Imagine living in a corrugated metal home with a dirt floor, no electricity, no running water, and doors and windows only covered with cloth or cardboard. In addition, suppose you had to cook all your meals on the ground in the backyard and rely on an outhouse. This is the normal daily experience for most of the ill patients served by Our Lady’s Hospice outreach programs. Because of the primitive housing conditions, hospice services in this community are provided in an inpatient facility operated by Our Lady’s Hospice and supported by Caring Circle.
New tile floors, a septic system, staff room expansion with lockers, library improvements, and renovation of the family visitation room for those who have died in hospice, have all been completed in the last nine months using $5,000 in donations raised by Caring Circle’s Global Partnership. The much needed upgrades are increasing the quality of life and care experiences of Our Lady’s Hospice patients. Since its founding in 2005 by Sister Eileen O’Callaghan, the hospice program has been making dramatic changes in the medical care of the poor in their community. Our Lady’s Hospice complex includes a freestanding brick hospice house that has nine beds and solar power for electricity and water. Residents of the hospice enjoy hot meals, soft hospital beds, a television in the day room and a peaceful sanitary environment for the last days of their life.
Caring Circle social worker Kunga Nyima, nurse Rischell Redman, spiritual care coordinator Julie Leahy, and aide resource Lori Trickett visited Our Lady’s Hospice to get a first hand experience of their challenges in April of 2018. “Our staff was amazed and inspired by the work done by Our Lady’s Hospice,” recalled Kunga after returning from the trip. “We went there expecting to see a little hospice treating only a few patients but when we arrived, we discovered that Our Lady’s Hospice was one of many services provided by the Daughter’s of Charity in this community.” In addition to hospice and palliative care services, they have a medical clinic, special needs classes for youth and adults, child daycare, and women’s empowerment center. All together Our Lady’s Hospice provides medical and educational services to 400 people in the community while also operating a nine-bed inpatient hospice residence.
The four following areas identified to help support their work include: a fund for those who cannot afford care, employee educational development, building improvements, and brochure development to help advertise services throughout Kenya.
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