At the end of March the APCP (the Portuguese palliative care association) hosted a three-day national conference at Hotel Tivoli in Carvoeiro. Following my attendance with two Madrugada nurses I would like to share some of my own thoughts and a small handful of the thank you messages we have received so far this year. It is no secret that a staggering 90% of people needing palliative never gain access to it here in Portugal. We at Madrugada Associação, are doing our best to meet some of the need in the Algarve and the task is enormous.
For me, it is a very great privilege to be invited into someone’s life at a time when they and their loved ones are probably feeling at their most vulnerable. Our dedicated clinical team strives to provide the kind of end of life care that we ourselves would want to receive and everyone on our team is prepared to go the extra mile to ensure that we meet the needs of people in their last remaining days.
This is also true of the services we now provide in our support centre in Luz. We witness daily, the difference this level of care makes to people struggling with a new or recurring diagnosis of cancer or another life limiting illness. Our care can be even more crucial to those learning that there is no more curative treatment available. In palliative care we understand that there is always something that can be done to alleviate suffering and improve quality of life. The therapies, counselling, and advice we are able to provide together with the support groups we facilitate, become a life line to those in need.
Palliative care is a total support system that provides symptom control, emotional and spiritual support and practical assistance. It is person focused and the wishes of the patient and their loved ones is of paramount importance, as is their dignity. We have a social obligation to provide this level of care and it is everyone’s human right to receive it.
I would like to share with you some messages of thanks received this year which demonstrate just how much it can mean to have the support of Madrugada Associação:
“I cannot express how comforting it was to have help & support from Madrugada when we needed it most. You were there for both of us. So, thank you.”
“We just wanted to send our heartfelt thanks for everything that you and your wonderful staff have done for Dad and his family over the past couple of months. We were so lucky to have had the opportunity to meet you all and experience the love and care that Madrugada offers to people approaching the end of their life.
Please will you pass on our love to all the Madrugada staff that Paul and I met over the past couple of weeks? We witnessed Dad receiving the best possible nursing care and, as we said to the nurses themselves, he would have loved to get to know them all and enjoy a room filled with pretty ladies!
With our love and thanks”
“Thank you so much for sorting everything out on our Father's behalf. Everyone has agreed that the Madrugada staff were the best imaginable and that he had a very "good" death. The family are grateful to Madrugada for doing it and BUPA for making it possible”
Bank transfer of funds
Donation for all the assistance given to my father and I these past months. Thank you
“I just wanted to tell you how much it meant to me to be able to be with my husband in his last few hours. Thank you so much, you have all been amazing and I will never forget your kindness.”
If you are a fundraiser, a volunteer or a member of Madrugada, these thanks are also meant for you.
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