What is Palliative Care?

Hospice Malta provides free of charge Palliative Care for patients suffering from cancer, motor neuron disease, and serious illness of the lungs, heart, liver and kidneys. Total Care is provided through constant assessments and individualised care plans throughout the illness for the patient and their families, as well as Bereavement support for those who are left behind when the patient passes away.

But what exactly is the kind of care required?

A typical scenario which the care team encounters would include a young mother who has been diagnosed with an incurable disease; during the first contact and /or during subsequent visits or telephone calls the Hospice nurse identifies a number of challenges.

These include physical pain, reduced mobility, and family tension due to anxiety and fear. In addition, one of the children is having to take on the role of an adult and trying to take care of his mother, whilst the other child is having tantrums and refusing to do any schoolwork. The patient’s husband displays a lot of anger and regularly finds himself asking “why has this happened to his family”? Financial challenges are also present with the family now having to rely on one wage – that of the husband.

How does Hospice Malta step in and help?

In such a case, the Hospice nurse would devise a care plan to include other professionals such as the patient’s doctor as well as the Hospice doctor, a Hospice social worker to target both the social and emotional aspect, the Hospice psychologist if the patient or any family member would need more intense psychological support, as well as the Hospice physiotherapist to help with mobility through exercises as well as suggestion of mobility aids.

The Hospice complementary therapist could plan several reflexology or aromatherapy sessions for the patient, and the Hospice chaplain will work with the family to target spiritual pain. The patient may also choose to attend the Hospice Day Therapy or Hydrotherapy sessions.

You can help too.

Hospice Malta provides these services free of charge to our community with the help of your donations and the support of many volunteers. Today, Hospice Malta assists 1,300 families each year, each with their own unique situations, from younger patients to more elderly family members, all with their own individual challenges and life stories.