Words from the Chair
Hospice is an amazing organization, so amazing that it exists in pockets all over the world. Here in New Denver, we as a Board have succeeded in keeping its presence in our community going, doing our part in a continuum which began in 1991.
In the beginning of this year our committees met and determined what we wanted and needed to do to provide the financial backbone, the educational opportunities, and the continuing community awareness of our presence. Looking back over the year I see that we accomplished what we set out to do.
The fundraising events which included the Garlic Festival, the Hike for Hospice, selling bulbs and delicious soup in the holiday season were all valuable on two fronts. They brought us money to continue as an organization, and they had us out there in the community spreading awareness of our ongoing existence and purpose.
The Volunteer Training Program recently completed, provided education to potential volunteers so that they could begin to come to terms with end of life issues for personal reasons or to be with people at the end of life if they were needed. We were also loosely affiliated with a program for people who were grieving which was meaningful and reportedly life changing to some who participated in that program. These were solid successes which many people participated in and for which we can be grateful.
We had our challenges. Defining roles, defining responsibilities took a lot of thought but ultimately led to more understanding regarding what our organization is capable of given who we, the players, have brought to our roles.
One of the most difficult decisions we had to make came about as a result of reflecting on our financial sustainability. With that in mind, a decision was made in the last few months of this Board’s term to reduce the monthly hours of our Coordinator from 30 to 20. IHA provides funds that cover 20 hours and it was within these 20 hours that the Coordinator functioned for many, many years.
The communities that we live in have been very supportive of Hospice. Food is donated from our local stores and growers. Other organizations like the Credit Union, Pharmacy and the Turner Zion United Church have been generous beyond our expectations in donating money. We thank them all.
The Board joins in thanking members of the community who so generously support us and, of course, our very special volunteers who give so much of their time to helping others.
It has been a privilege and a learning experience to be part of this group. It has had me cross paths with some of you that would never have happened any other way. I value what we have shared and am happy for all of us that we succeeded in shepherding this Hospice Society through another year.
We say goodbye and thank you to Carolyn Parker and Sharon Gustafson. Both have dedicated many years of service to hospice. They have worked quietly behind the scenes, on the Board, and on various committees. Carolyn has also been an active bedside volunteer. Together they have helped Hospice progress and it has been a pleasure to work with them.
Also, Julie Fry, our Coordinator for the past 19 months is leaving her position to pursue other employment and spend more time with her family. Best of luck Julie!
The Board is excited to welcome Joannah Ratynski and Ross Johnson.
Joannah is joining the Board with fresh ideas, knowledge of death and grief, and a varied background including hotels, restaurants, airlines, finances and administration. She also operates a paddle board instruction business.
Ross Johnson is the new Hospice Coordinator. His interest in hospice began 20 years ago when he took the volunteer training. Ross operates a motorcycle repair business, has volunteered on a crisis line, spent time on the Silverton council, and been a member of the Hospice Board. He will start his position on June 1st. We look forward to working with them both.
More good news ….. although Carolyn is off sailing, Sharon is finished with meetings, and Julie has a full time position elsewhere, they have all volunteered their time and expertise to serve on a committee and /or be a bedside volunteer! A big thank-you to these three women for their dedication to hospice and we look forward to working with them in the future.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE YEAR! – 2016 Hospice Volunteer Training. We had 20 participants: some were there to refresh their skill set, some were there for professional reasons, some were there for personal healing and some (lucky for us) were there to become New Denver Hospice volunteers.
Camille Roberts facilitated the training; Camille has lived in the valley for many years and until recently worked as the Program Director for the Trail Hospice Society. Camille worked as an RN in Maternity for 20 years at the Victoria General Hospital, later with her nursing Master’s in hand she taught at the University of Victoria and Camosun College. Along with all that knowledge and her bright open hearted character Camille made the training informative and fun.
HIKE & HOTDOGS FOR HOSPICE was great fun. It was a beautiful sunny spring day here in New Denver. As always the turn out was good and all sorts of community members walked for loved ones and had Hotdogs for lunch.
Impacting Our Community
The decision to leave your home and be admitted to a long term palliative care facility is filled with guilt and heartbreak. Even more so knowing you will never come home. In our community we have one bed in the Pavilion available for this vital care.
Darek and I made the decision together and he was moved to the Pavilion on July 19/2015, a day after his 53rd birthday.
From the first day many fears were alleviated as the nurses became attracted to Darek’s ever present light and humor. The volunteers of the New Denver Hospice Society became family very quickly and a lifeline for the boys and I and so much so for Darek. As the family we were enveloped in care and support from the Hospice Volunteers.
It was a pleasure and honor to spent time with each nurse and volunteer during those final few weeks. Julie, Richard, Colin, Matt, Robin, Leslie and Katrina, the hours you spent with Darek were some of my favorite memories.
You each touched my soul with your selflessness and kindness. Adryan, Alkeks and I thank New Denver Hospice for bringing dignity to the process.
In loving memory of our clients
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.
All is well.
Henry Scott Holland ~ 1847-1918
Canon of St. Paul’s Cathedral ~ London. UK .
FROM THE COORDINATOR
It’s time for me to move on, but before I go I would like to say…….Hospice has been a profoundly beautiful and somewhat humbling experience for me. I feel honored to have been involved in the lives of our clients and their families at what can be an incredibly sad and life changing time. I’ve seen the bond between family and friends grow even stronger as the end comes closer. I have witnessed the love and relief that is shared when a loved one is no longer in pain. And I have without a doubt felt and seen the endless compassion of our volunteers and the Pavilion staff…..so, as the French say….a la prochaine…until we meet again… Julie Fry.
THANK YOU HOSPICE VOLUNTEERS!
Hospice would not be able to maintain its level of service in the community without our wonderful volunteers. Sadly, but with hope he will return one day, the Board and fellow volunteers say goodbye to a volunteer who is never too busy to help out. Thank you Tonio for your many years of commitment with the New Denver Hospice: you will be missed.
This one’s for you Tonio and all our volunteers…
One day an elephant saw a hummingbird lying on its back with its tiny feet up in the air. “What are you doing?” asked the elephant. The hummingbird replied, “I heard that the sky might fall today, and so I am ready to help hold it up, should it fall.” The elephant laughed cruelly. “Do you really think,” he said, “that those tiny feet could help hold up the sky?” The hummingbird kept his feet up in the air, intent on his purpose, as he replied, “Not alone. But each must do what he can. And this is what I can do.”
Hills Garlic Festival
September 11th, 2016,
Centennial Park, New Denver
Coffee, tea, cold drinks
Grief Support Workshop
September 24th 2016
For hospice volunteers only.
Advanced Care Planning
Silverton Christmas fair.