Non-Profit Organisation Awards 2022

12 Acquisition International - Non-Profit Organisation Awards 2022 Apr22441 Best Health & Social Care NPO 2022 - Belize Blissfulsage Foundation: Edlin Leslie Sr. Hospice provides quality, dignified care for terminally ill patients in Southern Belize through its hospice and family caregiver programmes. In recognition of the organisation’s awardwinning dedication to its patients and their loved ones, we take a closer look at the work it does. ne of the most common misconceptions about hospice is that it is a place where people go to die. Hospice is not a place, it is a philosophy of care, a programme offering services to terminally ill patients and their families. These hospice services focus on care, not cure, and are provided to patients in any place of residence they call home. According to The American Cancer Society, the word ‘hospice’ is rooted in the centuries-old idea of offering a place of shelter and rest, or ‘hospitality’ to weary and sick travellers who are on a long journey. It was Dame Cicely Saunders at St Christopher’s Hospice in London who first applied the term ‘hospice’ to specialised care for dying patients in 1967. The Edlin Leslie Sr. Hospice was designed with the goal of supporting the establishment of a comprehensive system of care for cancer patients in Belize. Using an interdisciplinary approach, each programme is structured to the patient and their family’s individual needs, and adapted as and when needed over time. Rachael Battle founded Edlin Leslie Sr. Hospice after witnessing the long, painful bus journeys her dad would take to reach treatment for his prostate cancer and then the severe discomfort when returning. Eventually, her father stayed in North Virginia to access hospice care. It was there, at Capital Hospice, that he made his dying wish: to establish hospice care in Belize, so that others would not suffer the way he did. That was when Rachael committed to fulfilling his wish by helping those with terminal illnesses to spend their last days in the comfort and security of familiar surroundings. She named the hospice in honour of her late father, Edlin Leslie Sr. Rachael says, “Here, we believe in living life to the fullest, even if your days are limited. We attend to our patients’ physical, social, and spiritual needs while helping their family members cope with their passage.” Indeed, the hospice’s team is dedicated to taking care of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual/social needs of patients while sharing coping strategies and practical tools for family members. While the major focus is a comprehensive system of care for cancer patients in Southern Belize, these services are extended to patients with life shortening illnesses too. O The hospice’s patients are taken care of by an End of Life Doulas (EOLD), a trained professional who provides non-medical, holistic support to a dying person and their loved ones. They provide companionship with a compassionate, non-judgmental approach, along with advocacy, spiritual, and emotional support as per the patient’s wants and needs. They devote time to exploring the roles, fears, questions, and concerns regarding life and death of each individual involved. And by so doing, avoid gaps in care to create a safe, collaborative, and peaceful environment. Their services may also include education and guidance from early diagnosis through to bereavement which cover the broad spectrum of end of life choices; legacy and life review work/planning; advance directives; hands-on, non-medical comfort measures and support of