fsj palliative care 1b

Fort St. John residents place memorial ornaments bearing names of their loved ones who have passed on a Christmas tree at teh Calvary Baptist Church on Thursday, Dec 3 2015. About 40 people took to the church for the Fort St. John & District Palliative Care Society's annual memorial service. The service, now in it's 18th year helps those grieving the loss of a loved one feel better about the holidays.

PHOTO & ARTICLE COURTESY: Bronwyn Scott, Alaska Highway News


 

fsjpcs xmas 2013

Every year the Fort St. John and District Palliative Care Society hosts a memorial service for people to remember a family or friend who had passed away.

The event is called Celebrate a Life and was held on Nov. 28 at the Catholic Church of the Resurrection. In the middle of the service, guests were invited to hang an angel ornament on the tree in memory of someone who died.

The service spoke about coping during the first Christmas of losing someone special.

The tree will also be at Sobey’s from Dec. 6 to Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for those that would still like to donate to the local Palliative Care Society and add an angel ornament to the tree.

The Palliative Care Society is a non-profit group dedicated to help families and individuals dealing with a life-threatening illness. For more information, you can call their office at 250-787-2814.

PHOTO AND ARTICLE COURTESY: Kyla Corpuz, NorthEast News


fsjpcs hike 2012

Fort St. John's palliative care society is kicking off care week with a hike.The Hike for Hospice is in line with a national campaign to raise awareness and money for hospice palliative care.

This city's society has been actively aiding those who have terminal illnesses for 15 years now."Basically, we are a group of volunteers that have been trained in palliative situations with people who are terminally ill, so the outcome is not good for them," said Cheryl Deakin, Fort St. John's Palliative Care Society's Chair.The Hike for Hospice is an effort to raise money for training and education materials, supplies for the palliative care kitchen, furnishing two palliative care rooms at the hospital and more. The hike, more importantly, is to raise awareness of how important hospice care is."We want to let them be aware that we're here and we want to help," said Deakin.

She said they provide a pivotal role for families who are dealing with a loved one who's on his or her deathbed."What we do is we would get a call from somebody and we can go either to the hospital, or we can go to their home and we just sit with them so that their families can get a break," she said. "Because at that time of their lives, it's pretty scary and it can be overwhelming for families."

Deakin, who has been involved for about eight years, said she's "passionate" about the cause."It's just nice to be able to help people," she said.

The society has approximately 20 active volunteers, but they are looking for more."Most of them work during the day," said Deakin. "That makes it really hard to schedule."She explained that a volunteer's main role is to simply sit with the patient."We could read to them; we could give them a hand massage or a foot massage," she said. "Basically, we just sit and listen if they want to talk."As an outsider, Deakin explained that it's often easier for patients to talk to their volunteers instead of families because they don't have to worry about hurting their feelings."I've talked to a lot of volunteers, and they're really scared because you don't know what you're going to come up against," she said. "After leaving the session - it's rewarding."

She noted that their volunteers don't usually get called until the very end."We might have one visit, two visits before, so you really don't get to know anybody, and they're usually in a bad state when you do get to go," she said.For a nominal fee, training is provided to all volunteers, and Deakin said anyone can volunteer."One of our youngest was 25-ish, and then up to seniors; we have both male and female because lots of times we'll have male clients, and it's just easier for them to have a male to visit," she said.

The Hike for Hospice takes place at the Pomeroy Sports Centre on Sunday, May 6, 2012, between 12 and 4 p.m.In years past, because of Fort St. John's chilly May weather, the hike has had to be postponed, Deakin explained. Because of the indoor walking track, it is able to fall in line with the rest of the country this year.If interested in hiking, come at 11:30 a.m.For more information, please phone the Palliative Care office at 250-787-2814. Deakin said, "This 10th Anniversary hike is very important to our local group so that we can help to raise awareness and help to educate the community of the many challenges faced by anyone who is in palliative care and providing end-of-life care to clients and their families and friends."

