Organizers behind the Stettler Hospice suite are excited to see the vision continue to unfold.
The Stettler Hospice Society was launched back in February of 2018, and the suite, which is located in Points West Stettler, actually was completed last August.
But first there were a few contracts, legalities and such that needed to be wrapped up with Alberta Health Services.
“We don’t have any clients in there yet, but it is open now to be used when we get the call for it,” said Nancy Bauman, a board member of the Society.
“We are open and ready to go,” said Bauman, adding that anyone who is interested in finding out more about utilizing the suite is encouraged to first discuss that with their family physician. “A plan will then be set in place involving your physician and Home Care.”
The spacious and comfortable suite, which can be entered privately 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.
Nancy said it’s wonderful to see the suite now accessible to families.
“There’s a sense of fulfillment for sure,” she said.
“It is very surreal. We have all put a lot of hard work and effort into making this a reality and it has finally happened. It is very overwhelming and bittersweet at the same time,” she added. “I am so happy for the families who will be able to utilize the Hospice, to have those last days/weeks to spend privately with their loved ones, while knowing this is the end of one’s journey.
“The opening of the Hospice also couldn’t have happened without the support of our community, the board and with the help of our wonderful volunteers who have spent many hours behind the scenes,” she said.
“Again, we can’t thank you all enough for sticking with us throughout the beginning stages and getting us to the point of finally opening to the public.”
It was a few years ago that 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, more than 70 people showed up – so it was clear that the concept resonated with the people of Stettler and area.
Today, the two-bedroom suite is fully stocked – there is a kitchen, a living room and it has all of the equipment needed to help lift and support patients as well as Broda chairs and heating blankets, too.
Family members are welcome to care for their loved one as they are able. Qualified nursing staff will also be available to help when and as needed.
“And it is offered free of charge, courtesy of the Stettler Hospice Society.”
According to the Society’s 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 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.
“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.”
The Society’s overall 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 also hoped that a facility will eventually be set up in town.
In the meantime, fundraising efforts are continuing.
“Our annual Whiskey Nights Gala has been cancelled. In it’s place we are selling raffle tickets for ‘Bottles and a Blanket’ – six prizes in all to be won. As well, we plan to host Hike for Hospice at West Stettler Park May 2nd, following COVID-19 regulations.”
Nancy also mentioned that the Society is always looking for volunteers, so if anyone is interested they can contact Service Coordinator Bonny Douglas at email@example.com.
Again, for more information regarding ticket sales, volunteering, Hike for Hospice, or general information, visit www.stettlerhospice.org, call Nancy Bauman at 403-741-6179, email firstname.lastname@example.org or find them on Facebook at Stettler Hospice Society.