Having a family member with a terminal disease is devastating for a family living in poverty. Many stories like this have been brought to the Mary Ward Loreto Women Advice Center of Tirana (ACT). These cases are mainly referred to us by our partner, Sue Ryder Albania Association, an NGO that supports people through the most difficult times of their lives, giving people the compassion and expert care they need.
The disease causes stress and fatigue among family members. In some cases, the members of the family have doubts about the diagnosis, unwilling to accept the truth, or families choose not to tell the truth about the disease, thinking it will perpetuate psychological and other health problems. The costs of medical treatment are unaffordable and become a source of psychosocial and economic problems and imbalance for the patient and their family.
Patients can lose their jobs, responsibilities, and this inability to help support the family brings overwhelming anxiety and nervousness to the patient. Children who are exposed to this kind of family suffering are also affected psychologically.
These families, whose members have also lost their jobs due to the need to take care of the patient, need help and support to afford the costs of medical treatment and the cost of living.
MWLW ACT, in collaboration with other partners, is addressing their needs, trying to make their time of grief easier and to help ease the pain.