Frequently asked questions
At present, there is no stand alone Hospice facility in Barbados. As we move further into the twenty first century, we are noticing an increasing incidence of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (CNCDs) . This imposes an onerous economic burden on the country. It is also projected that by 2030, 86% of deaths in Barbados will be due to these diseases. It is clear that in the future, the need for a hospice will be even greater than it is today.
The Barbados Palliative Care Needs Assessment Project (BarNap) , completed a study in 2012, which looked at evidence based palliative care models, assessed epidemiological need and cost implications The study recommended that the solution to care for persons at the end of life was a mixed model of community and institutional services. One of its key findings was that “there is a social preference in Barbados for a standalone inpatient hospice, capable of providing respite and specialist palliative care services to terminal and immediately pre-terminal cancer patients, as well as patients with non cancer .”
The study further suggested that a 15 -20 bed facility would be adequate to serve the needs of the Barbados for Hospice care. BACA envisages that in the Hospice, a team of professionals will work together to manage symptoms so that a person’s last days may be spent with dignity and quality, surrounded by their loved ones.
The BACA initiative is therefore driven by the need to;
- Provide an environment that is uplifting
- Offer a range of comfort and care services in one location
- Support the patient, family and caregivers
- Provide dignity and peace at the end of life.
Hospice allows a patient deemed to have fewer than six months to live to change the focus of their medical care — from the goal of curing the disease to a new goal of using treatments and medicines to maintain comfort and quality of life. It is a form of palliative care, which also focuses on pain management. Palliative care though, can be provided while a patient continues to seek a cure or receive treatments to prolong life. Both palliative care and hospice care provide comfort. Palliative care can begin at diagnosis, and at the same time as treatment. Hospice care begins after treatment of the disease is stopped and when it is clear that the person is not going to survive
The Barbados Hospice will be located on the campus of The Living Water Community at St David’s in Christ Church, Barbados. The location is a serene countryside setting with easy access to support services. The modern ‘green’ facility will be purpose built and will offer a peaceful and soothing environment with gardens where patients can sit out and where the family can enjoy a moment of respite. The importance of including the family in the care and comfort of their loved one has also been taken into account.
It is important to keep in mind that worldwide, Hospices are developed and maintained by philanthropists and with support from government including subventions, tax rebates and other instruments. To date progress includes:
- Governmental support for the project, in principal. There is an unwritten commitment for assistance
- Individual and corporate local donors, have pledged their commitment to provide cash and in kind donations
- The USA Barbadian Diaspora has already donated in excess of $
- The design for the facility has been approved
- Town Planning approval has been granted
- Ground has been broken, and the first tree has been planted on the land
- The site has been cleared in preparation for construction.
The cost of construction has been estimated at three million Barbados dollars. Prudence requires having on hand amounts to cover annual maintenance and capital for the first year of operations. BACA continues to seek a major donor and fund raising activities in the local and international communities are ongoing. BACA also welcomes will and estate donations.
Access to the Hospice will be activated through a referral by the patients’ attending physician. The Hospice will be available to all persons who have a terminal non-communicable illness, in circumstances where life saving options have been exhausted. The patient’s needs will be paramount and frequent assessments by the specialist nurses and collaboration with the family will be done to determine the type of support and care that will be offered.
- Traditional and alternative modalities for pain management
- Relaxation therapies
- Non-denominational / Spiritual Guidance
- Qualified staff and trained volunteers
- Peaceful environment
All patients in residence and their supporting families/friends who require respite care.
Charitable organizations survive on volunteerism. Your time is a priceless asset so with that in mind consider where you skill sets could best be utilized. Some considerations include:
- Making Phone calls
- Social Marketing
- Event planning
- Be trained as a hospice volunteer
- Providing a range of patient support services
- Construction work
- On-going maintenance
Bear in mind that a successful initiative will need support and perseverance from all stakeholders on ongoing basis.