Written by Alwin Chan


  Is Hospis Malaysia associated with any religious organisation?

No. Hospis Malaysia and its palliative care and related services are not connected to any religion. We serve the broad community and do not expect or impose any particular set of beliefs.



Are there any areas in the Klang Valley which are not covered by Hospis Malaysia?

Yes, Hospis Malaysia is unable to service patients living in the areas of Klang, Rawang, Sg. Buloh, Kajang, Ulu Langat, Bangi and Putrajaya. This is because Hospis Malaysia does not have adequate resources to serve these areas satisfactorily.



How do I prepare my home for palliative care?

Your Hospis Malaysia nurse makes arrangements so that items such as a hospital bed, bedside commode, wheelchair or oxygen can be loaned to you from our centre. Supplies such as disposable pads, gloves, and dressings may be advised by the nurse. If you have problems with equipment or supplies, contact your nurse or the admin staff in Hospis Malaysia and we will make arrangements for repair or replacements.



How many family members or friends are needed to care for a patient at home?

The amount of care needed depends on the patient's needs. One of the first things our Hospis Malaysia team will do is prepare an individualised care plan that will, among other things, address the amount of caregiving a patient needs, and determine who will provide this care. Our staff will visit regularly and are always accessible to answer questions and provide support.



Isn't it difficult to care for someone who is very ill at home?

It's never easy and can be quite demanding. Patients and families may need assistance and support at any time of the day or night. Our palliative nurses will advise the family members about the skills and knowledge required and educate them when necessary.



What specific care is provided in the home?

Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, palliative care nurses, clinical psychologist, and volunteers. They are available to provide assistance based on a patient's area/location and need. In addition, Hospis Malaysia also help provide medications (partly), supplies, equipment, hospital services, and additional support in the home, as appropriate.



How does palliative care control pain and discomfort?

Our palliative care team of nurses and physicians have up-to-date knowledge on the latest medications and techniques for pain and symptom-relief. They will carry out and administer ongoing assessment and help for the patient and his/her family.

Accurate, efficient follow-through with the intake of necessary medication assures that effective symptom control management is practiced. When pain is especially difficult, we can provide professional monitoring and control of pain with relevant medications.

Hospis Malaysia believes that emotional and spiritual pain are just as real and in need of attention as physical pain, so it addresses these as well through counselling, companionship and resources, massage therapy, comfort touch, counselling, and other resources are available for relaxation and emotional support.



Is Hospis Malaysia successful in controlling pain?

Yes. Using some combination of medications, counselling and therapies, most patients can attain a level of comfort that is acceptable to them.



Will medications cause the patient to be drowsy or unable to communicate?

Usually not. It is the goal of the Hospis Malaysia team to help patients be as comfortable and alert as they desire. By constantly consulting with the patient, we have been very successful in reaching this goal. When pain medications are given in the amount needed for pain relief, patients are usually able to respond and continue to enjoy time with families and friends.



What if we have a concern or complaint?

All our staff want to provide the very best quality of care and we invite your comments about our services. Often we use surveys or interviews to get feedback, but you can call us at anytime. You can expect our staff to be courteous - they will respect your privacy and security, and treat your property carefully. If you have any problems, or have questions or suggestions, please talk with any of our team members or call our Medical Director at the Hospis Malaysia office.



What if we want to stop receiving palliative care?

It is your right and privilege to terminate palliative care at any time. Please discuss any changes you wish to make with one of our team members or call our office.



Does palliative care do anything to make death come sooner?

Palliative care does nothing either to speed up or to slow down the dying process. The goal of palliative care is to relieve symptoms and keep the patient comfortable. Just as doctors and mid-wives lend support and expertise during the time of child birth, so hospice provides its presence and specialised knowledge during the dying process.



Does Hospis Malaysia provide any help to the family after the patient passes on?

Absolutely. Bereavement services are available to the family after the death of the patient. The bereavement team from Hospis Malaysia will provide sensitive, skilled counsel and support, for both adults and children.