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Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Hospital for Helping the Terminally Ill "Hospice"

April 30, 2014, 20:00 257 Author: «In this world we all live temporarily and we all go to some Mecca, so there should be a house where we can rest for a while when there is some suffering»

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Ivano-Frankivsk hospice is a hospital for providing medical care to the terminally ill. The institution was founded on August 15, 1997. The status is a regional medical institution. In September 2009, an educational and methodical center started its work on the basis of the hospice, the head of which is Lyudmila-Oksana Ivanivna Andriishyn, the chief physician of the Ivano-Frankivsk hospice.

Hospice is a hospital for the provision of medical care to terminally ill patients who have been diagnosed with an irreversible progression of the disease. The hospice provides comprehensive assistance to a person from the moment an incurable diagnosis is established. "We all live temporarily in this world and we are all heading to some Mecca, so there should be a house where you can rest a little when there is some suffering," Lyudmila Andriyishyn says.

The chief physician is Lyudmila-Oksana Ivanivna Andriishyn

History of creation

In the spring of 1997, on the initiative of the then head of the Ivano-Frankivsk Department of Health, Zinoviy Mytnyk, the Ivano-Frankivsk hospice with 25 beds opened its for seriously ill people. The building where the regional endocrinological dispensary used to be was transferred to this institution. This old, re-planned house, plastered on all sides with rotted wooden outbuildings and a flat, leaky roof, was in need of a general reconstruction. In the course of its implementation, additional difficulties arose more than once, in particular, already in the spring of 1999, it became necessary to completely disassemble the extension, which was located on the front part of the building, because it was necessary to strengthen the foundation, which could not withstand the brick superstructure of the second and third floors. However, thanks to the constant personal assistance of Z. Mytnyk, the understanding of the head of the Department of Health of the Regional State Administration, Mr. M. Yavorskyi, and the enthusiasm and persistence of the head doctor of the Hospice, Mr. L. Andriyshyn, these problems were successfully solved and, as a medical institution, the Ivano-Frankivsk Hospice started work since October 28, 1999.

Hospice - quality of life until the last minute

A visit to the Ivano-Frankivsk hospice begins with a taxi ride. The driver hesitantly stops opposite the gate of the 15th school. “It seems to be here. My grandfather is in a hospice, but I don't know exactly where he is," the taxi driver says the last words more slowly, and his shame and guilt are felt almost physically. No wonder hospice is often spoken of harshly. However, the philosophy of the hospice is completely different, and sometimes patients experience some of the best moments of their lives here.

Be healthy

The regional hopis is located in Ivano-Frankivsk, in the area that people call Maizly. An elegant white house, a spacious yard, flower beds. Anyone who does not know what is behind the gate would hardly guess that this is a medical institution whose patients never recover.

The head doctor of the hospice Lyudmila Andriishyn allows you to talk with patients. Of course, not everyone here is willing to talk, so she consult with colleagues about who to take them to.

Iryna Kulikova, a therapist, leads us to the third floor. On the way, in the open door of the ward, we see a young woman on the bed, who sees us off with a sad look. We don't hold back, we ask the doctor: "How is it to work when death is always nearby?" "People die often and you can't get used to it," she answers. - But we perceive it as inevitable. The main thing is to create such conditions for them so that they do not feel fear."

We were taken to a ward with three grandmothers. One of them, Mrs. Iryna, while sitting on the bed, soaks her feet in a bowl. To ask about life and diagnoses, the tongue does not return. Therefore, the standard question for the hospital is "How are you feeling?" "It's great for me here, the people are nice, with a soul," says Ms. Iryna. - And the doctor is nice, he always comes in the morning, asks how you are, how you slept." This grandmother is already 80, but she laughs: "At 20, 40, and 60 - we are always young." "Very young," jokes the nurse. The woman says that she herself is from Frankivsk, has worked as a nurse for 45 years, and has been complaining for a long time about the doctors of one of the city hospitals where she was lying before this. When she starts talking about his daughter, tears come to her eyes - she is far away. Of his relatives in the city, there is only a grandson from his son and a daughter-in-law. But they never come. Only neighbors visit.

Her roommate is Hannusya, herself from Halytsky district. There is no one from relatives, the nephew brought here. "I thought he was taking me to an old people's home, and I said - Mikhas, you better throw me into the water," she says. - But they brought it here, it's great here. My doctor, Iryna Ivanovna, is not sad for a day, she will come and cheer up."

Grandmothers say good-bye, wish them good health, and joke something else. It is hard to imagine that this is the last refuge for them.

