Rochelle Smith

The Commoner Table and Tap

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560 Kings Road (902) 539-8101
The Commoner Burger: 1/2 Lb homemade burger delicately spiced served with Provolone Cheese, tomato, lettuce, fried sweet plantains, a farm fresh sunny side up egg with Aji Amarillo (Peruvian yellow chilli mayo) nestled between a house made brioche bun

Price: $15

Giving Back

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When you give to the Hospice Palliative Care Society of Cape Breton County your generosity has a profound impact. The money helps us to provide comfort and care for those facing life limiting illnesses. And, that comfort and care can take many forms. As Patricia Jackson, Chair of the Society, says “any immediate need is met immediately.”

The Society provides financial assistance to those within the service, both in hospital and at home. That assistance pays for the unique and personal health related needs of individuals at a time when they are most needed. For some wishing to stay at home, it could mean oil in the tank that ensures the home stays warm. For others wishing to see their loved one, it could mean the fare that brings them to their bedside. In some cases, it has meant enabling that special celebration, whether it’s a birthday, graduation or a wedding, making for lasting family memories.

The Society will step in to help when medical and nursing staff alert them to the needs they encounter for the individuals and families in their care. For example, the cost of ambulance transfers has been covered, as have parking passes, or the cost of a trip to the hospital for much needed treatment. Family members have received gas cards to enable a visit to a loved one, groceries when the cupboards are bare, and blankets and books for someone who needed both. Whatever is needed to help someone stay in their preferred environment, it is done.

Any equipment needed to make it possible for individuals to stay at home is provided. In this way, they are surrounded by the people and in the environment they are most comfortable. Sometimes, the funds will go to renting hospital beds, or equipment to modify the washroom, hygienic products for adults—whatever is needed to ensure the comfort of the individual.

Additionally, when noel nursing care is needed for a night or two to provide rest for the family when a loved one is in the last stages of life, the Society can help to provide it. The dedicated medical and nursing staff who provide care to individuals both in hospital and at home are able to stay current and can take advantage of professional development opportunities thanks to the support of the Society. Staff are able to attend conferences, or take in courses that ensure they have access to the most up-to-date practices within the spectrum of palliative care.

For families who are left to mourn after a loved one is gone, bereavement support can be extremely critical. Knowing that you are not alone when you are grieving, that there are places to turn, can provide a vital lifeline at a time when emotions can feel overwhelming.

Music therapy is also funded by the Society and the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation. This program brings the gift of music in many forms, whether as a legacy cd, through the build-a-bear program or through the simple joy of hearing your favourite song when you need it most. Recently, Music Therapist Jill Murphy learned one of her clients was a big Johnny Reid fan, and wondered if attendance at an upcoming concert could be arranged. Thanks to Hospice staff, this individual was able to not only attend the concert but had an opportunity to meet the singer, receive a kiss and a cuddle and get a photo with him! For her it was a truly magical night and provided an immeasurable amount of comfort and joy.

Of course on the An Cala Unit, there is a range of services and supports the Society provides, including managing the volunteer program that makes a difficult time a little easier for individuals and their families. The volunteers provide home made baked goods, soups and nourishment, brighten rooms with flowers or simply provide a warm smile or a compassionate touch. As Greg Boyd, said, “our family was blown away by the care my father received recently. The facility, the staff and volunteers allowed us to enjoy much of what would otherwise have been the worst two weeks of our lives. Thank you.”

Your gift means so much to so many. Your generosity helps us to touch lives with comfort, care and compassion. Because you give, so can we.

Pop Up Shop a Success!

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From May 4-6th, the Sunflower Treasures Pop-Up Shop was blooming with trinkets and treasures of all sorts and sizes. The amazing generosity of the community allowed us to offer a full range of beautiful items to suit every taste. The event, organized and run by a large group of dedicated volunteers, raised $27,000 for the Society! The funds will go towards the much needed community Hospice Residence. It also allowed people like Olivia Matheson to find that very special gift for one special person—her Mom!

Hospice Residence Update

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With the emergence of spring, we look forward to new growth and the development of our Hospice Residence project. Many of you, who are our dedicated supporters have been inquiring as to how close we are to seeing the new Hospice Residence open it doors. We would like to take this opportunity to update you on the work of our volunteer board and staff and introduce our “Strengthening Circles of Care” Campaign Chairs.

During the last year, our business model for bringing this project to completion has changed and we are pleased that we are getting closer to fulfilling our dream of building a Hospice Residence.

The Society is delighted to be working in partnership with Membertou Properties and the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA). The Hospice Residence will cost $5.2 million. Membertou Properties is providing the land and site preparation valued at $1.2 million and the Society is committed to raising $4 million to cover the cost of construction and furnishings. Negotiations with the NSHA are ongoing regarding the assumption of the operations budget.

The Hospice Palliative Care Society of Cape Breton County plans to raise the $4 million through the ongoing generosity of our community, friends and supporters. To lead our fundraising efforts, we are pleased to welcome and introduce our Campaign Chairs, Monica and Brian Shebib. Monica is well known for her dedication and volunteerism especially in the area of Hospice Palliative Care. When Monica isn’t busy volunteering with Hospice Palliative Care at the Northside General, she is active as a director with the Society’s board as well as engaging in numerous other community organizations. Brian is also active in the community and after retiring from M.V. Osprey he continues to be involved in development projects throughout the CBRM. We are grateful to have such a dynamic couple leading the Society’s fundraising efforts. The campaign is still in the early stages of development and we will keep you informed as we progress with both our fundraising and construction plans for the Hospice Residence.

