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

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

crowe shop
Shop class receives wonderful response from West Kootenay residents

“Each item came with its own little story which was really neat to hear.” - Dale Smyth

(File photo)
Rossland council surveys residents for input on new city plan

Rosslands Official Community Plan has run its course, and the city is nudging residents for input

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
61 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care

View of the city from West Trail. Photo: Ryden Wahl
What you see …

If you have a recent photo to share email it large or actual-size to editor@trailtimes.ca

Summer does provide some shelter for homeless. In winter, it’s a different story. Photo: Jim Bailey
Trail RCMP offer healing approach to mental health and addictions

People living with a mental illness and substance use disorders need assistance not incarceration

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
One in five tests in Fernie area coming back positive: doctor

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
From the “You can’t make this stuff up” file – stories from the BC CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

(Black Press Media files)
Woman steals bottles of wine after brandishing stun baton in New Westminster

Police say the female suspect was wearing a beige trench coat with fur lining

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Vancouver Island paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Most Read