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Guiding light before the final farewell

Kasih Hospice Foundation has been providing end-of-life care for hundreds since 2007

27 Oct 2020 / 12:33 H.

THE final journey is always a lonely trek but it can be made less unpleasant when there are people close at hand to provide care and comfort.

One organisation that specialises in providing such care is Kasih Hospice Foundation.

Kasih Hospice has been offering end-of-life care for hundreds of people since its inception in 2007.

It now boasts a team with diverse skills. Apart from medical professionals such as doctors, nurses and counsellors, it also has a group of volunteers trained to provide well-rounded and wholesome care for those with terminal illnesses.

The one factor that sets Kasih Hospice apart from other similar care providers is that it has an all-woman team, general manager Catherine Ooi told theSun recently.

“More significant is the fact that the care is provided free of charge for all, regardless of race, creed or religion,” Ooi said.

The medical team comprises three palliative care doctors and seven specialist hospice nurses. The team sees an average of 900 to 1,000 patients every year.

Ooi said patients who have been referred to Kasih Hospice fall within three categories – those suffering from Stage Four Cancer, patients with non-cancer diseases as well as those with other dystrophy.

The cancer sufferers include those with carcinoma, sarcoma, melanoma, lymphoma and leukaemia.

In the second category are those with end-stage renal, heart or lung failures as well as neuromuscular conditions while the last category are those with other dystrophy.

Ooi said the medical personnel and volunteers work together to provide emotional support and see to their patients’ psychosocial needs.

“In essence, we provide ‘whole-person’ care or care for every complaint,” she said.

“We ask the patient to tell us how he wants to spend his final days and what he prefers so that it will enable us to design the best care for him. Our ethos is deeply patient-centric,” she added.

Apart from providing care, Kasih Hospice also conducts training for those who wish to volunteer their services. These volunteers may eventually be sent to palliative care wards in public hospitals.

“Our training is also relevant for those who live with an elderly or infirm person. They can learn how to care for a bed or wheelchair-bound relative,” Ooi said.

“Volunteers are also sent to other hospices to help out in day-to-day activities,” she added.

Kasih Hospice conducts two training sessions each year. It is a three-day course, conducted over two weekends and this is followed by an interview.

The foundation operates entirely on public donations but financial assistance has since dried up because of the Covid-19 crisis.

Ooi is appealing for funds to enable the hospice to continue functioning.

Donations, which are tax deductible, can be deposited via Public Bank account number 314-690-9514.

For more information or queries, call Kasih Hospice Foundation at +603-7865 6522 (weekdays, 9am to 5pm) or email at admin@kasihfoundation.org.

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