The palliative care Support Centre at Helderberg House is a 10-bed facility offering 24 hours nursing and is used primarily as back-up for the home care service. It is licensed by the Department of Health and accredited with the Council of Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA).
Care is provided by a professional palliative nurse sister and two trained auxiliary nurses on each shift, day and night. Patients are admitted from home for pain and symptom management, family respite and terminal care.
The support centre can accommodate patients for up to two weeks and we liaise closely with the patient’s doctor during time. Volunteer doctors who are experienced in palliative care are responsible for patients using state health services.
The facilities consist of one and two bed rooms, each of which has easy access to a large communal garden. The visiting hours are flexible and are accommodated in the ward routine. The support centre has two lounges for families that wish to stay for long periods with a very ill patient. The aim of the unit is to provide excellent care but also to make the patients and families feel at home.
The ability to contribute to the cost is not a decisive factor in determining admission to this specialized 24-hour facility, which is why it relies heavily on volunteers and donations. Patients admitted to the centre are often in need of the basic toiletries such as toothbrushes, face cloths, aqueous cream and soap. We also rely on donations of good condition single bed linen, towels and small-size men’s and women’s pyjamas and gowns.