Palliative Care Delivery
Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS)
Pallium India provides service delivery and training through the Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS), the flagship programme of Pallium India. It has been accredited as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Policy and Training on Access to Pain Relief. Services are provided through Out-Patient Clinics, In-Patient Services, and Home Visits.
Home Visits form a crucial part of our services. There are thousands of people who cannot access a healthcare facility because they are bed bound, elderly, living alone with no one to accompany them or geographically isolated. At Pallium India, we strive to meet them, where they are, when they need us, honouring the Universal Health Coverage tenet of leaving no one behind.
As the name suggests, link centres form a vital connection between us and communities. Link centres are manned by volunteer groups from the same community, who have usually completed a volunteer training programme with us and now serve to ensure that anyone with palliative care needs is attended to. They also provide infrastructure through which we conduct outpatient care in the area. This may be a primary school, a library or a community centre. Link centre volunteers also fulfil the indispensable role of engaging and mobilising local self-government bodies and other agencies to provide last mile solutions for socio-economic needs of the family.
In-patient/ Out- Patient
In-patient services are available at the Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences and delivered by a Multidisciplinary Team involving Doctors, Nurses, Medical Social Workers, and Physiotherapists. Patients are admitted for short or long term symptom control as well as for hospice services to facilitate appropriate end of life care.
We provide Out-Patient Services at the Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Care facility as well as in the following locations:
In collaboration with hospitals:
- Trivandrum Medical College Hospital
- General Hospital
- Community Health Centre in Poovar
- Sree Avittum Thirunal Hospital (for paediatric palliative care)
In association with various volunteer-led Pain and Palliative Societies in and around Trivandrum:
Psycho- social issues are also tackled wherever possible in collaboration with the local Panchayat or Self Government Body.
Pallium India is committed to improving the overall quality of life of patients and families. We recognise that illness-related suffering has many aspects – physical, mental, socio-economic and spiritual. Therefore, rehabilitation services form an integral part of the support we offer. This has several components and programmes under it:
Pallium India runs a unique “Halfway Home” Programme where patients with spinal cord trauma are housed and rehabilitated in a facility that includes a kitchen, a wheelchair accessible room, and restroom so they can be trained in using these facilities before they are sent home.
We currently work with two Physical and Medical Rehabilitation Physicians as well as Physiotherapists. This is in addition to the regular multidisciplinary team.
The rehabilitation team works with them to regain as much function as possible. Various assistive aids and appliances including wheelchairs are provided free of cost to patients who cannot afford them with the generosity of our donors. Pallium India also works with the family, helping them adapt, while assisting with home modifications to facilitate the process of rehabilitation.
If possible, vocational rehabilitation is also done for these patients, to help them remain autonomous. Skillbuilding in simple activities like making umbrellas, soaps and pens or tailoring are imparted so that they may provide some source of income for the family. This is especially important at times where the breadwinner of the family has been left paralyzed. Apart from the additional income, vocational training also provides an added sense of purpose for the patient and the caregiver. This may have additional mental health benefits as well.
80% of caregivers world over are women. Women access healthcare less, and when they do are often denied it. Designed to counter gender inequity in healthcare, this project identifies women patients and caregivers and addresses their illness-related struggles along several parameters – socioeconomic, psychosocial, physical, mental and spiritual. Under Ujjwal, a holistic and systemic approach is taken, strengthening existing support structures available to women, helping them access opportunities for empowerment and reducing stressors and barriers to their wellbeing. We provide medical and procedural support, vocational rehabilitation, support the educational needs of their children, assist with securing basic amenities like food, water and shelter and wherever possible, help them repair or rebuild or rent homes in safe neighbourhoods.
Loosely translating to “Children’s Collective”, our Kuttikootam programme supports the educational needs of children whose families have been financially destroyed by health related expenditure.
Very often, one of the first collateral damages seen in a family navigating a serious and chronic health crisis is the discontinuation of the childrens education, as those funds are reallocated to treatment costs. At Pallium India, we try and ensure that children do not slip through these cracks. We also run summer camps for children listed under this programme, where they share experiences, make friends and learn life skills.