The model on which the Foundation of the Maison de Tara is based derives from the hospices in the Netherlands. Like La Maison de Tara, most of these hospices are small scale in order to conserve a family type atmosphere. This seemed the most suitable for our present circumstances, although other very successful hospice models exist. Of the hospices visited by the Maison de Tara team, those which appeared to function best were the ones in which training of volunteers was given high priority.
In the Netherlands, the Department of Health has encouraged the widespread multiplication of these small family style hospices. The cost of such care is considerably less than hospital care and patient satisfaction is high. Private health insurance covers the cost of night nurses.
Following the successful expansion of hospices in the Netherlands, La Maison de Tara could become a reproducible model in other Swiss cities. This would permit a substantial number of people live their final days and weeks within a ’family’ atmosphere.
Comments recorded during a team visit to a Dutch hospice
Patient: ”I have been here for four weeks; four really happy weeks of my life. Ten children couldn’t bring me what the hospice offers. I am treated like a queen. I ring the bell and seconds later the door opens and one of the volunteers is there.”
The patient’s son-in-law: “The fact that Grandma is in the hospice has reassured us and has also reassured her. In fact she is so comfortable here that I think that she won’t die (laughs)! We are able to come and see her at any time, which it is wonderful.”
The patient’s sister-in-law: “As for the room, we see it as ‘her room’ and we feel just as if we are really with her at home in her room.”
A volunteer: “Hospice always goes with the flow, like at home, so the patients feel at home”