From 2009 to 2019, the AHPCA Roadshow travelled to communities all around the province, bringing hospice palliative care information to all Albertans, rural and urban. We expected the eleventh year of the AHPCA Roadshow to be no different than usual.
Life is what happens to you
While you’re busy making other plans– John Lennon, Beautiful Boy
In mid-March, the AHPCA office closed to the public and staff began working from home, to comply with precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Could AHPCA safely proceed with the Roadshow just six weeks away? Sadly no.
Rather than visit High River, Rocky Mountain House, Cochrane, Rocky Mountain House, Cold Lake and Westlock in April and May of 2020, the AHPCA Roadshow was postponed. Our registrants were offered refunds and assured that they would be very warmly welcomed back in Spring 2021.
But AHPCA could not let Spring 2020 pass by without offering some support to our members and the public. Instead of visiting just five locations, we decided to invite ALL of Alberta to the AHPCA Virtual Roadshow Spring 2020, no charge.
Very suddenly, everything had changed not only in Alberta but across Canada and around the world. The world was experiencing global grief (and still is) due to the COVID-19 pandemic and isolation.
I know some Albertans are grieving the loss of loved ones, and this is the hardest grief of all. Other Albertans are grieving the loss of jobs, income or health. Some are grieving the loss of control and the close physical connection to others that we all crave.
We are all mourning the normalcy we once knew. During these times it is a natural reaction to experience different expressions of this grief, including anger, bargaining and even depression. These are all normal reactions and responses.
We all must process the losses caused by this new situation and the changes to our everyday lives we all face.– Dr. Deena Hinshaw, April 15, 2020 press briefing
To reflect this new reality, our first session of the AHPCA Virtual Roadshow offered 10 Tips to Navigate Global Grief. Our presenter, Yvonne Heath, is based out of Muskoka, Ontario. During her career as an RN, Yvonne witnessed our grief-phobic society and how our reluctance to talk about, plan and prepare for grief, death and dying causes excessive suffering personally, professionally and at the end of life. You can read Yvonne’s article on her 10 Tips to Navigate Global Grief or you can watch the first session of the AHPCA Virtual Roadshow (it is a little over an hour long).
After three months of the new normal, everyone is feeling a bit burned out. Accordingly, the second session of the AHPCA Virtual Roadshow the topic was Remembering You: Self-Care During Difficult Times. Presenter Blair Collins, BA, B.Th., RSW, is one of the speakers for the postponed Roadshow and has a special interest in reminding health care workers of the importance of self-care. Blair offered up a wide variety of ideas anybody can use to take good care of themselves, even during extra-stressful COVID times. You can read Blair’s article on Remembering You: Self-Care During Difficult Times or you can watch the second session of the AHPCA Virtual Roadshow (one hour).
The first AHPCA Virtual Roadshow Spring 2020 proved to be an enjoyable learning experience for the AHPCA team, our presenters and our attendees. Although we were grieving the loss of our inability to get together and socialize, the pandemic restrictions were not all bad. All of our attendees and both of our speakers were able to participate in the Roadshow from the comfort of their own homes with no need to travel. We didn’t need to worry about an Alberta spring blizzard sidetracking our plans! We were able to cast the net wide and found a great speaker in Ontario we otherwise would not have been able to easily bring to Alberta due to expense and distance. Many of us had never used the Zoom conferencing platform but we learned and the world is a little more open to us now. AHPCA is looking forward to bringing the Virtual Roadshow Fall 2020 speaker series to you! We plan to look at eight different topics over eight weeks during October, November and the first week of December 2020. If you have a topic related to hospice palliative care that you would like to learn more about, please let us know.