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Hospice Care By Mitigare For All

By Muriel Bevilacqua Logan and Lee Carter

We want all of San Miguel de Allende to know that hospice care in your home is available to everyone in San Miguel. Hospice care can help any patient in the last stages of life and their family to have the best possible quality of life in those last difficult but important weeks or days. In other words, hospice allows a person to have a “good death.”

All of us have our fears and doubts about what will happen in the last days of our life, but a palliative care team consisting of a doctor, a nurse, a social worker, and others who have special training in pain management and know about the difficult crises that can happen in a person’s last days, may greatly aid the patient and the family in making that transition peacefully.

We are fortunate in San Miguel to be in one of only five Mexican states that has also put the provision in its own state laws and is working hard on training medical professionals in providing palliative care. San Miguel is one of only two cities in Mexico to have a nonprofit agency to provide this sort of care.

In 2018 we have been serving five to six patients at a time and have acquired even more specific medical equipment needed in the home for this sort of care. We have been able to aid most of these families with a portion of the costs of their loved one’s care, according to the social worker’s assessment of their ability to pay, and we have constantly added to our Patient Assistance Fund to make sure that no family will be turned away.

Mitigare is committed to staff training and education. We have also received some significant grant money this year, which will be used for personnel training. In fact, we are sending our three nurses to the National Cancer Institute in Mexico City this month, where they will attend the First International Congress for Palliative Care Nurses. And we are planning a conference for May 2019 here in San Miguel where professionals from several parts of Latin America will train Mexican healthcare workers.

In other news, have you heard of a “death café”? It’s a concept spreading around the world. These are places where people can go to be in a comfortable setting and just talk about death—what their feelings are about it, how they are preparing—with a bit of gentle facilitation provided by the café staff. These sorts of cafes are coming up in San Miguel. And coming up in July, we will begin to help people in San Miguel prepare legally-binding Advanced Directives documents for use in Guanajuato State.

For more information on advanced directives and the other things we are doing, take a look at our website, in English and Spanish, at mitigare.org. If you would like to donate to our Patient Assistance Fund, or have other questions or comments, please contact Lee Carter, Treasurer, at leecarco@gmail.com. If you or a friend needs help for a patient who is approaching the end of life, call 415 138 6145 (cell), and one of our doctors and a social worker will come explain our services and evaluate the needs of the patient and family.

Thanks to everyone in San Miguel who has helped us to spread the word about Hospice Care by Mitigare and to connect with those in need.

 

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