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«Today, an increasing number of people
face, alone and without the necessary
assistance, the suffering that neoplastic,
degenerative, and cardiovascular diseases
entail in the last stage of life».
Rita Levi Montalcini
Palliative care is the treatment that accompanies a person when there is no possibility for recovery anymore. It’s very important because they add quality of life to the patient and their family.
The first objective of palliative care is, therefore, to take care of the space and lifespan of the sick person. Moreover, guaranteeing that the best therapy is chosen for that person, with that specific disease and in that specific moment.
Villa Rosa Viterbo has a long-lasting tradition in the assistance during palliative care. Its main characteristic is the complexity: the centre attends people with oncologic diseases, covering all age slots of adulthood. It is, therefore, a very specific competence that the palliative care centre Nostra Madre represents, and they do so from a deep reflection about the person and the human being, with all its value and uniqueness: «You are important because you are you, and you are important until the end».
The need to count on a differentiated centre that’s specialised in palliative care and able to respond to the needs that arise along the disease’s evolution have fostered the development of this centre within Villa Rosa’s care plan.
Nostra Madre’s centre consists of both a hospitalisation structure and a home care service, with specialised personnel for the type and complexity of the care required to attend a patient that desires to stay home, guaranteeing the continuity of their care plan from home.
In the province of Viterbo, of large extension, there’s a need to provide care that avoids or reduces to the maximum the hospitaller admissions. Moreover, to work respecting the «person-patient» means to suggest actions of welcoming, listening, and caring that contribute to offering relief to the person, always respecting their dignity and quality of life.
«Professionalism and availability», are the words that the Lucarini family dedicated to our Nostra Madre centre in mass media last November, regarding the care received by his dear Renzo. The Cepparotti family also dedicated a space in their local social media, remembering their mother, Lucia Massera, a popular teacher, who «lived with dignity her last days» at the centre.
The global attention to the patient and their family is a fundamental aspect of our care; that’s why, at Nostra Madre, palliative care entail a process without interruptions, that embraces the person and their loved ones even after the patient’s passing.
«Our objective is to dedicate more attention to the person», as explained by Doctor Luigi Galli, Doctor in charge at the Centre. «We consider not only the clinical needs, but also the emotional, psychologic and spiritual ones of both the patient and their families, focusing more on their quality of life instead of the duration of life, giving the person their dignity back. All the patients that are hospitalised at our centre can receive spiritual assistance of the Catholic priest in the section; for the people with different believes, the team can also reach out to representants of other religions».
The specific effort goes from knowing what to say to knowing what to do. During the disease’s evolution stage, the objective of the intervention is to «care» for the patient and their family; which requires of competent employees, trained in real communication and caring for the human dimension to favour an adequate approach to the complex nature of suffering.
From the therapeutic continuity’s perspective, the assistance programme of the Centre is able to guarantee a close relationship between the hospital, the health centres across the territory, the patient and their family. Thanks to that, it’s possible to safeguard the quality of the interpersonal relationships.
The continuous assistance at the Centre considers death as a natural process. Through the adequate care, patients and their families receive company, even in situations of extreme fragility, until the last moments. The cloak that ancient Romans and Greeks would put over the sick person’s shoulders is the cloak with which to embrace the sick person’s body. Doctors, Nurses, Volunteers, Psychologists, Healthcare Workers, and Spiritual Assistants contribute, together, to the unique group that forms the care team.
«Let’s care for the sick without skimping on
strength, mind, and soul, because the sicker they are,
the more they recreate the living image of Jesus».
St Benito Menni