Village of Hope hospice giving patients a new lease on life
ALBION, St James — Sent to Village of Hope hospice to comfortably live out the rest of their lives, some residents have improved so much that they are able to return home, according to operators of the facility.
“Persons are wondering: Are they really still alive? But I think the family of these patients are really happy to know that their loved ones can live a little bit longer in our care,” said administrator Angella Graham.
“We have had patients come to us and… they cannot take solid, only liquid, and over a period of time. And right now the patient is eating dumplings, yam, banana, you name it,” she added.
Graham credits the improvement seen to the level of care provided on a daily basis.
“At the Village of Hope we give holistic care to our patients. It’s not like just coming in and you just lie down there,” she said.
“We take them out, we make sure that they get their medications on time, they get healthy meals to eat. And there is always a nurse or somebody around to keep them engaged, talk to them, play games with them, and to just get them back to the life that they used to live,” she added.
She stressed that having patients live a semblance of their former lives is equally as important as the care they receive within the facility.
“We take our patients out to enjoy themselves, outside of the property. Some of our patients have gone to Harmony Beach Park to spend a day with caregivers. They get the opportunity to walk in the water, and some of them have not been to the beach in a long time,” she revealed.
There are 16 patients now at Hope Village and the administrator told the Jamaica Observer that they are able to enjoy a range of events geared towards not only their recovery but also their entertainment.
This includes playing games and celebrating birthdays,Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Jamaica Day and more. The emancipation period is usually a big hit.
“All our patients are in our Jamaican colours and everybody, including the staff and myself, we come in those colours and we cook and we eat and we sing and enjoy ourselves,” said Graham.
“We make sure that they enjoy their remaining days,” she remarked.
The administrator praised her team members for the role they play in improving residents’ quality of life.
“I can glorify my staff; they are very dedicated, they are always there. I can count on them every minute of the day to know that if we come together and say that this is how we are going to care for this patient, they will carry that through,” she stated.
It is important to care, she said, and that is their mission.
“No matter who people are and you take them in, you bathe them and you feed them, provide adequate medication, they are going to look different, they are going to feel different, and they are going to do things differently,” Graham remarked.
“There are some persons who give up on them, even some of the doctors at the hospitals. But we don’t do that, we take them in and we say to them, ‘Hey, this is where you are going to go, you are not ready to die. We need you here for a little while longer,’ ” she told the Observer.
Her comments came following a recent donation to the hospice by Friends of the Good Shepherd Foundation International based out of the United States. Village of Hope was among a number of beneficiaries that shared US$13,000.
“This is really wonderful to us because it helps us to assist so many other persons that are really in need,” said a grateful Graham.
“Friends of Good Shepherd International has been one of our corporate donors throughout the years. We look forward to their donations yearly in assisting us to pay for medications for some of our social cases and we can purchase equipment and so forth from the funding that we get from them,” she added.
She also expressed gratitude to other donors who have helped the facility over the years.
“Thank you so very much. With your help we’ve gotten this far, and with your continued help we will be going further,” said Graham.