Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 63--69

Homecare and the COVID-19 pandemic – Experience at an urban specialist cancer palliative center

1 Cipla Palliative Care Centre, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Cipla Foundation, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nivedita Page
Cipla Palliative Care Centre, 118/1, Mumbai-Bangalore Road, Warje, opp. Popular Nagar, Pune - 411 058, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_151_20

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Background: With the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc globally, the extremely vulnerable subset of cancer palliative care patients has to go through the worst nightmare. Difficulty in accessing medical care in the event of increased symptom burden, obstacles in reaching hospitals at time of emergencies or end of life, limited access to medication, social distancing causing isolation, leading to psychosocial burden, lack of bereavement support, are few of the issues we identified. Palliative home care is an important tool to allay the anxieties and address the fears of cancer patients and caregivers, by ensuring continuity of care and providing the much needed handholding in these difficult times. This article aims to highlight the home-based care strategy and experience of the Cipla Palliative Care and Training Center during the COVID-19 lockdown. Materials and Methods: We have utilized the data of documentation of the process of designing the protocol, the data entered by the team on unique data management software that is used at the palliative care center to record all palliative care interventions and reflections of the team on their experience of home visits during this period. Results: Continuity of care through home visits will ensure better management of patients in terms of physical symptoms, psychosocial support, allaying fears, and anxieties, as well as the ultimate goal of an improved quality of life. Physical symptoms (24%), morphine drop off (19%), psychosocial support (15%), end of life care (33%), and procedures (9%) were the major indications of visits. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for support, thus reiterating the importance of continuity of care. With abundant precautions and protocols in place, home care through visits is possible. With the lockdown and restrictions now entering their fourth phase, we need to be ready now more than ever to adapt to changing times and evolving definitions of the “New Normal.”


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