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Hospice Project Begins
by Sangita devi dasi and Jusaniya devi dasi
With the book, authored by Sangita devi dasi, The Final Journey—Complete Hospice Care for Departing Vaisnavas, soon to be released by Torchlight Publishing, a few of us felt the time had come to organize some type of end-of-life care within our Krsna conscious movement.
In this regard Bhaktavatsala dasa, RN (TP San Jose); Jusaniya devi dasi, RN, BSN; and Sangita devi dasi, RN, formed a non-profit corporation called Vaisnavas C.A.R.E. Inc. (Counseling, Assistance, Resource, and Education for the terminally ill and their family). Other board members include Vamanadeva dasa and His Holiness Bhakti Tirtha Swami.
Vaisnavas C.A.R.E. Inc. is under the auspices of His Holiness Prahladananda Swami, GBC Minister of Health and Welfare. Beginning plans for this project were recently presented at the GBC meeting in Mayapura, 2002, where they received an overwhelmingly favorable response.
Vaisnavas C.A.R.E. Inc. welcomes healthcare professionals who can bring their education and experience to this project. Certified hospice educators are available and enthusiastic to teach licensed professionals as well as laypersons who are interested in learning the art of end-of-life care. We are now in the process of gathering a worldwide database of devotees who can offer a helping hand when the need arises in their own communities. Volunteer caregivers will make occasional visits to the home or temple, be available to support the family in end-of-life issues, and help to relieve the family members for short amounts of time when needed. Naturally, the amount of time contributed by volunteers will vary according to their availability. Just being able to visit a dying devotee in your community and read Krsna Book for one hour a week would be of great value and very much appreciated.
To teach volunteers, we are presently available for one-day workshops, or two-day seminars. A four-day seminar on end-of-life-care will be given as part of the Mayapura Institute of Higher Education (MIHE) in March 2003. If you are interested in setting up one of these seminars contact Jusaniya devi dasi at Jusaniya@msn.com.
In addition to providing education, we can assist a patient and his or her family in choosing a hospice in their community. In the very near future we will have a toll-free number that will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to give guidance, spiritual support, and friendship to those in a hospice situation. We will also have a message board and eventually a meeting room on our website to provide added emotional and spiritual support for those in need. Please visit us at our website at www.vaisnavascare.com to find out more about this new project.
© CHAKRA 23 June 2002
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