Author: Hospice Wits
“Portia” is a 40-year-old female patient who has had epilepsy since infancy. She later suffered Neuro-myelitis after contracting anti-viral illness. Chris Hani Baragwaneth Hospital referred the patient to Hospice Wits. On admission to hospice care she was emaciated, bedridden, very weak and her hands were always shaking.
Misconceptions about palliative care
The patient had misconceptions about palliative care, which were addressed by the care team. The care goal and scope were clarified with the patient, she was actively involved in all aspects of care, including care planning and setting holistic goals of care, and the patient was involved in the decision-making process surrounding her healthcare. As a result, the patient received comprehensive health care that met her individual needs.
A Hospice Wits nurse and a community health worker visited the patient four times per week, providing total nursing care, managing symptoms, controlling pain, and ensuring the patient’s comfort. The patient was given bed baths, massages, and passive exercises, as well as assistance with meals and medication administration. The Social Worker also provided psychosocial support.
Portia gradually recovered and was able to get out of bed each morning. Active exercises were then started, resulting in her recovering and being able to move around the house alone, even able to bath herself.
Today the patient has regained the use of her limbs, she is able to drive herself, cook and clean the house. She is attending her appointments at the hospital and taking her own treatment without any guidance. Palliative care intervention improved the quality of life for this patient. The patient feels more in control, she gained weight and is now living a normal productive and meaningful life.
For more information about Hospice Wits, visit their website www.hospicewits.co.za