Our Newsletter 2023 & Annual Report 2022 is online now!mehr
Palliative Care at Blessed Gérard's Hospice
We run a hospice for inptient care, outpatient care and home care of needy terminal patients (mostly AIDS patients).
The hospice was opened on the feast of Blessed Gérard, 3 September 1996.
We admit sick people for hospice and palliative care as inpatients.
When terminally ill and dying patients can no longer be adequately cared for at home, we admit them as inpatients. Sometimes this is done temporarily to give overburdened relatives a break.
Often the patient's condition improves so much thanks to our good care, full nutrition and continuous medical treatment that he or she can be temporarily discharged home again.
As a rule, however, the sick come to us to spend the last days of their lives here. Palliative care focuses on the well-being of the person. Loving care, willingness to listen and talk, human closeness and care are the focus. Adequate pain therapy and other medical aids are just as much a part of this as pastoral care and psychosocial support.
Interview by Father Martin Trieb OSB with Father Gerhard T. Lagleder OSB
Why or when we admit a patient here actually has not so much to do with the diagnosis, but with their neediness, in other words: We admit patients here who cannot be cared for at home or cannot be cared for sufficiently. We not only have inpatient admissions, but we also train people in home nursing. We have mobile home care teams that provide home care and we have day care, but where this is not sufficient because the patient is too ill or the family is not able to take over the care, that is where we admit the patient. A large proportion of our patients - it's difficult to say or estimate this as a percentage - but I think when I say 90%, that I'm not exaggerating, that this 90% is suffering from AIDS and AIDS rarely comes alone, it usually comes in the trifecta of AIDS, tuberculosis and STIs. So this is the dominant area from which our patients come.
But we also accept patients for rehabilitation. We are not only a hospice, but also a care centre, i.e. patients, e.g. after a stroke, after a heart attack, after an accident, who then have to be rehabilitated, with whom we have to do exercises, with whom we have to give them the medicine that the doctor prescribes, so that they can recover again, and in addition we also take in relatives, whom we show how they can continue to care for their relatives at home.
We go where no one else goes ...With our outpatient care service, which travels to the "last corners" of the hinterland, we provide a unique service.
Our home care teams travel from the care centre to the sick people with a nursing specialist and complement and support the home care provided by the family.
These teams are also our "first responders" when we receive a call for help that a family is overwhelmed with care. We then guide the patient's relatives on how to properly care for their family member. The nurse decides on the further care plan with the patient's relatives.
If care cannot be adequately provided at home, the team, which usually travels by ambulance, takes the sick person to the hospice for inpatient admission.
Reports from the hospice
My brother, Father Gerhard, gets a call. He asks me, "Would you like to come with me, I have been called. I am going to see a dying person." I don't hesitate and come along silently. I don't know what…mehr
Jabulani talks about his life and what "being happy" means to him.mehr
Sinenhlanhla talks about her life and dreams as a young girl.mehr
Mbongani has been in the hospice for several months. He was admitted to our hospice because of advanced tuberculosis and severe skin problems.mehr
Christmas in the children's hospice under Corona conditionsmehr
It was one day before Christmas Eve when little Hawukelani*, just under 5 months old, was brought to us by his mother. He had diarrhoea, was constantly vomiting and did not want to drink properly. So…mehr
Siphosenkosi was his name.
This means "gift of the Lord" in the Zulu language and we all called him simply "Sipho" for short. One and a half year old Sipho came to us on 2 October 2003. The social…mehr
It is Wednesday 9 May. We got a call for a home visit. In principle, nothing unusual, because relatives or neighbours often call us and tell us that there is a sick person in the family or…mehr
In memory of Menzi
by Sr. Sheilagh Schröder
It was literally an answer to prayer that I came to work for Blessed Gérard's Care Centre. I had been working part-time in nursing in England and really…mehr
Dr Roux Martinez, then a resident in trauma and transplant surgery in Cape Town/South Africa, answered the question why she became an active member of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard:
The Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard responded to the concentrated and enormous distress of the South African AIDS pandemic in many ways.mehr
The story of Thandi and her son Bhekithemba should give you an impression of the terrible situation of many people in our area and show you how we help people in a meaningful and effective way:
Our President, Fr Gerhard, is a Missionary Benedictine from the Archabbey of St Ottilien in Germany and was sent out as a missionary to Inkamana Abbey in South Africa on 6 January 1987. When two of…mehr
Today my friends and I are going to collect our retirement pensions. We will all meet at the pension office. We have a lot to tell each other and then we will buy fruit and bread from the market women…mehr
Now I am happy, I have no more pain and no more fear!
- Sduduzo's mother tells his story and her own -
My name is Mpume and in July 2000, like everyone else, I was happy and confident about the…mehr
Here in Germany, the deadly immunodeficiency is hardly ever talked about. In Africa, however, it is devastating an entire continent. In South Africa, almost a thousand people die every week as a…mehr
Khululiwe is only 15 when she becomes a mother. Particularly tragic: the young woman is already infected with the deadly HIV virus and so her baby is also born with the deadly pathogen. See now the…mehr
Bongani was brought to us on a Friday evening by his grieving grandmother. She was grieving for her daughter who had died of AIDS two weeks earlier and this was her baby. The grandmother had not known…mehr
We celebrate Mass every weekday in the chapel of Blessed Gérard's Care Centre & Hospice for the patients, volunteers and staff. In this way we experience help and strength in accepting Christ's…mehr
The new nurse at Blessed Gerard's Care Centre
It is with great pleasure that we introduce Sr Sanet van Zyl [pronounced: Sannètt fann Säil]. We would also like to welcome her very warmly to our team at…mehr
I am a 54 year old widow, have seven children, some of whom are married and have given me wonderful grandchildren. I live on a (farm) north of Eshowe in kwaZulu/Natal.
Three years ago…mehr
"It actually started like in the good old romantic missionary times: A missionary is sent to a region as a "lone fighter". When he sets out to preach the gospel, he finds himself surrounded by crowds…mehr