Hospice Palliative Care: how you can help

Hospice palliative care—What does it mean to you? What does it mean to your family?

Hospice palliative care—What does it mean to you?  What does it mean to your family?

Hospice Palliative Care Month, May 2011, is an opportunity to highlight and encourage our community to talk about what hospice palliative care means to them and their loved ones.

This year, the Central Cariboo Hospice Palliative Care Society of Williams Lake and area has chosen to build upon the World Hospice Palliative Care Day’s campaign:  Sharing the Care.

The responsibility of caring for someone with a life-limiting illness is one that needs to be shared collectively within our community.

Together we can all make a difference in the lives of those who are living with a life-limiting illness and those affected by it.

Peter Mansbridge, of CBC’s “National” TV news program, shares, “Hospice palliative care is about dignity, quality of life, comfort and courage. By sharing the care, we can help provide the quality of care and compassion that everyone deserves at the end of life.”

“Many Canadians do not understand hospice palliative care, and how it can benefit them and their loved ones,” explains Wendy Wainwright, president of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Society.

“Quality hospice palliative care offers a range of services that includes physical, psychological, social, spiritual and practical support to people with life-threatening illnesses, and to their families.

“It focuses on what people need and want at any given time, both prior to death and during bereavement.”

Kate McDonough, executive director of the Central Cariboo Hospice, adds: “Our hospice volunteers and staff work cooperatively with home and community nursing, physicians, home-support workers, Cariboo Memorial Hospital staff, the Senior’s Village staff and caregivers as part of a full palliative-care team.

“Our hospice volunteer services are free of charge to families, and are available for anyone with a life-threatening illness or condition, as well as for those who are grieving. We make the road less lonely.”

“One of the things that our community and our Hospice organization needs is more volunteers,” says Wendy Stasica, volunteer service co-ordinator for the Central Cariboo Hospice.”

Realizing that it is not a job that everyone can handle, it is nevertheless one of the most gratifying volunteer roles. It is a true privilege to be present at this very important event, and the clients and their families are so appreciative of that support.”

All Canadians have the right to die with dignity, free of pain, surrounded by their loved ones, in a setting of their choice. It is crucial that the Canadian health-care system have the programs and services in place to provide the quality end-of-life care that Canadians need.

Contact the Central Cariboo Hospice Palliative Care Society office at 250-392-5430 for more information on services and volunteer opportunities.

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