School for easing life’s final journey

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Our grantee BELhospice has started their second and the only school of a kind — School on Palliative Care, as an added layer of support to the patient's regular medical care.

As many as 33 medical professionals and social workers have gathered on Divcibare Mountain from May 7-12. They are learning new things on treatment of the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of patients and families with serious illnesses.

The main topics of this BELhospice school include: the organisation of palliative care, communication with the patient and family, control of disease symptoms and psychosocial support.

The School is important as nurses are the key to the functioning of hospices by providing support to patients and their families coping with the grief of losing a loved one. They are the ones who listen to people, and the ones trying to let people know what their options are and how they can improve the quality of life. They are also the ones who often build an attachment to the patients they are caring for. And in the end, it is impossible not to be affected by the death they are surrounded with.

The School programme is accredited by the Health Council of Serbia.

Meanwhile, BELhospice readies to open doors to the first inpatient centre in the country that is aimed to be as uninstitutional as possible, with a feel like in a best friend’s living room. It will provide the highest level of palliative care services to cancer patients completely free of charge, as well as education for volunteers and specialists (doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists) in the field of palliative care.

This way people with limited life expectancies will preserve their dignity and relief from physical pain in specialist facilities. Since 2004, Belhospice has been the only charity organisation in the country dedicated to the provision of palliative care for terminally ill cancer patients. All of their services are free of charge for the patients and their families.

Norwegian embassy has been supporting BELhospice.