Bev Drever and Treva Olson of Camrose had a dream. They wanted to inform their community about the importance of hospice palliative care and develop a formal organization to do it. Hosting meetings of likeminded individuals and stakeholders over the summer and fall of 2010, Bev and Treva helped participants to generate ideas, share stories and express hopes. Enthusiasm and interest grew and The Hospice Society of Camrose and District was established in November 2011.
The society is governed by a board of 10 members and boasts a membership of 150 people. A volunteer co-ordinator and grief and bereavement co-ordinator provide contract services to the society. The society’s mission statement is, “To enable our community to support those facing advancing illness, death and bereavement, with dignity – through education and compassionate care”.
Twice a year, the society offers palliative volunteer training, based on the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association training program called “Being with Dying”. Trained volunteers offer support services to palliative individuals and their families in a variety of ways: friendship and companionship, emotional support, relief for caregivers and sitting vigil at the bedside. Some volunteers opt for additional training so they can volunteer in the Grief Companioning program. Reach the volunteer co-ordinator at 780 608 0636.
The society’s Grief and Bereavement program offers grief support through individual counselling and resources and programs like the Grief Walk and the Widower’s Kitchen. Grief Companioning is an upcoming program; individuals suffering a loss may be suitable for a grief companion who walks beside those who are grieving. Reach the grief and bereavement facilitator at 780 878 5012.
Fundraising is an important aspect of the society’s activities; they are very grateful to their donors and are fortunate to receive generous memorial donations and local grant monies every year. The society also organizes and hosts the annual Hike for Hospice and Lights to Remember campaigns every year.
The Hospice Society of Camrose and District is proud of the partnerships it has developed with the Camrose Primary Care Network and the hospitals and continuing care centers in the area.