In 2003, AFG partnered with Abbess Mariam to establish the first hospice facility and in-home palliative care program in Georgia.
AFG found that given the limited availability of nursing and palliative care in Georgia, many ill and elderly Georgians are left with no one to look after them. This program fills the gap by providing free, individualized in-home and hospice care to Georgia’s vulnerable elderly and terminally ill.
The Mercy Center hospice takes a whole-patient approach to ensure that all residents' needs are met, including medical, spiritual, and psychological care.
The hospice facility is located in Tbilisi and currently has seven beds. All other patients (roughly 100 per year) are visited at home through the Home Care program.
In addition to these programs, the Mercy Center is also home to the only nursing school for hospice care in Georgia, where students are trained to become nurses and caregivers for those in need.
The program is entirely free for students, and gives women with few opportunities access to a viable, long-term career.