye and some time to kill are bound to walk away with something precious in their bag. Our three shops, located in different parts of Johannesburg for your convenience, are filled to the brim with something that you’ll love! Visit the Rosebank Flea Market every Sunday to continue finding a bargain at our market stall.

HospiceWits shops form a key part of this NGO’s fundraising efforts, collecting much needed reserves to finance the work done with patients who are experiencing the last part of their journey of life. Stocking a wide collection of miscellaneous goods, ranging from household appliances to great second-hand books, HospiceWits shops are also the economical option for our customers who often find just what they’re looking for at a price they wouldn’t find anywhere else. Are you an avid thrift shopper? You’ll find wonderful vintage threads in any of the HospiceWits shops.

How to help

Aside from supporting HospiceWits’s fundraising efforts by purchasing items from our shops, we also greatly appreciate any donations received that ensure our shelves are always fully stocked.

HospiceWits accepts donations of just about any kind, and we are able to collect donations (please send an email to info@hospicewits.co.za or to any of our branches below in this regard) if you aren’t able to drop them off yourself.

If you’d like to support our shops by way of service, we are always elated when volunteers make contact to offer their time. This may be by helping to sort and price goods, delivering or collecting donations, or even helping as a salesperson in any of our shops (take note that shop volunteers usually work one morning or afternoon a week).

When purchasing an item, making a donation, or offering your time as a HospiceWits volunteer, you are making a tangible difference in the lives of the many terminal patients currently receiving end-of-life care from HospiceWits. We are most grateful for all of these contributions, more than words can express.

Please visit any of our HospiceWits shops in Johannesburg today:

Parkmore

Location: Corner of 11th Street and Elizabeth Avenue
Contact number: 011 883 7242
Email address: parkmore@hospicewits.co.za

Operating hours
Monday to Friday: 08:00 – 17:00
Saturday: 08:00 – 16:00
Sunday: Closed
Public holidays: 08:00 – 14:00

Orange Grove

Location: 199 Louis Botha Avenue
Contact number: 011 728 1052
Email address: depot@hospicewits.co.za

Operating hours
Monday to Friday: 09:00 – 17:00
Saturday: 08:00 – 16:00
Sunday: Closed
Public holidays: 09:00 – 14:00

Kensington

Location: 163 Queen Street
Contact number: 011 615 3343
Email address: kensington@hospicewits.co.za

Operating hours
Monday to Friday: 08:00 – 17:00
Saturday: 08:00 – 14:00
Sunday: Closed
Public holidays: 09:00 – 14:00

Rosebank Flea Market

Location: Rosebank Mall, 15A Cradock Avenue
Contact number: 011 728 1052
Email address: shops@hospicewits.co.za

Operating hours
Sunday: 08:00 – 16:00

Donate a virtual globe for the greater good through the HospiceWits Tree of Light

The annual HospiceWits tree-lighting ceremony at the Johannesburg Zoo has become a literal highlight on this charity’s calendar. Hundreds of people gather every year to see the sponsored globes being switched on, and in the light of the Covid-19 outbreak, this much cherished tradition takes on a different form this year, while still giving HospiceWits supporters a chance to remember their loved ones by purchasing a Tree of Light 2020 globe.

This year, HospiceWits invites our loyal supporters to buy a virtual remembrance globe in celebration of a loved one, which will then be added to our virtual Tree of Light. This allows donors to spread the light even further, as they share their dedicated message with colleagues, friends and family via their social media platform of choice.

How it works

If you are interested in purchasing a globe to be placed on the virtual HospiceWits Tree of Light to celebrate a loved one, you simply need to visit the HospiceWits Tree of Light website. From here, you will be able to choose between seven different donation options:

• Individual globe: R100
• Corporate globe: R350
• Halo of light: R1750
• Orb: R3500
• Branch: R5250
• Bright star: R7000
• String: R15 000

You will be able to pick the colour of your virtual globe and personalise it with a message or dedication to a loved one. Honour the life of someone who has already passed, or celebrate the lives of those who are dear to your heart now.