PHOTO AND ARTICLE COURTESY: Katelin Dean, Alaska Highway News


 

 

fsjpcs 15 years 2012 1

The Palliative Care Society celebrated their 15th anniversary with Mayor Lori Ackerman and Councillor Bruce Christensen.

Death is something we all inevitably have to face. For some it happens instantly, while others suffer with illness for months and even years.

For most, it's not an easy thing.

The Fort St. John Palliative Care Society has been helping people through their darkest days and hours for the past 15 years.

They celebrated their anniversary by handing out cake at the Totem Mall on Saturday afternoon.

"Basically, we are a group of volunteers that have been trained in palliative situations, with people who are terminally ill, so the outcome is not good for them," said Cheryl Deakin, the Chair of the Fort St. John Palliative Care Society.

"What we do is we would get a call from somebody and we can go either to the hospital, or we can go to their home and we just sit with them so that their families can get a break," Deakin said. "Because at that time of their lives, it's pretty scary and it can be overwhelming for families."

Deakin has been involved for approximately eight years.

"I heard an announcement on the radio, they were looking for volunteers to do the training session," she said. "It was something that I've always liked, to be around seniors, and I thought, well, a lot of people who are sick are seniors, so I thought why not?

"It's been really good," she continued. "It's been a passion of mine for a long, long time; it's just nice to be able to help people."

She met her husband through volunteering with the Palliative Care Society.

"I took care of his first wife many, many years ago and got to know the family really well and kept in touch, so I'd have to say that was one of my good experiences," Deakin said.

The society currently has between 15 and 20 active volunteers, but Deakin said they definitely need more.

"Most of them work during the day; that makes it really hard to schedule," she said.

Volunteers make a huge difference at the end of a person's life.

"We sit with them; we could read to them; we could give them a hand massage or a foot massage," she explained. "Basically, we just sit and listen if they want to talk.

"Lots of times it's really hard for them to talk to their families because that's too close to home," she continued. "Being able to talk to somebody that they really don't know helps them."

She noted that a volunteer meets a family and sits with them as well.

"I've talked to a lot of volunteers, and they're really scared because you don't know what you're going to come up against," Deakin said. "After leaving the session, however, it's rewarding.

"It can be - I don't know if it sounds kind of funny to say - but it makes you feel good to know you're helping somebody," she said.

Though it's a rewarding experience, it's not for everyone, Deakin cautioned.

"I think you just need to be prepared for it," she said.

"We normally don't get called until the very end," she continued. "We might have one visit, two visits before, so you really don't get to know anybody, and they're usually in a bad state when you do get to go."

Training is mandatory for all volunteers.

We have lots of grief counselling and just talk about anything to do with palliative care; any kind of situation you could come into; how to deal with families, those kinds of things."

They charge a $50 fee, but 50 per cent of that is reimbursed after the training is complete.

"It's basically just the cost to cover the paper," she said. "Even if you never, ever used it (the training), it's just good for you."

They have a range of volunteers.

"One of our youngest was 25ish, and then up to seniors; we have both male and female because lots of times we'll have male clients, and it's just easier for them to have a male to visit," she said.

As the Palliative Care Society looks to the future, Deakin said they're trying to educate more people.

"We want to let them be aware that we're here and we want to help," she said.

"We need more volunteers of course," she said. "We're working on revamping everything right now with the group; I've got a really good group of volunteers that are really wanting to move forward, and kind of make it more available for people."

In an effort to raise money for training and education materials, supplies for the palliative care kitchen, furnishing two palliative care rooms at the hospital and more, the Palliative Care Society is hosting a fundraising in May.

The Hike for Hospice Fundraiser kicks off National Hospice Palliative Care Week on Sunday, May 6.

To pick up a pledge sheet, volunteer or to donate any money, please call 250-793-8147, or drop by the office in the Lutheran Care Home at 9812 108 Ave.

PHOTO AND ARTICLE COURTESY: Katelin Dean, Alaska Highway News


 

Subcategories

Title here for slider text below...