This week, May 7-13, marks National Hospice Palliative Care Week in Canada.
Palliative care is person-centered care, an approach that aims to alleviate the suffering of people facing a life-limiting illness. It can be provided in any setting. Here in Quesnel, palliative care is provided in hospice at G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital, in long-term care at Dunrovin, and in the home.
The Quesnel & District Hospice Palliative Care Association is a non-profit organization that provides resources, volunteer support, education, and funding for equipment. In February we held our 20th annual Hearts for Hospice Gala and raised nearly $50,000. It was our most successful gala to date. We are very grateful to our corporate sponsors, donors, and all who came out to support us. With funds raised were able to purchase two new specialized, palliative mattresses for G.R. Baker Hospital, and a Sara Steady Lift for use in the hospice unit, and we have been able to fund continuing education for nursing staff in palliative care topics.
We also offer Advanced Care Planning sessions in the community to help individuals express their wishes for future health care treatments if they are incapacitated and unable to make those direct decisions.
As with most non-profits, we rely on volunteers. We have both direct care, and indirect care volunteers. The direct care volunteer’s role is to provide emotional, social, and spiritual support to those who are dying and their loved ones, through visits, vigil support and companionship. We are currently in the process of running our direct care volunteer training program.
The indirect care volunteers serve as board members, as committee members with special events and fundraising, decorating the hospice, and with garden maintenance. For more information, to become a volunteer, or to donate, check out our website www.QDHPCA.org.
Submitted by the Quesnel & District Hospice Palliative Care Association