Honour the heroes in your life

Do you know a health worker that you’d like to honour for their immense contribution during the pandemic, or is there an essential services worker in your life who has worked without ceasing to ensure that the wheels of industry kept on turning despite the challenges posed by Covid-19? There is no better way to pay tribute to the exemplary people in our lives than to salute them with a virtual globe on the HospiceWits Tree of Light.

Every donation collected goes towards funding the important work HospiceWits does throughout the year, whatever the circumstances.

Even when times seem dark, the HospiceWits tree-lighting ceremony remains a beacon of hope, strength and celebration of life. Donate to customise your globe on the virtual Tree of Light today, and keep an eye on the HospiceWits Facebook page for the latest news about this campaign.

The role of the family during end-of-life care

Caring for a loved one during the final stages of their life may be an exceptionally challenging experience for the patient’s family and close friends. While palliative care, like the service provided by HospiceWits, certainly helps to make that load a little lighter, the people close to the terminally ill person often wonder how they can contribute.

The involvement of the family is especially important in the context of end-of-life care, and there are definitely ways in which those close to the patient can assist the HospiceWits interdisciplinary team. The most important way in which they can help is simply by being there for their loved one who is experiencing the last part of their lives.

Firstly, the family plays an important part when the team from HospiceWits draws up a patient care plan, as they are able to assist in creating a plan that is in accordance with their loved one’s wishes, and takes all their needs into consideration. Family members are unique contributors in this sense, because they probably have the clearest understanding of just what their loved one wants and needs at this time of their life.

As soon as the way forward has been established, the next of kin need not worry about the medical and psychosocial aspects of their family member’s end-of-life care, as this is undertaken by a highly qualified and experienced team. The family should continually update the care team about the patient’s condition.

With this being said, the siblings, parents or children of the person who is receiving palliative care are essential with regard to supporting their loved one as they reach the end of their life, even if that patient seems unresponsive. By giving and receiving love and reassurance on this last journey, terminally ill patients are assured of the impact and contribution they have made for others over the course of their life. For many patients receiving palliative care, this is something they really want to know as they reflect on their days spent on earth.

Family members can reaffirm their love for the patient by paying regular visits, sharing special memories, holding their hand, providing a comforting touch, and lending a listening ear.

When the patient passes away, the psychosocial support team – who will have been assisting both the patient and their family with mental care services – will provide grief, loss and bereavement counselling to their loved ones, helping them to grieve in a way that still recognises the important part their late loved one played, and celebrates their life.

HospiceWits’ specialist psychosocial team, dubbed Sihlangene (which means “we stand together” in isiZulu), consists of a qualified general practitioner with a postgraduate specialist qualification in palliative medicine, a psychiatric nurse specialist and a diverse group of counsellors hailing from various training backgrounds and with varied experience, together with experienced frontline workers, management and coordinators. Sihlangene’s services utilise a variety of methodology and approaches, and offer one-on-one counselling or family meetings at its offices, online remote counselling via Skype or Zoom as well as telephonic and WhatsApp support.

Click here to find out more.

This is what HospiceWits’ interdisciplinary team does

HospiceWits provides care and support through a holistic, interdisciplinary team approach, with the provision of palliative care for all in need.
The interdisciplinary team provides a complementary approach to palliative care, supporting not only the patient, but also extending a hand to their family and other loved ones.

The team consists of a doctor, nurses, social worker and other counsellors. We also facilitate specific denominational spiritual care, should it be requested, as well as the services of other health professionals like physiotherapists to assist with specific patient needs.

The following is a breakdown of the roles of each team member:

Physicians or General Practitioners

The Physician/GP oversees the medical care of the patient, and communicates with the family and the rest of the care team regarding the patient’s medical condition. They provide treatment recommendations and assess the benefits and side effects of their medication. The Doctor is responsible for prescribing medication and other forms of treatment.

Nurses

Nurses administer medical care to patients according to the recommendations made by the Doctor. They offer direct care to the patient and often serve in a supervisory role with regard to nursing assistants and other members of the care team. The nurses also update the family about the patient’s condition.

