Belize Hospice Foundation Appeals for Public Support for Headquarters

Belize Hospice Foundation Appeals for Public Support for Headquarters

The Belize Hospice Palliative Care Foundation (BHPCF) needs a headquarters and they are seeking help from the public.  Currently, there is no hospice building for terminally ill patients to find refuge in Belize, and they are determined to change that. The BHPCF is a non-government organization comprised of volunteers who provide physical, psychosocial, and spiritual care services to terminally ill patients by providing home visits. Chaplain Federico Gianelli spoke about the importance of having a hospice building.

Federico Gianell, Palliative Care Hospital Chaplain: “All the care is a home base. One big goal that we have is to find a generous person, a generous group of people that will loan to us or will give to us a building, a property where we can start some rooms where we can take care of some patients. Unfortunately, there doesn’t exist yet a hospice facility that we can take care of those who don’t have somebody to look for them as they are dying and provide the care that they deserve and bring the dignity of the life that the person deserves. One dream, a big dream is the same facility where we can take care of those who are approaching end of life and don’t have somebody to take care of them they could be taken care of there, but also it could be a teaching facility for those that want to become specialists in palliative care and hospice care. That is a dream, but it’s possible. When you see a teaching institution in medical field in all the countries, as they take care of their patients, they also teach new nurses, new doctors, new social workers, new chaplains. It’s nothing different than what we want to do in here. The worst place to die is a hospital. That is what research shows. That is the worst place to die for many reasons. The best place to die is a home. That is what research shows. Hospice is something in between. So a hospice facility should not look like a hospital, should not be designed like a hospital, should be designed more like a home. It should feel homey, it should feel like a friendly environment. And so we don’t need a big building, we don’t need a big facility, we need a house with few rooms.”

Dr. Fidel Cuellar, Deputy Director of Public Health and Wellness says the ministry is working alongside the organization to provide training for volunteers, but that there is no need for a building. 

Fidel Cuelllar, Deputy Director of Public Health and Wellness: “Before you get there, there are a couple of steps that need to be taken, in my opinion. The first one is, and Dr Thompson did point it out just now, she said that we would like to have every healthcare professional, no matter where they were, be sensitized and be able to deliver a certain level of palliative care. If you do that then the need to have a particular building or institution where these people come to that need is diminished because you’d be able then to offer the services in the community where the person lives to their home, to their neighborhood. I do believe that is more important that is something that we should really aim towards to do. It is not easy for somebody to leave their home, especially when they’re sick, especially when they are dying. It’s always best for them for that to happen, that process to happen at home amongst loved ones, with their basic needs met. So first things first that needs to be address before we move on.”

If anyone would like to assist the organization with a building, they can be contacted at 635-1776.

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