The Nelson and District Hospice Society is opening up their day hospice program to anyone from the community who would like to come and learn about what happens in it. It does not matter if you or anyone you know is experience terminal illness, the day hospice open house is about learning about community resources and connecting to the work done by the society.
The Nelson day hospice is designed to meet the needs of those dealing with terminal illness or the end-stages of chronic illness, who want to make peer to peer, community and health connections to support their journey through illness.
The open house begins with introductions and an activity led by a skilled therapeutic provider or by seasoned volunteers. At the last open house, Kootenay Columbia College of Integrative Health Sciences instructors and students lead tai chi and qi gong exercises.
Bringing in external community members helps to build connections for day hospice clients and also often brings intergenerational social time.
Following the morning activity, lunch is served. With so many different diets to cater to — from vegan and vegetarian to gluten-free as well as other various allergies — the caterers work hard at providing healthy, delicious and mostly organic meals, made possible in part by the generous support of the Kootenay Co-op.
Lunch is served around a round table with individualized plates and a beautiful wildflower bouquet as a centrepiece. The round table gives the meal a family feel, offering comfortable social time for clients to share their struggles and stories.
The society regularly receives guidance and feedback from the clients of day hospice to help structure a program that meets each group’s needs. Clients have unique praise for the program. One stated: “My experience in these first eight weeks has been transformative. Simply spending time with people who share the horizon created by a terminal diagnosis really can’t be anything but earth-shaking. I think maybe it’s a mindset that is best appreciated from the inside.”
And another: “Appreciating the brutal honesty of the situation. It’s wonderful not to have to hide with fancy words. And I loved experiencing music with others. I can learn from others’ honesty and feel like people listen to what I need.”
Nelson and District Hospice Society wants the community to come and find out more about this program as well as its other services. The open house is Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mountain Lakes Seniors Community, assisted living building. If you’re interested in attending, feel free to call 250-352-2337 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.