In the spring of 2018, the High Prairie & District Holistic Palliative Care Society celebrates its 25th anniversary of providing support and care to our community. We have grown from a meeting of interested community members into an active group of 16 members.
Our only fundraiser, Hike for Hospice, runs in conjunction with national Palliative Care Week in May. We also host an open house that week. The community and surrounding area, both businesses and individuals, are very supportive of this event. In particular, The Rubber Band has faithfully donated its musical talents to entertain our Hike for Hospice participants. All monies raised stay within our community.
How do we use those donated monies? After operational costs, we purchase needed equipment to aid in end-of-life care; air mattresses and pumps, sheep skin, bariatric wheel chairs, broda chairs, and the sensory room for the Alzheimer’s residents in the JB Wood Continuing Care Facility. Donations enable us to host educational programs in the community, welcoming healthcare professionals, caregivers, family members and volunteers.
We support end-of-life care patients and their families with hospital visitation, reading material, music and refreshments. We reach out into the community with palliative home visits upon referral from a home care or social worker. We remember family members who have passed away both within our facility and community with cards of sympathy and remembrance.
We provided small flower arrangements to each resident of JB Wood as they transitioned into the new facility in April of 2017. We host birthday parties at JB Wood and Pleasantview Lodge (an in-between home for seniors). Good food, laughs, memories and music are shared by those in attendance. We also volunteer in other community events during Seniors Week, the Seniors Expo, luncheons for seniors, and activities for JB Wood residents during the rodeo.
At Christmastime, we co-host the Service of Remembrance with the Chapel of Memories. This event is for families in our community and area who have experienced grief and loss in the prior year. Ornaments are given, candles are lit in remembrance of loved ones, guest speakers share their journey of grief and healing, a luncheon is served and the healing process continues. We remember.
At the health complex during Christmas, we have a Tree of Remembrance. Angel ornaments are hung to remember loved ones who have passed away within our community. Many families take the angels home to hang on their Christmas trees.
We know we are making a difference, one family at a time. Touching lives and bringing hope and healing brings peace to the soul. We are thankful to live in a very community-minded area; helping others is what we do.
We are very grateful to the High Prairie Health Complex for providing our office space. Thanks to a Wild Rose Grant, we have been able to hire a volunteer resource co-ordinator and hold office hours Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. We meet every six weeks. For more information, please contact Debra Isert at Debra.Isert@albertahealthservices.ca