(Sydney, NS) – In a world where “friends” are key to communication and contact, the Hospice Palliative Care Society is about to embark on a campaign to attract additional friends to the fold to mark its 25th anniversary. Served by dedicated board members and community volunteers, the Society has worked collaboratively with the Cape Breton District Health Authority to meet the many unique and special needs of patients and families facing life threatening illnesses.
Hospice Palliative Care Society has, over the years, most notably helped to establish the An Cala Unit in the Cape Breton Regional Hospital. With space provided by the District Health Authority, they raised over $750,000 for the furnishings and many comforting spaces and services that are used by more than 600 patients and families annually. Funds raised by the Society are also used to purchase home support items for patients who wish to remain at home – not simply medical equipment but items that will keep a family functioning as it cares for someone who is seriously ill – everything from takeout and a movie to a washer and bed linens. The list is as unique as the patient’s situation and the Society responds to needs identified by social workers, nurses, doctors and volunteer “house mothers” within twenty-four hours of a request.
Hospice Palliative Care has more than 80 volunteers who have an on-site presence in the hospital setting and provide the many cups of tea, snacks and comforting conversation that families appreciate and value. They also visit homes and offer caregivers respite so that they can take care of day to day matters. A part-time music therapist spends times with patients and customizes the experience to reflect the individual’s preferences. It is a means of reducing stress, offering relaxation and sharing memories with friends and family. Several patients have chosen to create a legacy CD for family members through music.
Education for patients, families, volunteers, staff and others is another important component of Hospice Palliative Care Society. “There are so many questions, so many uncertainties and so much to understand,” says Board Chair Patricia Jackson. “Hospice is able to offer caring and warmth and meet very real needs at a time when it is required most. Providing comfort at a time when quality of life is most important keeps our team motivated year round, in fact motivated for the past 25 years. Now we would like to encourage others to support these extremely important efforts by becoming a “Friend of Hospice”.
A $50 donation can be made online through the newly rejuvenated Hospice Palliative Care Website www.hospicecapebreton.org or by contacting the Hospice Office at (902) 563-8584. Each day for the next 25 days, a new message will appear in the Cape Breton Post that gives community members reasons to consider becoming a Friend.
“Cape Breton is a community that cares; we see it over and over again and are thankful for the generosity we have witnessed these past 25 years. The needs for support continue and we hope that our new friends will know that their contribution truly does make a difference,” adds Jackson.
Volunteer – Communications
Hospice Palliative Care Society Cape Breton County