March-April PCSBV Newsletter 2024

Spring 2024 PCSBV Bulletin

#202 - 1080 Railway Ave. | Canmore, AB T1W 1P4

(403) 707-7111 |


CAREGIVERS The Invisible Heroes

SOURCE: Collins, R. N., & Kishita, N. (2020). Prevalence of depression and burden among informal care-givers of people with dementia: a meta- analysis. Ageing & Society, 40(11), 2355-2392. Co-penned by Hyo-Jung Jwa, PCSBV Client Coordinator and Michelle LeBlanc, PCSBV Volunteer Coordinator. Our work with caregivers aims to hold space for the heroes in this community who are experiencing grief, while we listen to their journey with open ears, and look for places to ground their sorrow. We bear witness to the beauty and grace that arises from moments where supported caregivers navigate complex human experiences presented in their daily lives.” At the heart of the dementia journey lies the invisible hero, who steadily carries a heavy load while weaving through daily life and it’s own typical challenges. As this hero proceeds to march on with care through an undulating path, they confront hurdles with patience, humility, and dedication, oftentimes at the expense of their own health and well-being. The prevalence of burnout and associated emotional strain is estimated to occur for dementia caregivers in particular based on recent comprehensive reviews (Collins and Kishita, 2020). This emotional strain can sometimes lead to grief, which may occur both during and after the dementia journey. HIGHLIGHT: DEMENTIA CAREGIVERS

Caregiving can be stressful, isolating and overwhelming. It can have a negative impact on the caregiver’s physical and mental health. COMPASS for the Caregiver program helps caregivers balance their own well-being with the challenges of caregiving. COMPASS is a supportive multi-session workshop facilitated by someone who understands how difficult caregiving can be. Participants discuss dealing with guilt and grief, managing stress, improving communication, navigating the system and planning for the journey ahead. PCSBV and Caregivers Alberta are collaborating to offer Compass for Caregivers virtually on June 6, 13, 20, and 27. All caregivers, personal and professional, are welcome to participate. For more information and registration, please click the link:

COMPASS for the Caregiver


Living with Loss Group

COMPASSIONATE COMPANION PROGRAM We match individuals in our community with a volunteer companion to provide one-to-one support and navigation assistance to access resources that enhance quality of life and wellness.


VOL UNT E E R TRA I N I NG Sign up for the PCSBV Volunteer Training courses! Available courses and dates can be found on our Volunteer Training Calendar.

A specialized team within our Compassionate Care Program, these volunteers provide caregiver respite, resource navigation, and physical and cognitive nurturing activities for individuals living with dementia and their families.


Our grief practitioners support individuals and their loved ones through:

Compassionate, welcoming space to connect with, learn from, and listen to each other Personalized one-to-one or group consultations Grief Navigation Living with Loss Group


Art Therapy Group


A way to express and explore grief and sorrow through art in a small group setting

EDUCAT I ON Opportunities to build a compassionate community through learning about palliative care, grief, and loss for groups of all sizes including professionals, organizations, and the greater community.

Reach out for support or to register for one of our programs at or call 403-707-7111.




In the last newsletter, we spoke about the exciting project ahead of us, building a Centre for Palliative Care and Hospice, right here in the Bow Valley. Although the decision of the Town was in June last year, work to plan the building, the important considerations in imagining the space and gaining input from people in our community who will work and benefit from it has been ongoing for some time. As we develop the design, it is important that the Centre reflects our vision of the palliative care journey; from diagnosis, living well, and end of life and is a living embodiment of the values that PCSBV holds dear – dignity, care and excellence. It will be a peaceful and welcoming haven; a place to sit quietly, embraced by warm smiles, surrounded by soft shoulders and good listeners. A familiar space for individuals and their loved ones to seek support as they focus on wellness and quality of life, the Centre will be a home away from home, offering a place of refuge to ease anxiety or fear at end of life. In finalizing the floor plan, we will make sure that the spaces we create will be permeated with light and connect with the beautiful surroundings and Bow Valley nature, seamlessly bridging the inside and outside. When people enter the Centre for the first time, our hope is that they will feel a warmth and reassurance that they have come to the right place. As we embark on the next phase of the process, we look forward to sharing updates with you as to the progress we are making. To find out how you can be part of this exciting project and help us build towards our vision of the future, contact us at 403-707-7111.

Michelle LeBlanc started her position as Volunteer Coordinator with the Palliative Care Society of the Bow Valley on March 4th, 2024.

I enjoy the genuine and compassionate spirit of the volunteers who are involved with us! The PCSBV is able to address diverse community needs in unique and innovative ways as a result of these amazing volunteers. I feel extremely fortunate to be taking on the role of Volunteer Coordinator and joining the PCSBV team. I'm especially looking forward to opportunities for growth and engaging with this special community through the work of this organization.