Nursing assistants

Nursing assistants help with other aspects related to the care of the patient, and provide personal care like feeding, bathing and assisting with ablutions. They also monitor the patient’s vital signs, regularly checking their pulse, temperature and blood pressure, and provide this information to the Nurses. Home-based care Nurses provide care to patients in the comfort of their own homes, under the supervision of the Doctor.

Social Workers and Counsellors

Psychosocial care plays an important role in palliative care. Social Workers and trained Counsellors are indispensable in this regard, and help to relieve emotional distress through specifically tailored counselling methods.

The HospiceWits In-patient Unit

HospiceWits’ In-patient Unit in Houghton provides a home-from-home environment for patients in need of short-term, specialised palliative management and symptom control.

Dr Craig Howes oversees patient care in the Unit, and he is capably assisted by a team of compassionate and caring registered and auxiliary nurses. As an experienced palliative care doctor, Craig’s gentle nature is perfectly suited to his role. Caring and empathetic, the talented doctor is a good listener who speaks the patient’s language, and spends as much time as is necessary with patients, their families and staff in the Unit.

The daily routine includes a ward round with Dr Craig and the sisters on duty. The condition of each patient is carefully assessed from engagement with and feedback received from the entire interdisciplinary team, as well as the family. We see families as extensions of the patients, and they are welcome to be with their loved ones as much as they want to. The Unit offers a comfortable lounge with kitchen facilities for family members where they are welcome to make a cup of tea or coffee and heat up a snack to enjoy when they need a break. A family member is also able to spend the night with their loved one, should they wish to do so.

During the course of each day, Dr Craig will make decisions about the best possible care for each patient. He meets with each family every few days to discuss the condition of their loved one, and makes suggestions for future care. These meetings also provide an excellent opportunity for the doctor to counsel the family.

The focus of hospice care is not purely physical. It incorporates medical, psychological, spiritual, emotional and cultural needs. Besides Dr Craig and the registered nurses who counsel patients and assist grieving families daily, we are fortunate to have a number of very special, trained counsellors and social workers, who give of their time voluntarily to provide comfort and support for those who are not coping with the reality of their situation. A few of our counsellors have had their own personal experience with hospice and have a strong desire to give something back for what they received in their time of need.

HospiceWits also facilitates specific denominational spiritual care, should it be requested, as well as the services of other health professionals, like physiotherapists to assist with specific patient needs.

Our registered nurses are responsible for, among other things, the general nursing care, assessing the condition of each patient hourly (or more), as well as the administration of medication. The auxiliary nurses work as a team and tend to patients together. Their responsibilities include feeding, bathing, changing, toilet assistance, dressings, mouth care and being with confused patients to ensure they do not injure themselves. They are constantly ensuring patients are as comfortable as possible, and that their every need is met.

The people that make up the HospiceWits interdisciplinary team are committed to providing dedicated support and assistance to patients and their families. Years of experience have taught each member of our care team how to provide exemplary service that takes the specific needs of each patient into account.

To learn more about our palliative care approach, click here.

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.

Sihlangene stands together for mental health

In isiZulu, the word “sihlangene” means “we stand together”. Now, more than ever, this sentiment rings true, and especially during the challenging times we are currently facing due to the Covid-19 breakout, being united is key to our mental and physical wellbeing.

In this regard, HospiceWits recognised the need to put together a psychosocial service team that could render their services on a broader scale, assisting employees of HospiceWits, as well as its clients, their families and communities that require mental healthcare services.

Sihlangene is a specialist psychosocial team comprising a qualified general practitioner with a postgraduate specialist qualification in palliative medicine, a psychiatric nurse specialist and a diverse group of counsellors hailing from various training backgrounds and with varied experience. Experienced frontline workers, management and coordinators involved with the Hospice Association of the Witwatersrand, and a close collaborative partner who manages our day-to-day operations round out the team.

