PROVIDING COMPASSIONATE CARE TO THOSE WHO ARE FACING END-OF-LIFE OR GRIEVING
ANNUAL HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN
December 1 - 31
We are proud to say we survived the pandemic, but it hasn't been without its extreme challenges.
During the last 24 months, we experienced an unprecedented 63% increase in requests for grief support, with 70% associated with complicated grief due to sudden death, including suicide and drug poisoning/overdose. To meet these complicated grief cases, we continue to expand our professional counselling support as well as utilize our volunteers to the maximum capacity.
As we focused on managing our grief caseload, we faced another challenge which was the closure of the four hospice beds at Yucalta Lodge. These beds are owned and operated by Island Health, who closed the beds due to the pandemic and staffing shortages. While they plan to re-open these beds, we found it imperative that we solve this issue as we move into the third year of not having Hospice Beds in our community.
One thing is apparent - our community is in crisis.
This situation weighed heavily on our organization which is dedicated to ensuring all individuals in the community have access to compassionate, quality end-of-life care. We found a solution by collaborating with Evergreen Seniors Home. Together we opened two Hospice Suites at Evergreen, dedicated to end-of-life Hospice Palliative care. CRHS will be supporting the suites with psycho-social care by offering free professional counselling, companionship, respite, vigil support and relaxation therapies. We will also be increasing our volunteer support to help keep the cost per day as low as possible. Once the suites are operating, we will continue to fundraise and establish a subsidy program for families in need. In addition, we will continue to search for ongoing funding opportunities.
Our Annual Holiday Campaign runs from December 1 until December 31, 2021. This year we are asking for your support to help us meet the increasing need for our services and the development of the Suites at Evergreen. Our goal is $50,000, which will help us continue providing quality end-of-life and grief support to those in Campbell River and surrounding areas.
A few years ago, we shared a story of our beloved client Netta who had been battling breast cancer for 23 years. Since May 2017, she utilized our hospice services to help her through her journey and find the coping skills to keep positive and happy. When she was exhausted and tired, she appreciated our relaxation therapies, which allowed her to tune out for a while and rejuvenate. Through this time, she got to know all the volunteers and staff at hospice and considered us an essential part of her journey.
Netta's health started to decline quickly after her husband passed away. She always wanted to die at home, but she had to sell her house on Quadra Island. At that point, her health deteriorated, and she had no other options but to go to the hospital. Ultimately she would have preferred to be in a community hospice bed, but she didn't have that choice because they were closed.
All of us at Hospice were devastated that she didn't have access to a hospice bed, where she would have been encircled with compassionate care and the support she deserved. She was a very outgoing person who loved to laugh and be around others, but due to the covid restrictions, our volunteers could not be by her side in the hospital. Being a huge part of her end-of-life journey for the past four years, we should have been with her until the end – holding her hand.
Sadly, Netta passed away this past September, but she left a huge impact on our hearts and the community. She left us a financial gift, knowing we would use it to help others. The unfortunate circumstances of her passing were a driving force for our organization to find a solution. We had to find a way to ensure others would have access to a hospice bed to receive quality Hospice Palliative Care. To honour her legacy, we utilized her donation to begin developing the dream - Hospice Suites at Evergreen.
In Honour of Netta's Legacy
$50 will provide 1 Palliative Care Package for a family facing the loss of a loved one
$75 will provide 1 Children's Grief Package to 1 child
$125 will provide grief support programs for 1 person
$500 will provide in-depth professional counselling for 1 person
As a nurse, my greatest challenge was helping my patients understand that hospice and palliative care is provided to help you live your best end-of-life, in a compassionate caring environment where you can enjoy your loved ones without pain and suffering. This is why I spend my retirement dedicated to helping the Campbell River Hospice Society.
Geri Arkell, Board Chair