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Palliative Care

Ensuring the Dignity and Quality of Life of the Terminally ill

“Tzu Chi Palliative Care” is an extension of two of Tzu Chi’s healthcare establishments and is an important part of holistic healthcare. It was launched in 2016, two years after the launch of Tzu Chi Home Care Services, and serves referrals from hospitals in the western region of Singapore.

Palliative care refers to the care of the physical and emotional well-being of terminally ill patients. Tzu Chi’s Palliative Care team serves terminal patients who have been diagnosed with less than a year to live through regular home visits and health checks, to minimise the hospitalisation needs of these patients, so that they can spend the remaining days of their lives in peace at home. Hence, the team members are on standby around the clock, a vital and heavy responsibility to patients at the end stage of their lives.

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Presently, Tzu Chi’s Palliative Care services include home visits to monitor the patients’ health conditions, adjustment of prescriptions, pain relief, etc. The medical team works with the goal of improving the quality of life for the dying sick and allaying the latter’s physical and emotional suffering with sincere care and positive thinking. Besides providing essential medical services, the team also serves as an important bridge of communication by conveying the wishes and concerns of the patients to their families, and partners with the families in supporting their loved ones through their final journey.

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Dying Without Regrets

Mr. Ho, an elderly patient who lived alone and had end-stage respiratory failure, found solace and comfort after receiving Tzu Chi’s Palliative Care services, which also helped relieve him of his frequent hospitalisation needs. The comforting words of Palliative Care team member Nancy Tan, “you can call me anytime if you need help”, gave him much support and courage to complete the final leg of his life journey. The medical team knew of Mr. Ho’s dying wish to be reunited with his four-generation family, and thus invited his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to celebrate Buddha Day with him in May 2017. At the celebration, the team even guided the younger members of the family to serve tea to Mr. Ho and bathe his feet, which touched him deeply. Three months later, the elderly man passed away peacefully at home.

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