Dignāja Manor to be turned into cancer rehabilitation center

Take note – story published 1 year and 1 month ago

The oncological patient support association "Dzīvības koks", with the support of the Jēkabpils municipality, is restoring the Dignāja Manor. It is planned that there, a psychosocial rehabilitation center for oncological patients will open its door this autumn, Latvian Radio reported on April 19.

The Oncological Patient Support Society "Dzīvības koks" (Life Tree) has been working toward the development of a psychosocial rehabilitation center in Dignāja for 10 years. According to Gunita Berķe, the president of the Society's Board of Governors, patients in the center are expected to be able to work in groups, receive advice from different specialists, to meet with mentors – people who will share experience in the fight against oncological disease.

"The first floor has rooms that are suitable for people with disabilities. We cannot install a hoist on the second floor for purely financial reasons. [..] Here we have a room for physiotherapy and art therapy. [..] And these two big halls are very beautiful too. It's a multi-purpose dining hall, it's also a classroom. Multifunctional. As you see, there are big windows, there will be a terrace around. In fact, the environment here is where rehabilitation and rest can be achieved," Berķe said.

At first, it had seemed that the creation of a rehabilitation center in Jēkabpils would not take much time, but in reality, things had changed completely.

"In 2012, we entered into a lease agreement with Jēkabpils. Then everything looked very optimistic and we were already planning to start working in 2014. But this has fallen apart, because it's an old house that might have been smarter to demolish, but at that point, we didn't know. In addition, repairs to an old house are always more expensive and longer," Berķe said.

Currently, thanks to the €200,000 allocated by the Saeima a year ago, the reconstruction of the Center is almost complete. However, due to increased prices of building materials, the repairs are still not complete.

Jekabpils Municipality Vice-President for Social and Health Aivars Vanags said that in 2012 the municipality leased the former Dignāja civil building to the Society and continues to support the activities of the association.

Aldis Dūdiņš, director of the Welfare Ministry's Department of Social Services and Disability Policy, noted that the psychosocial oncological rehabilitation state program has been delegated to the Society. This phase in oncological patients' lives is no less important than the treatment itself.

“On average, up to 200 people can get this service. Dignāja, on the other hand, is the premises where the association builds its base,” Dūdiņš said.

Five hundred square meters of the vast historic building in Dignāja is scheduled to be completed by the autumn of this year.

In the psychosocial rehabilitation center established, there will be 13 double rooms for oncological patients and four rooms for classrooms, lectures, and psychotherapy.

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