Palliative Care Heroine Vero Sees Elderly Care Differently

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By Eddie Ssemakula

Veronicah Karuhanga, the founder of Golden Ageelderly care homes Uganda has a taste of what it means to persevere, in a context where elderly care is often abandoned as a peripheral national concern. She has garnered 10 years of experience and is doing things in this field of geriatric nursing, a  little differently.

Speaking of her deepest joys, she notes her biggest encouragement as receiving patients in wheelchairs and ambulances, and later watching them walk from her homes alive and invigorated on two feet.

“It’s not a medical miracle” she adds “When it comes to Geriatric Nursing it’s more of a holistic environment, psychosocial support and proper Nutrition.”

She’s however not blind to the challenges of palliative care in a country like Uganda. Highlighting  one as “combating misconceptions.”

“There are still many people who believe that palliative care is only for end-of-life patients or that it’s the same as hospice care.” She remarks, “In reality, palliative home care can be beneficial for patients of all ages and stages of serious illness.”

Vero remains confident that Ugandan policymakers should consider improving palliative care centres in the long run if only to show the government’s commitment to this people group.

“There is also more sensitization needed for proper/ professional care for patients before they are mismanaged for example,” she explains, “We receive patients that wouldn’t be in diapers but were not potty trained and it becomes hard because the body and mind have given away already, yet their family still expects you to do miracles.”

From a more nationalperspective, she articulates Palliative care’s ideal goals as ranging frommaximizingthe quality of life, providing relief from pain and other physical symptoms,  psychosocial and spiritual care, care-family support and bereavement counselling.

“But you realize” sheadds “Ourmedical facilities are not well equipped for palliative care, so people who could have aged gracefully, end up dying miserably in their homes without any ounce of dignity.”

She however reinstates her firm beliefin slow change that begins with small efforts  like hers, “as long as the responsible government ministries  collaborate with the stakeholders on the ground to draft better policies.” She quips.

At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio digni goikussimos ducimus qui to bonfo blanditiis praese. Ntium voluum deleniti atque.