Growing out of space
In the seven months since its opening last year, Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services has grown to such an extent that two new dignity rooms had to be added to the already existing three in their In-Patient Unit in New Market Park.
This is a direct result of the enormous need for this kind of service, says Tersia Burger, CEO of Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Service, an independent community driven organization that provides specialist care to people experiencing the impact of life-limiting illness.
Amongst the services offered by Stepping Stone, is home based care where trained palliative nursing sisters visit patients in their own homes. “Just for the month of April, we have cared for 50 patients at their homes,” says Tersia.
The in-patient unit offers dignity rooms with 24 hour visiting facilities. “We started off with three dignity rooms, but due to increasing demand, we soon had to turn the nursing station into a fourth room,” says Tersia. Afripanel, who donated the original building, came to the rescue and kindly donated the material and labour to turn a small lounge area into the fifth dignity room.
Patients admitted as in-patients to the IPU are cared for by palliative care specialists who are supported by a team of health professionals – nurses, a physiotherapist, a psychologist and a social worker. Trained volunteers are also in attendance for the patients and their loved ones who need their support.
During the month of April, 15 patients were admitted to the IPU, amongst them a homeless man who were given a warm bed and bath and the right to die in dignity.
“We offer our services to anyone who has had a diagnosis of a life-limiting illness that cannot be cured, irrespective of their social, cultural, spiritual, financial or religious points of view or standing,” Tersia explains.
Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services can be contacted on 087 997 0222.
Adding the final touches to the new shower in the unit - Tersia Burger, CEO Stepping Stone and Wikus Olivier from Afripanel.