HOSPICE YESTERDAY TODAY TOMORROW
“KNOW YOUR HOSPICE “… Hospice East Rand
Hospice East Rand has two Daycare programmes. One at the Hospice East Rand head office at 218 Kemston Avenue, Benoni, serving the whole of the East Rand, the other in Vosloorus serving the area of Katorus.
The two Daycares share similar functions, ie. to offer care and support on a weekly basis to those suffering from chronic illness but well enough to attend. They differ only in practical application. This support takes various forms. In essence it is the experience of community through social and interactive activities.
A singularly unique aspect of Hospice Care is the amalgam of Professional and Volunteer services.
Benoni Daycare volunteers: Left to right: Sue, Irene and Pat
“VOLUNTEERING IS GENERALLY CONSIDERED AN ALTRUISTIC ACTIVITY WHERE AN INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP PROVIDE SERVICES FOR NO FINANCIAL GAIN TO BENEFIT ANOTHER PERSON, GROUP OR ORGANISATION”. VOLUNTEERING IS ALSO RENOWNED FOR SKILLS DEVELOPMENT AND IS OFTEN INTENDED TO PROMOTE GOODNESS OR TO IMPROVE HUMAN QUALITY OF LIFE.
Volunteers can be found in many areas in the daily life of Hospice East Rand and Benoni Daycare is just one such area where many volunteers are making an amazing contribution. Here are some reflections from two of the volunteers.
(Volunteer – Benoni Daycare)
Rika first came to Hospice East Rand early in the year 2000 to enquire of the possibility of acquiring a wig. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer the previous year and following a mastectomy had undergone chemotherapy . Due to the chemo her hair was beginning to fall out hence the visit to hospice. Lucille, the receptionist at that time, duly showed her some wigs and then offered Rika some refreshments at Daycare as it was a Wednesday and Daycare was in full swing. Rika was introduced to lots of people, even the hairdresser who suggested to Rika that she cut her hair very short, that being done...there was no need for a wig then or thereafter. That’s not all that happened …she was invited to join the Daycare and forms were filled so that she would officially become a Daycare patient.
That was 17 years ago! In that time Rika’s involvement has gone from Daycare patient to volunteer carer, to driver, to emotional caregiver (having completed the Caregiving course at hospice) to organiser and co-ordinator of meals (which Churches donate) . The latter responsibility she has handed over to Jenny Ford but, in essence, the volunteers are extremely democratic in functioning so leadership is a nominal concept.
When asked what the experience of her time at Hospice East Rand has meant to her …she replies that it has been literally life changing! Her personal growth has been immeasurable, her serving humanity humbling, finding and offering community service has created an oasis of well-being in many respects defining her life and who she has become.
Were it not for the heart-warming experience offered on that first encounter so many years ago…….life may have been very different for Rika.
Many people would say that were it not for Rika, life at Daycare would be very different for them.
(Volunteer Nursing Sister – Benoni Daycare)
Sister Jenny Ford, that is her professional title having completed her professional nurse training in Pietermaritzburg. Married with family, Jenny worked full time at St Anne’s hospital. Her family comprise of two sons and a daughter. Her last born child, Darryl, is mentally challenged having been born with cysts in the brain. After Jenny’s Dad passed away she and her family moved to Gauteng.
Once settled in her new abode Jenny was keen to carry on practising her career but no longer on a full time basis. Voluntary work would allow her to marry her continued interest in her profession and the needs of her family.
Hospice East Rand provided the ideal solution.
That was 15 years ago! Jenny recalls her earlier days and though the philosophy of daycare in essence has not changed it has evolved in response to changes in society.
For Jenny the opportunity to ‘pay back ‘ and make a contribution is so important in her life. In return, the camaraderie of fellow volunteers ,patients ,carers and the staff of Hospice East Rand is not only greatly uplifting but makes her contribution so worthwhile.