Clearwater and District Hospice Society launched its seventh annual Lights to Remember campaign this week, which raises money for training the group’s 16 members in skills needed to attend palliative care clients in home and hospital settings.
The group is also in talks with Interior Health to use a portion of the funds to create a palliative care suite in Dr. Helmckin Memorial Hospital.
“What we do is sell little cards, we put a tree up at the Clearwater Lodge and we decorate it all in blue and white and then each little card goes on the tree,” said Eileen Sedgwick, president of the Clearwater and District Hospice Society.
The cards can be purchased at Buy-Low for $10 until Nov. 24, and are bought in memory of anyone the buyer would like to memorialize and hung on the tree at the lodge where Sedgwick said people like to sit and appreciate its meaning.
She added the cards can be placed in memory of anyone from family members, victims of tradgedy or even beloved pets.
“My mother passed away so I put my mom’s name on it and wrote ‘From Eileen.’ It’s just a thing for people to remember their loved ones, or just remember somebody,” said Sedgwick.
“One guy put his dog’s name on a card because he lost his dog that year—it can be anybody who has passed that you want to remember, then those go on the tree Nov. 25 and it will stay up until we take it down in January.”
The Hospice Society is a group that has its members sit with patients in the hospital to keep them comfortable in and in good company, which requires new members to have a certain degree of training, and present members often have to take refresher courses, which is what the campaign’s primary purpose is to raise funds for.
The comprehensive training is provided by the certified staff of the Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Hospice House located in Kamloops.
Also mentioned above, the Hospice Society would like to convert a room in Dr. Helmckin Memorial Hospital, which is the old maternity suite, into a state of the art palliative care suite, and would use some of the money from the campaign to cover all necessary renovations, furnishings and equipment.
“We’ll furnish and decorate it different than a hospital room,” said Sedgwick.
“It’ll be more like a room at home.”
Though the palliative care suite is still in the discussion stages of development and there’s no start date yet finalize, it’s hoped it could be complete by the end of 2019.