BCHPCA; Now is the time to respond and lean on hospice societies.(Photo by Renate Vanaga on Unsplash)

B.C. hospice workers part of essential care team – pandemic or not

Message from the BC Hospice Palliative Care Association

Submitted by the B.C. Hospice Palliative Care Association

The BC Hospice Palliative Care Association (BCHPCA) salutes the estimated 6,000 trained hospice volunteers during these challenging times who provide more than 209,470 (2019) hours of service to more than 120,000 clients and their families every year in B.C.

“Hospice volunteers play an indispensable role in enabling hospice societies to offer the best care and support possible for clients living with life-limiting illness, their families and caregivers,” says BCHPCA President, Donna Flood.

Interim Executive Director Pablita Thomas also adds,“by sharing their time, energy, and expertise, volunteers bring compassion and caring to the lives of those in need.”

The Conference Board of Canada (2018) estimates an hour of volunteer time in Canada to be worth $27.

At this valuation, hospice volunteers provided more than $5.6 million worth of added value services in 2019 to our health care system, reports the BCHPCA.

Hospice Volunteers are required to complete a comprehensive training program consisting of over 30 hours of basic training before commencing their hospice volunteerism through a curriculum developed by the BCHPCA and the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association.

In addition, volunteers receive 20 hours of training annually related to their volunteerism, such as; self-care training, direct patient care, sitting vigil, respite care, companionship, facilitation of Advance Care Planning sessions for the public, and practical supports, that may include light housekeeping, errands,preparing snacks, etc.

These training opportunities are critical, allowing volunteers to develop the skills necessary to offer quality hospice care services to the vast number of clients served by hospice societies.

“This unique requirement reflects the vital role that volunteers play in the hospice philosophy of care and ensures a hospice program has roots deep in the community. Additionally, the value of time provided to the field is significant. Hospice Volunteers in BC have a high retention rate with an average length of engagement of 7 + years,” says Kevin Harter, Secretary-Treasurer of BCHPCA and CEO of Victoria Hospice.

Hospice volunteers often provide companionship and support to those receiving hospice care or provide respite care for caregivers.

They can also assist with administration, raise awareness and contribute to educational programs, support grief and bereavement activities, provide fundraising support and much more.

Hospice volunteers go above and beyond.

The service that volunteers provide to hospice societies in B.C. is essential and given the pandemic our world faces, hospice volunteers are critical in the delivery of services provided by hospice societies.

The role of the hospice volunteer is both rewarding and demanding. Volunteers provide a wide range of support services for clients and families, and these same volunteers can play a much-needed role in supporting our overburdened healthcare system.

The time is now for hospice volunteers to be deemed essential for the future of quality hospice palliative care and be recognized as essential positions during and post COVID19.

Trained compassionate volunteers are the missing link to prevent people from dying alone and they are trained to provide grief and bereavement services to front line professionals while reducing the operational and direct care burdens that many face day in and out.

COVID19 has widened the existing gaps in our healthcare system and the time is now to respond and lean on hospice societies.

We have a responsibility to build a strong community support for the dying and grieving.

For the past thirty four years, the BC Hospice Palliative Care Association (BCHPCA) has been committed to supporting hospice palliative care in British Columbia.

With the current pandemic and the ever changing landscape of service delivery, it is vital to ensure that volunteers, individuals and caregivers alike, are included and supported by our healthcare system.

This will ensure the continuation of the compassionate care hospice volunteers provide to those nearing the end of life.

BC HealthVictoria Hospice

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Courtesy of CDC).
Interior Health reports 12 additional COVID-19 cases

The total number of cases in the region is now at 644

Photo: Submitted
LeRoi foundation donates to Kootenay Boundary COVID relief

The community foundation gave $19,370 for the cause

The house is located near two schools. Photo: Connor Trembley
Dog attack seriously injures young boy in Castlegar

Despite investigating the incident, city staff aren’t confirming if the dog has been put down

Former B.V. Nitehawk Craig Martin inked a deal with the Jacksonville Icemen of the ECHL earlier this week.  Photo: Jim Bailey.
Trail product, Craig Martin, re-signs with ECHL Jacksonville Icemen

Martin returns to the Icemen after collecting eight goals and 23 points during his rookie season

Telephone operators at the Trail exchange in the early 1900s. Photo: Trail Historical Society
Trail Blazers: Early communication began with 30 telephones

Trail Blazers is a weekly feature in partnership with the Trail Museum and Archives

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Colin James put on a great show at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds as part of the 2019 Vancouver Island MusicFest. But his Okanagan tour for 2020 has been postponed until 2021. (Photo by Terry Farrell)
COVID-19 cancels Corb Lund’s Vernon, Penticton, Trail, Cranbrook concerts

The Contenders, Colin James and Lund postponed until 2021

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Most Read