Together, this group of experts allows Sihlangene to provide the highest quality of mental care services, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Grief, loss and bereavement
  • Fear
  • Spiritual distress
  • Domestic violence
  • Stress
  • Fatigue and burnout syndrome
  • Family problems
  • Relationship problems
  • Anger
  • Denial
  • Social withdrawal and isolation
  • Quality of life and vitality
  • Quality of death and dying in life-threatening illnesses
  • Dementia and family support
  • General healthcare counselling
  • Home-based care counselling
  • Palliative care counselling
  • Hospice care counselling
  • Combating negative coping strategies
  • Holistic mental health education and coaching, focused on psychological, social, and spiritual wellbeing as a whole
  • Mindfulness and alternative approaches to holistic health

Sihlangene’s services utilise a variety of methodology and approaches and offer one-on-one counselling or family meetings at its offices, as well as online remote counselling via Skype or Zoom and telephonic and WhatsApp support.

If you would like to find out more about Sihlangene’s services, please contact our office on 011 483 9100 or send an email to francois@hospicewits.co.za.

Hospice caregiving: An ancillary healthcare worker’s account

More than 125 full-time staff make up HospiceWits’ cavalry of care – these include doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists and spiritual counselors. HospiceWits is exceedingly grateful to every healthcare worker and volunteer that is responsible for assisting us in caring for patients who are terminally ill. These selfless people have spent years gaining experience, and are central to providing quality care to the patients who so direly need it.

If you’ve ever wondered about getting involved with an organisation like HospiceWits, please read on, and learn from one of our workers on the frontline. Shafiq Kara gives a rousing first-hand account of what it is like to provide care to the elderly, terminally ill and disabled.

Some reflections of good caregiving learnt from my ancillary healthcare worker training at the Palliative Care HospiceWits Training Centre and my volunteer service at HospiceWits, Houghton

Shafiq Kara

Providing care to elderly, terminally ill or disabled family members is more of a calling than an actual career. It is a selfless vocation, which demands both training and self-preparation. Daily activities range from bathing, feeding, grooming, cleaning and taking medicine, to offering companionship and overseeing physical health, emotional and safety needs. Since not everyone is cut out for such responsibilities, it requires one to give their best to be effective. While I do have intensive training from the HospiceWits Training Centre, and have gained hands-on experience with actual patients at the Houghton hospice facility in Johannesburg, I feel a truly entrusted caregiver should expand their knowledge and skillset to carry out their daily duties. From my personal life experience, I have read training manuals on the holistic approach of caregiving and have had the honour to successfully complete my first aid level 1, 2, 3 and firefighter courses from the National First Aid Academy.

From my training I have learned that a good caregiver must be empathetic and compassionate to foster a genuine relationship with the patient. Being a family member to them makes them feel secure and nurtured, especially when the patient has been neglected by his/her own family. Some accept this harsh, miserable reality, but deep inside it is really agonizing. You can start by asking about their interests, sharing stories, or engaging in certain activities together, such as watching a particular show or listening to music. Upon relating to them, they will start to open up, and it can make visits more enjoyable for both parties.

It may sound too cliché, but patience is a virtue. This holds true especially in the caregiving career. Your patience will be tested to the edge, even to the point of burnout – which can be expected when taking care of the elderly, disabled or terminally ill persons. Such strenuous demands require a certain fortitude, and it takes a very special kind of person to choose this line of work as a career. As a good caregiver, I will tell you that planning ahead is key to keeping your sanity. Try setting some time aside each week for future planning. By knowing everything about your client – from medical condition to background – you will be able to get an idea on how to deal with them with composure, and provide the needed care and support.

Due to age, disability and illness a patient may have the tendency to communicate and comprehend poorly, which is why they are looking for someone to assist them in the first place. An effective caregiver can explain freely and conveniently how things are supposed to be done. Some clients may be harder to deal with, but do not forget that they have illnesses that impair them, and they do not possess the vigor they used to have.

Since I will be spending ample amounts of time with them, I should be able to assist in keeping them calm and comfortable. If they have relatives, I have to keep them updated by keeping the lines of communication open about any changes in their relative’s care plan or condition. Problem-solving is a vital part of providing care to another person, and requires excellent communication skills, as well as being a good team player – involving all the necessary parties to make the right decisions is key to providing good care. Recording and reporting are also very important for the good caregiver.

