Malcolm and Sharon Fischer enjoying the Hearts for Hospice Dine and Dance. Photo submitted

Hospice care in Stettler moves one step closer to reality

Society: in the past year over 90 people from Stettler could have benefited from hospice care

The Stettler Hospice Society has moved one step closer to its goal of providing that compassionate care for its first resident by this fall.

In spite of the frigid temperatures, the Society’s Hearts for Hospice Dine and Dance fundraiser held Sat. Feb. 9 at the Stettler Community Hall attracted about 200 people and organizers are considering making it an annual event.

“People braved the cold to come and support us,” said Marg Grandfield, volunteer fundraising coordinator.

“We were pretty lucky to get as many people as we did,” said director Felicity Bauman.

The evening kicked off with cocktails at 5 p.m. followed by an Italian inspired dinner catered by Teresa’s Catering.

“It was wonderful,” said Bauman. “The meal was amazing.”

A silent auction with all proceeds to go to the Stettler Hospice Society was also held as was a dance with music by Klay the DJ.

Providing hospice care in Stettler was the brainchild of Felicity Bauman and her aunt, Nancy Bauman.

“We started talking about it January 9th (of last year) and held our first meeting Feb. 27. Over 70 people showed up.”

A board was formed in March of last year.

Stettler County Council were approached and agreed to send a letter of support to Alberta’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Sarah Hoffman.

“We have moved ahead by leaps and bounds,” Bauman said.

A statement from the Society states that in the past year more than 90 people from Stettler could have benefited from hospice care.

The Stettler Hospice Society’s long-term goal is to build a stand-alone hospice. However, such a facility would cost about $4 million to construct and around $1 million in annual operating costs.

In view of the prohibitive costs, the hospice society is looking at funding two dedicated suites in Points West (an independent supportive living facility) for patients and for equipment.

Expansion plans include a private resident room on the main floor that has enhanced family areas including a living room, quiet areas, a kitchen and dedicated sanctuary space.

The Society’s fundraising goal for the year is $250,000, the majority of which will go towards capital costs such as beds and lifts, said Dr. Alistair Drummond.

“We are almost halfway there,” said Bauman, noting more fundraisers are planned such as a spring brunch and a hike for hospice.

“This community has been amazing. The support has been overwhelming,” she said.

Hospice care is for people who are no longer receiving active treatment. It is about easing pain and helping families prepare for a dignified and compassionate end of life. People in hospice care generally are expected to have less than four months to live.

This care provides doctors, nurses and counsellors specialized in end of life care for the patient and family.

Hospice Care strives to meet the end of life with dignity, provide for the patient and family while allowing a serenity, no matter what the circumstances may be.

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