Palliative Care Hospice Week seeks to dispel myths

Bulkley Valley Hospice Society focussed on quality of life

Palliative care is an area of health care that gets relatively little attention, but end-of-life issues are a growing topic and something every person and family must deal with at some point.

“I like where it is said that it’s not so much about dying but about helping people live until they take their final breath,” said Denise Kalina, hospice coordinator for the Bulkley Valley Hospice Society (BVHS).

BVHS is a not-for-profit organization of 45 volunteers and seven paid staff, “who also volunteer much of their time serving clients or participating in other hospice work like fundraising, etc.,” Kalina said.

The organization runs a number of programs aimed at improving the quality of life for patients, and their families, who are dealing with terminal illness.

The palliative program includes providing motional and physical support, companionship and respite for families; helping people find the resources and health care they need; loans of medical equipment for home use; and providing one-on-one help with advance care planning (ACP), as well as conducting ACP workshops for groups.

The bereavement program offers individual and group grief support in a variety of ways. Currently their is a Grief Group Session underway. There is also a grief drop-in available Tuesdays at the courthouse from 2:30 to 4:30.

BVHS also conducts an annual Ceremony of Remembering at Christmas for people who have lost loved ones.

Volunteers receive a 30-hour training program, undergo screening, an interview and criminal record check and are subject to a confidentiality agreement.

This week is National Hospice Palliative Care Week and the theme is “Busting the Myths on Hospice Palliative Care.”

BVHS will be at the Bulkley Valley District Hospital all week with information the theme.

Its annual general meeting is scheduled for June 3, at The Meadows.

Of course, palliative care also encompasses a broad spectrum of health care professionals involving doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, volunteers, care aides, physiotherapists, occupation therapists, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, spiritual care providers, and counsellors.

Northern Health provides subsidized hospice beds at the Bulkley Lodge and supports the Rotary Hospice House in Prince George, which provides hospice care in a home-like setting with an extensive garden and patio area.

Ultimately Kalina believes Dame Cicely Saunders, the nurse, physician, social worker and writer who had a leading role in the founding of the hospice movement, summed it up best with the quote: “You matter because you are, and you matter until the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Council approves $317,000 in property tax exemptions

Although council stayed the course this year, mayor says there is an appetite for public discussion

Bear orphanage dealing with high number of cubs

Northern Lights Wildlife Society needs fruit and vegetables for orphans

Northwest Wave Riders return from Victoria Dragon Boat Festival

This was the first time in 25 years that northern B.C. teams competed

Feds approve $4M for Tahltan protected and conserved areas

Well defined stewardship will help nation reduce uncertainties for resource partners

BC Parks student rangers complete several northwest B.C. conservation projects

This was the first time the summer program operated out of Terrace

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

Most Read