Journal.

Time to talk: Palliative care and coronavirus

As we face a devastating global pandemic, let’s not lose sight of the need for communication and compassion. At Alignd, we spend a lot of time thinking about how to help people live their best lives right up until the last moment. The COVID-19 crisis cuts deeply, not just because of the spectre of wide-spread illness and death, but also [...]

Palliative care guidelines in the midst of the COVID-19

The Association of Palliative Care Practitioners of South Africa (Palprac) has compiled guidelines for managing adult patients currently receiving home-based palliative care during the COVID-19 pandemic. As ever, the role of palliative care practitioners in the time of COVID-19 is to keep the “care” in healthcare, even as systems, patients and providers are under siege. Our colleagues at Palprac have put together guidance [...]

Cancer support groups that you can lean on

Consider joining one of these active support groups which connect cancer patients, their loved ones and caregivers with others who have “been there”, and provide a safe place to share and work through feelings and challenges. Hearing the news that you or someone you love has cancer is devastating, and can set off a range of emotional responses: shock, anger and disbelief. [...]

Questions to ask your palliative care doctor

Take a look at this list of questions to ask your palliative care doctor so you feel informed and empowered during your illness. When you’re diagnosed with a serious illness, it’s common to have a mixture of many emotions – fear, anger, sadness, anxiety, guilt. But also, if you have had symptoms for a long time or have undergone [...]

Palliative care FAQs

We answer some of the most commonly asked questions around palliative care from patients and their families. Do I need to stop seeing my oncologist if I start to see a palliative care doctor?No, palliative care is an extra layer of support and the palliative care doctor will work alongside your oncologist and any other involved healthcare practitioners such as [...]

The need for kindness, and really listening

Dr Nosisa Matsiliza wants medical practitioners and patients to know that palliative care doesn’t mean giving up; palliative care is not just for the very last days of life. Dr Nosisa Matsiliza was practising palliative care long before she officially trained as a palliative care doctor in 2017. The holistic approach to care – looking at physical, [...]

Caregiver and baby

Honesty, empathy and morphine

Dr Julia Ambler is a paediatric palliative care doctor who, together with the team at Umduduzi Hospice in KZN, provide care and support for very sick children and their families. Her primary tools are honesty, empathy and expertly administered morphine. There’s a story Dr Julia Ambler tells about a two-year-old girl who was diagnosed with a rare, slow-growing brain tumour. [...]