Niamh Braiden and Niamh Galligan (St Joshua CSPE class) write:
As part of the Civic, Social and Political Education programme, 2nd Yr class St Joshua paid a visit with our teacher Mrs Fitzpatrick to St Christopher’s Hospice which is situated just beside our school.
We are doing our C.S.P.E action project on the concept of human dignity. We decided to visit our neighbours in St. Christopher’s Hospice. We in Loreto College Cavan have a very close relationship with the hospice ever since the Loreto nuns donated the land on which the hospice was to be built some years ago. The Loreto Order could see that invaluable contribution that a hospice would make to preserve the dignity of people who are disabled or dying.
We arranged to visit the hospice on Monday the 19th November 2012 at 10am. In preparation we had gathered €2 of each student to make a small donation to the Hospice. We also decided to make buns and bring them around for the staff and residents to enjoy.
We walked around to St.Christopher’s in pairs, two wearing ‘Hi-Vis’ jackets at beginning and end. We were accompanied by our CSPE teachers Mrs. Fitzpatrick. We were met at the door by the unit manager Erika Winterlich. She gathered us around in a semi-circle and spoke quietly to us all about the Hospice. She was very welcoming and seemed very glad to see us. She told us about how they respect Human Dignity by implementing their ‘End Of Life Policy’ .
• How they are funded.
• about their 13 beds and how they are distributed.
• Costs of running e.g. Bed €15,000 + Mattress €5,000
• What food patients may have.
• Pets might be allowed if deemed appropriate.
• Entertainment – Arts+Crafts, Day trips, Pet day.
• Families don’t speak about sensitive issues in the room with patients – even if unconscious.
• Counselling and time given to residents and families.
• Staff are upskilled and caring, remembering that the hospice is some peoples HOME!
Although the Hospice seems likes a sad place to be , the nurses make it very homely and the Hopice really values the end of peoples’ lives. The patients are allowed to bring in photos or ornaments in from their home and they are even allowed their own bedcovers. All of these facts mentioned add to the Human Dignity of the patients coming to the end of their lives.
We in St Joshua’s class are very proud of our neighbours and friends, St.Christophers Hospice, .