16.12.2020

Improving Quality of Life in COVID -19 for 150 Patients with Advanced Stage of Cancer and Elderly with Chronic Diseases in Tirana and Durres

Isolation, passivity, desperation, depression, anxiety, isolation from families and relatives.

Those are the horrific words that explain the situation. Those words can be heard from the people with advanced stage cancer and elderly with chronic diseases. The danger of COVID–19 among other things, brings a high level of anxiety and insecurity. These increase the pain level and worsens the general health of patients.

On the other hand, generosity is the word that can describe the good people from Ryder Albania. Doctors, nurses and volunteers kindly spread their humanity in times when the health care system is focused on the COVID-19 situation. The patients can’t visit the hospitals and their doctors, they are forced to stay inside their homes most of the time, and the general rule for social distancing has minimized visits by their families.

Having in mind this situation, two mobile teams of Ryder Albania in Tirana and Durres first prepared a specific measures plan, evaluated and selected emergency and non-emergency cases and prioritized visiting people in difficult socio – economic situation.

“In these difficult days, no one except the Ryder team to come visit me at my home. The Ryder team visits me regularly, always providing me with such amazing support. I am sure that without them, there is no way that I would have been able to cope with this isolation. When the team visited me, it looked like the sun is rising on my face. They bring me medications, food, a smiling face – just what I need when I feel alone. I will forever be grateful. While surrounded by trained staff and volunteers, I feel more confident, more comfort, calmer and safer and optimistic about the future. Ryder Albania is my family, says Lulezime.

The Ryder teams are providing health services in the homes of patients. The doctors are assessing the patient’s condition, providing medications for pain and other symptoms, give injections, administering infusions, taking care of wounds, secure long-term medications, medical materials, other equipment and hygiene materials. Food packages and other living essentials are also provided. For non – emergency cases, the team is available for online counseling, for the patients and their families if necessary.

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Ryder Albania Association (RAA) is a pioneer non – profit organization, with almost 27 years of experience in the field of services (health and psychosocial) for advanced stage cancer patients and elderly with chronic diseases. The goal of RAA is “Increasing the quality of life for patients and their families”. Besides home care, the team is involved in lobbing and advocacy, training and education as well as in relevant activities in the area, aiming to improve the access to services and patients’ rights. Home care services consist of medical, nursing and psychosocial support, provided through a multi-discipline team with large experience in the field. Since the beginning of its activity up to April 2020, RAA have provided services to approximately 9.000 terminal cancer patients and elderly with chronic diseases and 25.000 of their relatives. During the years, cooperation with different local and international donors has made the provision of home care service possible. RAA has been supported from donors such as, Sue Ryder Care from Great Britain, Hospices of Hope Albania etc.