Some people do the typical 9 to 5 pm. Others work around the clock to ensure and others just work to work. Then there are those who wake up everyday going to work knowing that one of their patients will eventually not make it. That must be psychologically and emotionally taxing to those that care for terminally ill patients. One such place that I am eternally grateful for is Kimbilio (Key-m-bee-lee-o) Hospice, in Kipkaren, Kenya. That’s where my dear patient passed on.
To mark the 40th day of their death. I drove there to plant a tree in their memory with their spouse. It was an emotional day but the kindness that the staff showed us was immense. While we were planting the tree the staff were singing and encouraging us. Solidarity and love.
Kimbilio Hospice, was started in 2011. A palliative care and holistic care centre that specializes in symptom management. Pain relief– all other symptoms that come with the patient’s illness. It currently has a capacity for 26 beds– it is an in-patient hospice. Most hospices in Kenya are out-patient. Apparently in Kenya, the counties the hospitals are trying to integrate palliative care with curative care, but are out-patient hospices.
It was started because of the need of palliative care. As I mentioned, palliative care is not readily available in Kenya. They take patients of all ages, at the time I was there they had toddlers at the hospice.
Kimbilio offers free palliative care, their criteria for admission has to have been diagnosed with a chronic illness (terminally ill) and have documentation to support it. For instance, Cancer, HIV, Organ failure those can be admitted for palliative care. Most patients are referred to them by hospitals all over Kenya.
The holistic part is they offer social, spiritual and psychological care for the families of the patients as well as the patient’s themselves. The care goes on even after the patient passes on especially, during the mourning period.
Kimbilio has beautiful grounds and a garden, where patients can enjoy the sun, birds and the beauty of nature. It is situated in a serene place and most patients are made to feel comfortable.
As the service is at the Hospice is free, they have to get their money from somewhere. The hospice also has a mortuary and funeral home that serves the hospice and community.
All the coffins are hand made at their workshop.
I would like to offer thanks to the lovely staff at Kimbilio. I would also like you–readers to please send them positive thoughts / prayer and spread the word about them. Their work is tough and to take care and support terminal ill patients is a calling. Also send out positive thoughts to those going through illnesses and their families.