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Madrugada - What we do and why

What we do and why

Established in February 2009 in response to limited choices for end of life care in the Algarve, we have developed an excellence in home-based, end of life, palliative care. We are regarded highly by the families of those we have cared for in the Algarve and by those health professionals who have observed our care, often working closely with us to ensure patient comfort.

  • Our professional palliative care team provides home-based, end of life care and support to anyone 18 years and over, affected by a life limiting illness. Our support is extended to carers and close family members.
  • We offer family and bereavement counselling during illness and after the loss of a loved one.
  • Through our Support Centre we offer people with a diagnosis of a life limiting illness and those important to them, support throughout treatment and beyond, by facilitating a range of complementary therapies, psychotherapy, counselling, creative activities, physical activities, group therapy, information and life style advice.
  • Patients may refer themselves or give permission to be referred by their doctor, other healthcare professionals or by a close friend or family member.
  • Referrals are considered on clinical criteria and appropriate home environment for safe and effective care.
  • There is no charge for our end of life care service.
  • Since 2009 and up until November 2023, we have cared for 293 end of life patients and their loved ones. We have also provided thousands of hours of support to people affected by life limiting illness, and this number is increasing annually. In addition we have provided hospital visits, equipment, telephone support, information, health workshops and professional development education. We have also raised the profile of home-based end of life care and supportive therapies in Portugal.

Our services are in demand throughout the Algarve. Currently, we are able to offer full end of life care and support to those living in the Western Algarve. Further into the Central region we offer a slightly reduced service. It is our aim to expand our provision to ensure its availability across the region, giving equal access to all. 

Recruitment of registered nurses, experienced carers and qualified therapists is on-going and the process is stringent. Applicants may contact Head Office at admin@madrugada-portugal.com.

Madrugada is a not-for-profit association. The average cost per 24 hours of end of life care provided is currently €500 including all costs. The ever-pressing need to raise funds is second only to patient care and without funds there is no patient care.

If you are able to support us by giving a donation or organising a charity event we would be delighted to hear from you and on behalf of those who will benefit from your generosity, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Because you care, we can.


"It was a great comfort to know that when we needed help that Madrugada and the wonderful nurses were there. They supported us through some very difficult times. Thank you so much to Alison and all the nurses."

December 2016