A Hospice House for Campbell River
Campbell River Hospice Society
Campbell River, BC V9W 2Y1
September 25, 2013
More than 1,000
Overview:A Hospice House for Campbell River
The Campbell River Hospice Society has been in existence for since 1986 – 27 years. Our mandate is to provide compassionate support and companionship to people with life threatening illnesses and to support their family and friends as they deal with the grief of losing a loved one due to death. This year, our Society was given notice by our landlord and we need to vacate our current premises by the end of 2013. Although this left us momentarily feeling at a loss for what to do next, it did not take staff and our board long to realize that this may just be the opportunity to launch us on our dream of having a Hospice House that could support our community and the north Island.
Why a Hospice House?
Hospice care in the home does not work for everyone with a terminal illness. Some patients have no home. Some patients have no family member or person to care for them in their final days. For some patients, the caregiver(s) have to go to work or have other obligations. Many patients do not have extended family nearby with the time or resources to give as a caregiver. For many older patients, the caregiver is often a frail, elderly spouse, who is unable to provide the demanding twenty-four hour care that the patient needs. Some patients coming from the hospital have symptoms that cannot be controlled or medical conditions too difficult or complicated to manage in the home. Other patients and caregivers do well with “in home” hospice for a period of time, but then the condition changes, and they need active intervention around the clock that cannot be accomplished in the home. The term for this aspect of medical care that deals with symptom control and relief of suffering is “palliative care.”
For patients whose terminal care cannot be accomplished at home, the alternatives are the hospital or the nursing home. While hospitals and nursing homes may be good places to recover and get well, they may not be the right places for palliative, end-of-life care and death. There is frequently a tension between the “curing” model of the hospital and the “caring” model of the hospice. In many ways, hospitals and nursing homes are not well designed or arranged for patients, their families, and their friends needing hospice care.
For these reasons, dedicated residential hospice facilities have evolved.
Our Hospice House
As the last stop for Hospice care on Vancouver Island and with NO designated palliative care beds within our hospital, our community now needs end-of-life care and support close to home for all members of our community.
The Campbell River Hospice Society is a non-profit organizations. We have 2 grief counsellors (one paid / one volunteer); 2 paid employees; 7 volunteer board members; and 50+ active volunteers. With no core funding, all our services, and operating costs are provided through grants, fundraising, donations and membership.
We support, free of charge, seniors, adults and children who have been given a palliative or terminal diagnosis or those who are dealing with a loss due to death. This support is through: volunteer/staff support; grief counselling; support groups; relaxation therapies; a resource library; and a memorial garden located right on the ocean’s waterfront. Ensuring that youths receive grief counselling is important as they handle grief differently. They may act out, turn to drugs, alcohol, driving too fast or other dangerous activities. We are also looking at expanding our programs to include a Day Program for those suffering a life threatening illness and it would include the caregivers. In 2012 we assisted 1,516 people within our community, a number that has steadily increased over the years.
Our volunteers visit, comfort and hold vigils for individuals who are passing away in the hospital, a senior’s care facility or in a person’s home. Palliative patients at the hospital are put into general wards and with our current hospital under construction and not expected to be finished until September 2017 it is a noisy and overcrowded situation. It costs our health care system (and ultimately you the tax payer) $1,100 per day to keep a palliative patient in the hospital. If that same patient was to be looked after in a senior’s care facility or ultimately in a Hospice House, it would cost our health care system only about $260 per day. Ensuring that Hospice has at least one designated palliative bed outside of our hospital would be cost effective, relieve some of the wait times, and allow a person to pass away in a quiet and home-like atmosphere.
It is our dream to have a Hospice House and one palliative bed, located outside of our hospital, so that members of our community do not have to travel to Victoria should they want to pass in a hospice setting. The cost associated to maintaining that bed would be $100,000 per year.
We encourage everyone to be our “Hospice Hero” and vote today so that we may make this dream of having one palliative care bed in our community a reality. For information on the CR Hospice Society please visit our website: www.crhospice.org
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A Hospice House for Campbell River
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We encourage everyone to be our “Hospice Hero” and vote today so that we may make our dream of having a Hospice House and one palliative care bed within Campbell River a reality.
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