HYO-JUNG JWA Client Coordinator

With Michelle joining the team, Hyo-Jung Jwa started a new role of Client Coordinator as of April 1st. In this role, Hyo-Jung will be working directly with the clients managing their PCSBV experience from the point of referral, through intake and then ongoing to ensure they are connected with the psychosocial and navigation supports they need. Hyo-Jung and Michelle will be working closely to pair our volunteers and clients for the best experience.


VOLUNTEER HIGHL IGHT Deanne Arada and Kristin Slagorsky

This winter the Art-Therapy Grief Support Group ran for six-week facilitated by wonderful PCSBV volunteers and local Registered Social Workers / Art Therapists Deanne Arada and Kristin Slagorsky. A small group of individuals experiencing grief or loss came together through the PCSBV to support one another and express their sorrows through poetry, creative expression and gentle movement. The group held space for participants to share their grief stories, honour their loved ones, and find some solace in one another's presence and artistic explorations of different art materials. This was the PCSBV's second pilot program using art therapy to support well-being as the PCSBV continues to grow and adapt to the needs of Bow Valley.

Volunteers are at the core of the work we do at the Palliative Care Society of the Bow Valley. As a non- profit society, we rely on these committed and passionate people to help us achieve our mission and vision to bring palliative care to the Bow Valley. We have grown to be a rather large team of more than 80 people committed to palliative, end-of life and grief care in the Bow Valley! With such a big team, we are better able to meet the needs of the community. Within the role of our PCSBV volunteers we have our Board of Directors and committee members who provide governance to our organization and advice to our planning and operations. As well, we rely on the support of individuals as compassionate companions who assist clients and caregivers, by supporting them in exploring meaningful ways to live their life to the fullest. We have teams of two volunteers that have specialist training and give support to families navigating dementia and we have the dedication of individuals who volunteer as Grief Practitioners, and people who help us with our events, such as the Hike for Hospice and the Golf for Hospice.

So many reasons to be thankful!

“No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another.” – Author Unknown




Click on the link >>

Online at and click on the “Donate” button.

Send a cheque to:

Palliative Care Society of the Bow Valley, PO Box, 40113, Canmore Crossing, Canmore, AB, T1W 3H9.

This past year, the demand for our programs and support has increased significantly. Our work has expanded to meet these needs, reaching further into our community, and having greater impact. Our future vision remains to support Bow Valley residents with a palliative approach to care wherever they call home. Our new Centre for Palliative Care and Hospice will be at the heart of our work and a critical hub for the work that takes place in our community. Your support is vital to our success. While continuing to meet demand for our programs and services along every stage of the palliative journey, together we can build a rural palliative care centre and hospice at the heart of our community.

**Donations of $25 or more will receive a charitable receipt.

To help us meet the ever-growing need and complexity of individuals and their caregivers in our Bow Valley. Host a Fundraiser!

Organize a fundraising event with your friends or family:

Matched giving Silent auction

School fundraiser Fitness challenge Host an event

Partner with us! We’re always on the lookout for those sharing our commitment to support the needs of our Bow Valley community. Contact us to inquire about partnership opportunities for your organization.

For more information contact Kristin Fry, Fund Development.

Email at or call (403) 707-7633



As Canada's population ages and chronic illnesses become more prevalent, the importance of ACP in addressing complex healthcare needs and ensuring quality end-of- life care is becoming increasingly recognized. Advanced care planning (ACP) is gaining momentum and being actively promoted by healthcare professionals and organizations in Canada for several compelling reasons. ACP facilitates patient-centered care by allowing individuals to express their preferences for future medical treatment, ensuring that their values and wishes guide healthcare decisions, even if they are unable to communicate their desires due to illness or incapacity. This promotes autonomy and dignity in healthcare, aligning with the principles of patient-centered care and respect for individual autonomy. Did you know, ACP can help reduce healthcare costs by preventing unwanted and potentially futile medical interventions? By outlining preferences for end-of-life care and specifying goals of treatment, ACP empowers individuals to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations, invasive procedures, and prolonged stays in intensive care units, which can be emotionally and financially burdensome for patients and their families. Furthermore, ACP fosters communication and shared decision-making between patients, families, and healthcare providers. By engaging in discussions about values, goals, and fears surrounding end-of-life care, ACP promotes understanding and consensus among stakeholders, reducing the likelihood of conflict and distress during times of medical crisis. By getting started with your own advanced care plan, you can make informed decisions about your healthcare preferences and ultimately improve the quality of care when the time comes.

Demystifying death – a palliative care specialist’s practical guide to life’s end - Written by Dr. Kathryn Mannix. This is a short video with wonderfully creative graphics and easy to understand content about the physical process of dying.

TED TALK - What Happens When We Die? Featuring Dr. Kathryn Mannix demystifying the process of death.

SPECIAL DAYS & AWARENESS DATES Advanced Care Planning Day – April 16 National Volunteer Week April (16-22) National Hospice Palliative Care Week (May 5-11) PCSBV Hike for Hospice - May 5 PCSBV AGM - June 20th from 7-9pm. SAVE THE DATE

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