We wish everyone a wonderful summer and look forward to sharing additional details about this exciting community partnership in the near future.

– Patricia Jackson and Nancy Dingwall

Building A Legacy – One Bear At A Time

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When Kristen Bach raised the idea of recording her father’s voice, one of the most popular and poignant projects of the Music Therapy Program was born. Thanks to the germ of this idea, Music Therapist Jill Murphy has helped individuals record their voice and place it in a teddy bear as a legacy for their families. Known as the build-a-bear program, Jill has helped to provide this cherished memento to about 15 families to date. The program is made possible through the equal support of the Hospice Palliative Care Society of Cape Breton County and the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation.

Murphy recalls the original request from Darryl Bach who thought Kristen’s idea was a great one, and wanted to surprise his two daughters, Kristen and Julia, with this precious gift. The voice box is placed in the bear’s hand and can record a ten-second message. “I usually counsel individuals to say the name of their loved one, to say I love you, and remind them I’ll always be with you,” says Murphy. She has noted the profound impact it has on those receiving the bear, and those who are giving it. “Many individuals wonder if loved ones will remember the sound of their voice, this helps to ensure they always have a reminder close at hand.”

This simple concept has provided comfort to a range of patients and families. A grandmother recorded a message for the granddaughter she would never meet. She told her “I’ll always be love you and be watching over you.” Murphy has also acquired a stethoscope as part of the program, and has recorded the heart beat of patients which can be interwoven with a favourite piece of music. The grandmother was able to hear the baby’s heartbeat and subsequently recorded her own so her grandchild would always have the sound of her grandmother’s love with her. And, the bears are for more than children. One individual recalls receiving a teddy bear from her brother when they were children, which remained with them through the years. It sparked the idea to provide another bear for her loved one, saying “you took such good care of the first one, here’s another for you to cherish.”

Jill makes a point of backing up the recordings, and holding on to them for safe keeping, so individuals don’t have to worry if something should happen to the bear’s voice box.

“Having the support of the Society really allows us to touch people’s lives in a profound way,” says Murphy. She still recalls the look of relief on the face of one patient when he learned there was no cost to create and provide the bear to his family members. “We work with some very brave people,” says Murphy. “This isn’t always an easy thing to do but allows families to treasure the voice of their loved one, for years to come.”

Darryl’s wife says the original idea came from her daughter. “Kristen discussed it with Darryl, but he had enlisted Jill’s help and surprised the girls, Sheena Bach says. “This is such a special treasure for them to have. I’m so happy it’s helping others too.”

Featured in Photo: Dad Darryl with daughters Kristen and Julia—and bears!

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When Kristen Bach raised the idea of recording her father’s voice, one of the most popular and poignant projects of the Music Therapy Program was born. Thanks to the germ of this idea, Music Therapist Jill Murphy has helped individuals record their voice and place it in a teddy bear as a legacy for their families. Known as the build-a-bear program, Jill has helped to provide this cherished memento to about 15 families to date. The program is made possible through the equal support of the Hospice Palliative Care Society of Cape Breton County and the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation.

Murphy recalls the original request from Darryl Bach who thought Kristen’s idea was a great one, and wanted to surprise his two daughters, Kristen and Julia, with this precious gift. The voice box is placed in the bear’s hand and can record a ten-second message. “I usually counsel individuals to say the name of their loved one, to say I love you, and remind them I’ll always be with you,” says Murphy. She has noted the profound impact it has on those receiving the bear, and those who are giving it. “Many individuals wonder if loved ones will remember the sound of their voice, this helps to ensure they always have a reminder close at hand.”

This simple concept has provided comfort to a range of patients and families. A grandmother recorded a message for the granddaughter she would never meet. She told her “I’ll always be love you and be watching over you.” Murphy has also acquired a stethoscope as part of the program, and has recorded the heart beat of patients which can be interwoven with a favourite piece of music. The grandmother was able to hear the baby’s heartbeat and subsequently recorded her own so her grandchild would always have the sound of her grandmother’s love with her. And, the bears are for more than children. One individual recalls receiving a teddy bear from her brother when they were children, which remained with them through the years. It sparked the idea to provide another bear for her loved one, saying “you took such good care of the first one, here’s another for you to cherish.”

Jill makes a point of backing up the recordings, and holding on to them for safe keeping, so individuals don’t have to worry if something should happen to the bear’s voice box.

“Having the support of the Society really allows us to touch people’s lives in a profound way,” says Murphy. She still recalls the look of relief on the face of one patient when he learned there was no cost to create and provide the bear to his family members. “We work with some very brave people,” says Murphy. “This isn’t always an easy thing to do but allows families to treasure the voice of their loved one, for years to come.”

Darryl’s wife says the original idea came from her daughter. “Kristen discussed it with Darryl, but he had enlisted Jill’s help and surprised the girls, Sheena Bach says. “This is such a special treasure for them to have. I’m so happy it’s helping others too.”

Featured in Photo: Dad Darryl with daughters Kristen and Julia—and bears!