Dependability is a combination of many qualities that a caregiver must possess, but in the real world, it is not as ideally fancy as it may seem. While you know at this point that taking care of a patient will be demanding, if you do not have the passion to do it for a long time, you will eventually lose motivation and the will to proceed further. You need to bear in mind that these needs are not similar to someone who has a fever or the flu, so make sure you are prepared to do this long-term. Be organised, polite, punctual, trustworthy, attentive, selfless, professional, be clean, manage your time well, be observant and have a passion for the work. Look after yourself so you are able to look after others.

The future is uncertain, and, as a caregiver, I might have to deal with circumstances that are way beyond my control at certain times. It may involve doing something out of the box, or could be purely instinctive. The important thing here is discernment. I must be perceptive and be able to judge a situation accordingly to execute proper action. After a period of getting to know the patient, a good caregiver should be able to pick up on what is really happening, and use all the knowledge and training acquired to execute their role as a caregiver. This knowledge is gained by learning about the human body, anatomy and physiology, about common diseases, about treatment, about care, nutrition, hygiene, first aid, CPR, communication, technical medical and health terminology. Good caregivers must also learn about the equipment and tools used for care and must be able to ask for help from medical professionals and team members when required. I refer to my notes and manual, and educate myself to strive to give my best to all those that I serve, to ease their life journey and create holistically healthy people and communities.

The important part is to always read, watch video clips on caregiving, take more courses, and continuously educate and empower yourself about health and the human body. I try to be a better person as an individual and practice my values, morals and ethics to serve and become the best caregiver one would want to have by their side as an elderly, disabled or terminally ill person. I want to teach my peers and those I may assist to become future caregivers by leading by example.

Caring and compassion that knows no bounds: A tribute to Sr Judith Young

It is with extreme sadness that we share the news that Sister Judith Young recently passed away peacefully.

We are all devastated by the news that a friend and colleague, who fought a long battle with cancer, bravely trying to protect her family from her pain, and continuing to care and support her patients despite her illness, has died.

Sr Judith Young, one of our homecare nurses, who was at HospiceWits for 29 years, and who left the organisation in March 2019, was a very special, giving, nurturing and loyal person. Her patients and their families will remember her fondly, and everyone who participated in our annual Cyclethon at Melrose Arch will know that Judith cycled the full six or eight hours on the day to raise funds for HospiceWits.

She was a committed member of the homecare team, always going the extra mile, caring for her patients whenever they needed her, and ensuring she provided the quality homecare nursing that HospiceWits is proud of.

A death is not the extinguishing of a light,
but the putting out of the lamp …
because the dawn has come.

Everyone at HospiceWits sends our sincere condolences to her family and friends at this time of grief.

Take comfort in the fond memories you have of a special and unique person that always will be, Sister Judith Young.

We again share her words about her life’s work.

1. Please share with us a little about your life and nursing career.

I was born in Newcastle, England, and from my earliest memories, I always wanted to be a nurse. After graduating, I was persuaded by a good friend to come to South Africa, and arrived in May 1985 on a two-year contract to Morningside Clinic in Johannesburg. Soon thereafter, I met an Englishman and we subsequently got married. We have two sons and a daughter, all in their twenties. My two-year stay turned into 31 years!

2. What sparked your interest in end-of-life and palliative care?

On my last assignment as a student nurse at Newcastle General Hospital, I was placed in a chemotherapy/radiation ward. I fell in love with the concept of terminal care, and the challenges and rewards that came with it. Then later, while working for a specialist physician in Johannesburg, I was asked one day to decline an invitation to a HospiceWits function. As I rang the number I had an epiphany – it was as though a light bulb came on in my head! I duly declined the doctor’s invitation and got myself a job at HospiceWits.

3. Please share with us the challenges and rewards of your daily life.

Hospice work can be very challenging, as we are dealing with death and dying every day. We know our patients will not recover, but there is always something that can be done to improve their day-to-day living. It is a privilege to be welcomed into a patient’s home to share their final journey with them. We sometimes have to deal with angry families and patients – misplaced anger can be directed at the hospice nurse, making it hard not to take it personally. On the whole, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. To know that we have made a positive difference in the patient’s last few days – whether it’s due to counselling or symptom control – it makes the job so worthwhile.

