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+27(0)21 852 4608 | Helderberg Hospice, 21 Old Stellenbosch Road, Somerset West

Palliative nursing certainly comes from the heart, but it’s also a learnt skill.

Sister Rumay Oosthuizen’s smiling face is a familiar one to many people.  From her many years of experience here at Helderberg Hospice, Sister Rumay shares with you some basic guidelines for families sharing the care of a loved one at home.

  • Be truthful with the patient about his or her circumstances.
  • Listen, understand, and try to relieve distressing symptoms.
  • Use the ‘one day at a time’ measure for expectations and achievements.
  • Be assured that even if you make a mistake, it’s not in your power to shorten or lengthen the time a patient has left.
  • As soon as possible, get a carer to help with the heavy physical part of nursing, like lifting, turning and washing someone much bigger than yourself.
  • Take enough rest yourself, so that you still have enough energy to spend quality time with your loved one.
  • When tired, try not to let the patient feel that it’s his or her fault.
  • Ask for help – people are always willing to give it. Isolating yourself isn’t helpful.
  • When help is offered, take it, and be specific about the type of help that you need.
  • Reassure your loved one of their importance, and how much they’re still able to give.

Palliative Care is an approach with impeccable assessment, support and a high professional standard of care to relieve and control symptoms of a physical, psychological, social and spiritual nature to all our patients and their families.












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