The final stage of life is something most people don’t think about, even though we all know that one day it will concern all of us. Since Bonaire has become a special municipality, many changes have been introduced to the BES islands such as the BES health insurance regulations which entitle everyone on the island who is insured to stay in a hospice.
Choosing hospice care is an important decision that can greatly benefit the quality of life for a person with a life-limiting condition in addition to providing support to a patient’s family during a difficult time.
What is a hospice?
Hospice is a specialized type of care for those facing a life-limiting condition, their families and their caregivers.
Hospice care addresses the person’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs.
Hospice care also helps the person’s family caregivers.
Hospice care takes place in a home-like setting.
Hospice care concentrates on managing a person’s pain and other symptoms so that the person can live as comfortably as possible and make the most of the time that remains.
Hospice care believes the quality of life to be as important as the length of life.
Bonaire - Kas Flamboyan
The Hospice Bonaire Foundation is pleased to announce that Hospice Kas Flamboyan is becoming a reality for all insured people on Bonaire.
At present there is no place on Bonaire where people, who through certain circumstances cannot stay at home any longer, can depart from life in a dignified and human way. However, there are situations that call for such a place. A hospice offers that solution.
Kas Flamboyan is an almost-home-house, where residents are lovingly accompanied day and night during the final stage of their lives. The atmosphere in a hospice is as close as possible to the conditions at home - safe and warm. The hospice houses people for whom healing is no longer possible and who have a life expectancy of up to three months.
People who are informed that they cannot become better often have a feeling of unreality. It is as if everything just continues while their world stands still. Saying goodbye is something everyone does in their own way. This is often an intense period, both for those who say goodbye as well as the family and other loved ones.
Family, friends and other concerned parties are welcome. Together with volunteers, the caretakers and the General Practitioner, palliative care is given in an atmosphere of maximum attention and with respect for privacy.
Most of the care is in the hands of trained volunteers. All care is discussed with the resident and their family members. Whenever possible, the wishes of the resident will be met. The trained volunteers help with the daily routine and relieve the caregivers where necessary. Medical care remains in the hands of the trusted GP.
The stay at Kas Flamboyan is free of charge, as the Health Insurance Regulations BES state that all insured residents on Bonaire, with the right indication, are entitled to a stay in hospice.
How it all began….
The foundation Kas Flamboyan will be run by Director, Tanja Kokelkoren, and, hopefully, many volunteers.
Tanja and her husband first came to the island at the end of 2013. After her husband was offered a job, they decided to visit Bonaire and give themselves a trial period to see if they could live on the island. Both of them wrote down their individual experiences and how they felt about the possible move. Tanja felt positively inspired by the island’s friendly culture as did her husband.
The couple came to live on the island in April, 2014. Tanja has worked her whole life with children, teenagers and adults through speech therapy, choreography work in singing and dance productions and as a teacher. She was looking for these opportunities on Bonaire when she saw an old man sitting on his porch by himself and started wondering how people on Bonaire live during their final stage of life.
After some research, she found that Bonaire had no Hospice care, something you will find internationally. Even our neighboring island, Curacao, has at least two hospices. Since everyone on the island who is insured is entitled to hospice care, Tanja dove into the procedures needed to start the process to ensure Bonaire this important type of care.
Your help is needed
The 4 room hospice is urgently looking for housing, 56 volunteers and 4 caregivers. Compassion and love for our fellow humans are the basis for this kind of work and something we can only hope for when one day we might face the same circumstances.
If you feel inspired to help, Tanja welcomes your interest and invites you to a personal meeting. Every volunteer will be trained and receive certification in techniques such as lifting a person, learning how to listen and how to be with a person in their final stage of life.
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact by phone and/or by mail.
Tanja Kokelkoren, Director
T: +599 7852245
Stichting Hospice Bonaire:
Chairman, Mrs. E. Betancourt-Anthony
Secretary, Mrs. J. Cicilia
Treasurer, Mr. T. Braeken