4. What feeds your spirit?

I love music and reading – physical exercise is also important, so I attend gym regularly. My husband and children are very supportive and understand the nature of my work.

5. Can you share a story about your work that illustrates what you love about it?

I saw a young, 33-year-old male patient last week, who lived outside HospiceWits’ area of operation, but as there was no hospice availability, I was asked to assess his condition. I found a young man paralysed from the waist down and in severe pain. He desperately wanted to be able to work and drive again, and was living with his girlfriend and her two children, aged five and eight, respectively.

We decided to admit him to our in-patient unit for symptom control – his girlfriend was very stressed and exhausted, and was experiencing major financial problems as well. The patient was admitted the next morning – he sat in our carpark for 20 minutes before deciding to enter the unit. On admission, he looked terminal and was understandably anxious, but settled in very quickly. I was surprised to hear the following morning that he had passed away peacefully with his family around him. It seems as though he knew hospice was where he needed to be to let go. His family was very grateful for the care and support he received from HospiceWits. Cases like this one make all the hard work worthwhile

 

Here is how you can help HospiceWits

As a registered non-profit organisation, HospiceWits has been looking to the public to support the work we do for the four decades of our existence. Now, more than ever, we are reliant upon the generous support from both the public and corporate spheres.

While much of our country’s industries come back online in June, following the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19, the work that HospiceWits does has gone on uninterrupted.

Rendering essential services, our healthcare workers have kept providing much needed support to the many patients in our care, despite the threat of the novel coronavirus. As your organisation starts doing its work again, please consider contributing to the work HospiceWits does – becoming one of our partners will be beneficial to both our organisations.

How corporates and individuals can assist us

Corporate organisations and individuals can become donors or sponsors in various ways:

  • Donate essential monthly items like pharmaceutical consumables, medication, food and toiletries (our wish list is a good guideline here, but we are grateful for any and all donations).
  • Donate your professional services.
  • Sponsor a ward in our in-patient unit.
  • Sponsor a home care vehicle.
  • Sponsor the repair and maintenance of the shaded car park.
  • Make HospiceWits one of your company’s CSI beneficiaries.
  • Encourage your employees to contribute directly from their salary via payroll giving.
  • Celebrate events like birthdays or wedding anniversaries by asking family and friends to make a donation to HospiceWits in your name instead of giving a traditional gift.

All donations are tax-deductible, and a Section 18A tax certificate can be emailed to donors or collected from our Houghton offices.

If you have a Woolies card or a MySchool, MyVillage or MyPlanet card, please nominate HospiceWits as one of your three chosen charity beneficiaries. Doing this will give a percentage of your purchase value back to HospiceWits every time you swipe your card.

Remember to link your Woolies cards to your MySchool card here – you’ll be contributing to our work every time you shop at Woolworths or at partner businesses, including Bidvest Waltons, Engen and loot.co.za.

Discovery Vitality members who have listed Woolworths as their nominated food store will also ensure that HospiceWits benefits every time they swipe for healthy food purchases.

Become a monthly contributor and win!

A monthly commitment of just R50 per membership number makes you a part of Club 2000 and enters you into the monthly draw for one of seven cash prizes. The more numbers you take, the greater your chances! Every month, contributors stand a chance of winning:

1st prize: R20 000
2nd prize: R2000
3rd prize: R1000
4 x R500 prizes

Giving in the age of the coronavirus

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has put strain on just about every organisation out there. During this time we would be highly appreciative of donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) for our healthcare workers, as well as food donations for patients.

From 1 June, our charity shops will be open again, and in this regard, we kindly request that you donate any clothing or other goods to aid us in our fundraising efforts. Please also feel free to browse through the extensive collection of bits and bobs that are available in your nearest HospiceWits charity shop.

As all our other fundraising events are on hold for the foreseeable future in the light of the Covid-19 outbreak, our charity shops, together with donations from the public and corporate sectors will keep us afloat in this time. It is thanks to you that we are able to do our important work every day.

To find out more about how you can help, please contact HospiceWits on 011 483 9100, and choose the Fundraising/Events option, or send an email to info@hospicewits.co.za.