Living in a leprosy colony is hard for all ages but for the elderly, end of life is an especially desperate and often lonely battle for survival. The elderly are often alone, with no means of support, and finish life in the harshest of circumstances. In 2008 Embrace A Village began construction on a major hospice center in Coimbator. We began admitting patients during 2009. The facility is alongside four colonies designated by the government as leprosy colonies. Today over 40 patients reside there full time, near full capacity. It is our goal to give older patients the comfort and dignity they deserve until end of life.
Through our work with the hospice center in Coimbator, we have discovered many other ways in which our services are needed. In gaining the required licenses to handle burials and remains, Indian authorities use the center to handle arrangements for the remains of indigents with no families and especially leprosy patients who are unclaimed. Secondly, the nursing staff required for hospice is building and allowing Embrace A Village to offer medical services through the center as well. In order to maintain the high standard of care we wish to provide, the hospice center has many needs including hospital beds, equipment and medical supplies.
We are continually seeking provisions for beds, medical equipment as well as staff. Our goal is to provide quality care during this time for so many who have absolutely no support; enabling leprosy patients to die with dignity and without undue suffering. Without hospice care many leprosy victims die alone and under harsh conditions.
For many the greatest need during hospice is spiritual. Patients come to know and experience the love, hope and grace of Jesus Christ during this time. The Embrace A Village hospice center has become a gateway to heaven.