Philosophy of love

The hospice has a different philosophy and a completely different approach to patients than in other hospitals. After all, a hospital is aimed at curing the patient, and if the established diagnosis is incurable, no one will keep such a patient in the hospital, he will be discharged home, because an incurable patient cannot occupy the bed of a patient who can still be helped. But in such patients and in their families, serious problems begin, especially in cancer patients, when there are severe nagging pains and symptoms that prevent a person from living a normal, high-quality life. The quality of life until the last minute is the philosophy of the hospice. Not only medical, but also physical, social, psychological, and spiritual help is provided here. There is a psychologist and a priest, because it is very important that people do not go to the next world embittered, to have the opportunity to forgive someone, to come to God in the last days. Often it is here that people come to realize their meaning in life. "It is necessary to understand that we will all die, it's just that those who have stumbled upon the disease go faster. We stay, but we will also leave someday. Therefore, it is important that they walk with dignity and in love."

By the way, the hospice provides psychological support not only to patients, but also to relatives who lose a loved one. Everyone who goes through a difficult period of loss goes through certain psychological stages - depression, bitterness at the world, etc. The daily conversation of the hospice staff with visitors is a great psychological help.

Relatives are free to enter here. "We have one patient to whom her son comes every day," says Ms. Lyudmila. - There is a daughter who comes to my mother every evening. And when a person has a dysfunctional family, you understand... If there is no one, then we try to find those who would come. We had a boy, an orphan, and he went to everyone and asked - hold my hand, kiss me as if my mother would kiss me. - We invited the family, the church of the Evangelists is nearby, they came to him every evening. He told me that when I recover, I will go to study to become a priest. He did not recover."

This is the therapy needed

Constant contact with human grief puts a heavy burden on the staff, so all hospice workers also constantly need the support of a psychologist. There is such a term as "self-medication". In fact, highly qualified nurses or doctors in medical institutions cannot always be good hospice workers, because working in a hospice means not only treating, but also giving love and mercy, and this constant giving causes "burnout syndrome".

Most hospice patients are severely disabled, bedridden, and not all of them have the opportunity to go for a walk. Now that it has warmed up outside, they are trying to take patients outside directly on their beds so that they can spend some time in the sun and breathe fresh air.

Music therapy and art therapy takes place in the wards. The main thing is to remove the symptoms that bother you so that a person can actively lead a lifestyle to which he is accustomed and communicate with his family. Patients read books, there are always fresh newspapers. Birds and aquarium fish are fed, flower pots are planted. They watch TV and listen to the radio. And every Sunday there is a Divine Service in the chapel, after which the chaplain talks to the sick. Whoever wants to - draws or embroiders.

Stay in the hospice for patients is free. There is no need to pay, but if someone wants to help the hospital - donate money or plant a tree - there is an opportunity to make charitable contributions.

Help those who are dying

Unfortunately, the chief doctor states, people do not have a sufficient understanding of what hospice is. Some people think that this is an institution for lonely elderly people (it is a geriatric boarding house), the authorities sometimes express their attitude towards the hospice as a shelter for the homeless, some believe that you can transfer your old relative here for money. A hospice is a hospital, not a boarding house. Treatment is aimed at reducing the symptoms that bother you. Hospice patients often live longer than their diagnosis predicted, largely due to good care. There were also 2 cases when the diagnosis turned out to be wrong. These people returned home.

"When people come to me and say: 'I would like to hand over...', I answer that this is not a point for accepting glass containers and I do not accept anything," Oksana Andriyishyn does not hide her indignation. Here you can be hospitalized on the basis of a medical history extract, where an incurable diagnosis is established, where a limited life expectancy is predicted. In the hospice, the words "doomed" are not used. Because then who are all the rest, aren't they doomed? Hospice is a hospital for sick people who die before us. And those who remain must help those who are dying."

Since 2000, there has been a joint program with the medical college "School of Care for the Critically Ill", according to which students, regardless of their educational schedule, take turns at the hospice.

In 2008, with the support of the "Renaissance", the Educational and Methodological Center of the hospice was established, which constantly cooperates with the Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University and the Basic Medical College, has the ability to carry out a permanent educational process in the palliative care service, work on issues of democratization of society, promoting the humanization of the community, attracting volunteers, and has its own training programs for medical personnel and volunteers. Conducts training for medical workers of medical institutions of all regions of Ukraine. At the moment, there are two orders signed by the Management of the Department of Health Protection of the Ivano-Frankivsk Regional State Administration "On the creation of a children's hospice department in the Nadvirnya Children's House" and "Creation of an on-site advisory service "Hospice at home".

To spread democratic initiatives among the population of the region regarding the creation of hospices and to help the already existing hospice and sick people, in 2000, caring people united and created Charitable "Mother Teresa" fund for helping the terminally ill. The foundation works to this day and constantly creates programs to support the development of the hospice service in the Ivano-Frankivsk region, attracts volunteers to contribute to the implementation of these programs, or to give their time and skills as a volunteer, or to make a charitable contribution.

Contact information:

The chief physician is Lyudmila-Oksana Ivanivna Andriishyn.

Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Hospital for Helping the Terminally Ill "Hospice"

located at:

St. Novakivskogo, 8, a/c 230, main post office, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, 76002

Phone: +38 (0342) 78-17-19, 50-14-00.

Fax: +38 (0342) 78-17-37.


Hospice needs:

To find out about the urgent needs of the hospice, contact the administration of the institution.

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