The experiences of the Batswana families regarding hospice care of Aids patients
Makhele, Matlhodi Florah
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The HIV/Aids pandemic has put significant strain on health care services in the country. The hospitals are no longer coping with escalating number of patients that are admitted. This has led to the early discharge of patients, some of them being sent to the hospices for continued care as they are still too ill to be nursed at home. There are mixed feelings when it comes to taking patients to hospices for care, as this did not use to be the practice among Africans. Batswana as Africans have a culture that is deeply rooted in the principles of Ubuntu. These principles control the way people behave when caring for one another through thick and thin. According to this culture, an ill person is taken care of at home by the people within the family and the community. Taking a person to a hospital or hospice became an option when people started working to earn a living. They are no longer able to take care of their ill loved ones. The purpose of the study is to explore and describe the experiences of Batswana families regarding the hospice care of Aids patients in Tlhabane Township in the North-West Province. The objectives of the study include exploring and describing the experiences of Batswana families regarding hospice care of Aids patients, and to making recommendations to policy makers to ensure cultural safety in caring for Aids patients in hospices. A qualitative explorative descriptive research design that was contextual in nature was followed in order to explore and describe the experiences of Batswana families. Purposive sampling was used as method to select the participants for the study. For data collection, in-depth, unstructured individual interviews were conducted with ail participants. Data analysis was done by means of putting the data into categories and sub-categories from the themes that emerged from the findings. The findings indicate that families of the patients that are being cared for at the hospice experience hospice care as foreign to their culture. These families are also stigmatized, firstly as a result of Aids as an illness, and secondly due to the fact that they have sent their loved ones to the hospice for care. They also observed the differences between the quality of care for patients in hospital and in hospices. The families gain knowledge in the process of taking their ill family member to the hospice, and they understand the benefits of hospice care. From the findings of this study, recommendations are made to the policy makers to ensure cultural safety at hospices.
- Health Sciences