The Companion Room, phase one of the Hospice Suite project has opened at the Stuart Nechako Manor. It’s a wonderful milestone but Vanderhoof Hospice have more work and fundraising to do still to create the Compassion Room, phase two of the project and realise their full vision for palliative care in our community. The Kinsmen and Kinettes are helping with a further contribution of $2,863. The money was raised at a Wine Gala last month. “The new Hospice Suite is a powerful new tool for hospice care in Vanderhoof. We are very proud to be able to offer this new resource to our communities. Ultimately, this is about better choices for the dying and their families.” – Andrew Beuzer, President, Vanderhoof Hospice Society. For the last 30 years, Vanderhoof Hospice has provided hospice care where their clients are; at home, in residential care or in hospital. Until now there was never a place for Hospice clients to go when staying at home was no longer possible, and yet where staying in hospital was not necessary or appropriate. The Hospice Suite fulfills this need. It provides an appropriate place to receive palliative care and respite where there was no such place available before. It is a much needed and appreciated asset for our community. It provides a home-like space together with support services for our clients and their families. Companion Room: Phase one of the Hospice Suite project. It provides space for our client to live, and facilities that allow a family member to stay with their loved one 24 hours per day. This includes sleeping facilities for both the client and family member, access to an outside garden area, space for simple meal preparation, and space for family to spend time with their loved one comfortably. “Having a Hospice Suite in Vanderhoof allows us to provide a comfortable, calm space in which someone can move on with their journey away from the busy hospital ward that helps dignify someone’s final days with us,” said Dr. Davy Dhillon, Director, Vanderhoof Hospice Society. Eventhough the Companion Room is ready for use Vanderhoof Hospice Society hopes to secure more funds to replace a good part of the existing floor with new commercial grade flooring. Monica Rach, our designer, has been instrumental in creating the space – preparing, furnishing and decorating the Companion Room. She continues to plan for the creation of the Compassion Room. Compassion Room: Phase two of the Hospice Suite project. It is a separate space down a short hallway from the Companion Room. It is a room for rest and respite for family members, for family meetings, and a quiet space for contemplation separate from the living quarters of the Companion Room. Currently this is just an unutilised space that was previously earmarked to be a chapel at Stuart Nechako, but visiting pasters and ministers hold services in another activity room. Vanderhoof Hospice’s proposed budget for refitting, equipping, and furnishing the Compassion Room is at least $25,000. The frosted glass french doors needed to add privacy (but still allow light into the windowless space) will be an expensive component. This project would not be possible without the ongoing support of Northern Health, local physicians and especially the management and staff at Stuart Nechako Manor. “It has been rewarding to work with such a talented group of people who are dedicated to increasing the options for palliative care in our community and improving the end of life journey for individuals and their loved ones,” said Dr. Suzanne Campbell, Director, Vanderhoof Hospice Society. “Once again I have been impressed by the ability of this small community to quickly support an initiative with time, energy, enthusiasm, fundraising and financial support. Thank you, this hospice suite is unique and will have a significant positive impact,” added Dr. Campbell. Vanderhoof Hospice Society (VHS) is a registered charity, founded in 1987. Hospice Vanderhoof is not government funded, does not receive any ongoing funding so the group relies solely on generosity and fundraising. Hospice still needs a lot of support and donations to more forward with completing this asset for the community. Hospice is a non-religious organization and does not advocate for any particular view of death. Instead, they work with each client to support their individual wishes and beliefs through the dying process. Hospice volunteers are the backbone of our organization. Our hospice volunteers are pre-screened and receive specialized training. Our Hospice Care Coordinator, Valerie Padgin, provides support to our volunteer team. We are always looking for new volunteers interested in doing the work of hospice. Anyone interested in volunteering please contact the hospice executive by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org Donations can be mailed to Vanderhoof Hospice Society, Box 1704, Vanderhoof, BC V0J 3A0.