The Hospice Society of Camrose and District (HSCD)is Reaching Out to Help You
Submitted by Janet Gartner
My name is Janet Gartner and I live in Strome, Alberta. Last summer I was asked if I was interested in becoming a board member for the Camrose and District Hospice Society to represent our rural communities. My initial response was “What exactly is Hospice?” I knew it was about end of life care but was there more to it? To find out I made more inquiries and sat in on some meetings and now I’m a board member. Here is what I have learned and want to share with you.
The Hospice Society of Camrose and District is a non-residential society providing support to those with a life-limiting illness and to their families. From compassionate bedside care to grief support and public education, our staff and
trained volunteers endeavour to enhance quality of life to the end of life.
The HSCD offers support and programs to those living in Camrose and east central Alberta. Anyone of any age with a life-limiting illness may access our palliative and grief and bereavement support programs.
So let’s talk about the programs. HSCD runs a total of 18 programs in the city of Camrose. These programs are available to anyone via ZOOM right now. We want to expand to the rural areas if there is a need and as soon as things open up. The programs include Palliative Care volunteers for those with an end of life diagnosis and Nav-Care volunteers for those with a chronic illness. The i-Pad program to links isolated individuals with there families or a volunteer. The hospice volunteers are the heart of our mission. There are trained volunteers available in both Flagstaff and Beaver counties. They are compassionate visitors who can see people in their homes or stay in touch by phone, zoom or facetime. Volunteers respect privacy while helping people navigate the system, provide respite to caregivers and companionship to clients. They can sit vigil at the bedside of an person at end of life and be grief support to caregivers and family after the loss of a loved one.
There is also a range of grief and bereavement programs; some are specific in nature and include programs for suicide loss, loss of a child/parent,“Art for the Heart” children’s grief group and a teen grief group as well as a men’s cooking circle. More general support groups are the cancer survivor group, threshold choir, grief companioning, death cafe’, grief and bereavement workshops and of course, one-on-one grief support.
As you can see it is an impressive array of programs that are here to serve you, if:
– you’ve struggled with a life-limiting illness for some time and are approaching the need for support around end of life, whether that be cancer or other diagnosis such as ALS, COPD, cardiac disease, the list goes on…
– you are grieving a loss due to death, regardless of the nature of the loss
– you’d like to learn more about grief, the signs, symptoms and strategies for wellness
– you’d appreciate a presentation to your group about services HSCD offers
If any of these programs caught your eye or tugged at your heartstrings, please contact me and I will help you get involved. We have a large group of committed, trained and compassionate volunteers that are already working out in our rural communities. I represent you and can help you to navigate your way through hospice support and am here to provide feedback to the HSCD board in order to serve you better. Hospice wants to meet the needs in our rural communities once we are able to.
I hope you will visit our wonderful website @ www.camrosehospice.org where you can find more information about our programs and the society.
I look forward to hearing from you.