What is Hospice?
Care and comfort when it's needed most
The term hospice was used in medieval times to refer to a place of shelter and respite for those on long journeys. Its use in modern times is credited to the British physician Dame Cicely Saunders who began her work with the terminally ill in 1948 and established the first modern hospice St. Christopher's in London in 1967. In its most current sense, hospice refers to family-centered, multidisciplinary, holistic care for persons at end of life from any cause, in an environment that fosters peace and tranquility and limits suffering. Hospice and palliative care limits suffering in all its forms - physical, psychological, spiritual, which are inextricably linked, though it must be emphasized that palliative care is not limited to end of life or the hospice setting but is appropriate at any time in the course of any illness.
Several demographic and social factors, such as the aging population with fewer relatives to provide care as well as looser family ties, time constraints on working families and the high cost of elder care point to the need for residential hospice.
Currently in Barbados, limited hospice and palliative services are provided in the home and at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, but there is no formal free-standing residential hospice option for end of life care. The Barbados Ministry of Health and local cancer advocacy organizations all agree that hospice services would be greatly enhanced by such a project.
The plan is for a 14-bed, free-standing facility in a quiet, serene setting. Construction has been delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but will commence when feasible to do so.
Links to Relevant Organizations
Barbados Cancer Association USA (BACA). Inc.
Barbados Association for Cancer Advocacy (BACA Barbados)
c/o APR Law Chambers
Small Business Center, Unit C
Fontabelle, St. Michael, Barbados
Living Water Community (LWC)
St. David’s, Christ Church, Barbados
Barbados Association of Palliative Care
American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine