DEAN Foundation provides Palliative Care services to the urban poor of Chennai, Coimbatore and Kancheepuram districts. Patients are referred to DEAN Foundation by doctors. They also approach through word of mouth referrals, website and through social media.
Over 80% of the patients are from the lower income group. With no financial means, terminal illnesses like cancer leaves them traumatised both physically and mentally. Cancer patients form about 78% of the total patients treated.
The organisation primarily works in the area of pain relief. Once diagnosed with terminal illness, treatments are gradually stopped and patients are only left with pain management during the rest of their lives. This involves both medicines that are ingested as well as periodic change in dressing of the tumours. The family members of the patients are also trained to nurse the patients and administer the medicines as required.
There are two forms of services - Out-patient services and Home Based Care. Out-patient care is for patients who are able to come to the office or have family members who are mobile. Home Based Care is primarily for patients who are immobile. In addition to this they also work with the Department of health & Family Welfare and State health Society, Govt. of Tamil Nadu actively to provide training and create awareness.