A new hospice suite was officially unveiled at Points West Stettler on Aug. 7th.
The spacious suite, which can be entered through an entrance at the back of the building, features everything a family would need to help take care of a loved one through the final stages of life.
“We have an amazing board and awesome volunteers,” said Nancy Bauman, a board member of the Stettler Hospice Society. “We all came together and spearheaded this, talking to government officials, the Town, and all the councils. It’s been many, many hours and here we are. It’s perfect.”
A few years ago Nancy, along with Felicity Bauman were chatting, and Nancy had mentioned that she would like to start a hospice. Felicity immediately said that was something she wanted to do as well.
At their first community meeting, which was held almost exactly one month later, more than 70 people showed up – so it was clear that the concept resonated with the people of Stettler and area.
“Everything is fully stocked – there are baking dishes and we also have all of the equipment there to help lift and support patients,” added Felicity. “We have Broda chairs and heating blankets, but what really makes our suite special is that it’s home,” she said. “As soon as you walk into it, it’s comfortable which makes it easier for a guest to settle into right away.”
Felicity also wanted to thank Andrea de Young who was instrumental in bringing the project to fruition.
“She was our secretary in the beginning and she did a lot of the foot work, helping us to get things going,” she explained.
“She’s one of many, but she was instrumental in helping us get started in the beginning.
“She also helped us start our first little ‘mini’ board so that we could become a society,” she said, adding she also wanted to thank her sister Shannon Lamb. “She’s done some beautiful logos for us.”
According to the Stettler Hospice Society web site, the terms ‘palliative care’ or ‘hospice’ are, “Both meant to bring comfort and relief, but they differ in some important ways.
“Palliative care aims to ease pain and help with other problems if your illness is considered to be life-threatening, but end of life is not imminent. It helps people live with the symptoms of long-running serious illnesses. Palliative doesn’t replace other treatments, it helps you and your family deal with side effects to medicines, depression and everyday living.
“Palliative Care helps you to have some control over your life and illness. You are still in active treatment seeking quality and quantity of life.
“Hospice care is for people who are no longer receiving active treatment. It is about easing pain and helping families prepare for the end of life. People in hospice care generally are expected to have less than four months to live. This care offers doctors, nurses and counselors 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 the family while allowing serenity no matter what the circumstances may be.”
Meanwhile, both women are thrilled with the level of community support shown to the project from the start.
“It’s overwhelming,” said Nancy. “I never knew we’d make it so far so fast,” she added.
The Society’s vision is to provide loving, compassionate care for the emotional, physical and spiritual needs of patients and their families during end of life by relieving suffering, providing comfort and helping to improve quality of living and dying.
Ultimately, it’s hoped that a facility will eventually be set up in town.
“In the future we hope to have hospice care beds for our community to utilize as a comforting, peaceful and supportive setting for the patient and family.
“But we are starting from this awesome room, and we will go from here.”
Felicity agreed, noting that ultimately it really takes a team.
“We have incredible volunteers in this community. Without our volunteers, we wouldn’t be here today.”
To support the Society, or for more information, contact Nancy Bauman at 403-741-6179 or check out www.stettlerhospice.org.