Bonn Lighthouse: Preventing Solitude and Providing Psychological Wellbeing

Imagine you are terminally ill and have nowhere to go. You feel isolated and feel that there is nobody you can talk to. No-one is looking after you. Wouldn’t you long for a place to turn to?

Such a place is Bonn Lighthouse. The hospice offers an assisted living project, wher up to 16 people with terminal diseases live in single apartments. The apartment complex forms a small community. “There are certain house rules but we are neither a flat share nor a hospital. The residents are free to come and go as they please, to interact or to keep to themselves,” explains social education worker and Lighthouse vice manager Jürgen Goldmann. Trained full-time staff as well as volunteers see to the psychological and social wellbeing of the residents. Most of them are between 40 and 45 years old. Many are suffering from AIDS or HIV. Others have cancer or multiple sclerosis.

A major difference between Bonn Lighthouse and conventional hospices is that people coming here see it as a place where they live, and not where they come to die, even though this is often the last consequence. “Unlike other hospices, people stay here for two or three years. We know we can’t save them, but we work hard to prevent the worst and help them to live as well as possible until they die,” explains Goldmann.

How can you help?
Although the residents of Bonn Lighthouse pay a monthly rent, the organisation finances its work mainly through membership fees and donations. Financial contributions are therefore always welcome. For those who would like to accompany the Bonn Lighthouse residents, it is also possible to take part in a one-year qualification course and become a voluntary staff member.

Quelle Artikel: Rhein Magazine

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