PCSBV July 2021 Newsletter

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IN THIS EDITION: Caregiver Self-Care Information New 2021-2022 Board History of Hospice Compassionate Bereavement Legislation Passage

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Welcoming new Board Member, Belinda Boleantu! OUR 2021 - 2022 BOARD

On June 17th our membership gathered virtually on Zoom once again for our Annual General Meeting. For reference, the AGM documents are available here: https://pcsbv.ca/pcsbv-june-2021-agm-documents/

Our Board members for the coming year are:

Julie Hamilton Aliza Leblanc

Donna McKown Martin Buckley Martin Tweeddale Penney Gaul Rosemary Boulton

Belinda Boleantu Catharine Hinds

The only new member to join our board this year, Belinda, shared this about her passion for palliative care availability and her reason for joining our board:

"It is my passion to enable cross-continuum care coordination that allows individuals to make choices about staying at home and at the same time having a wonderful place to spend their last days in the splendor of the Bow Valley.

Given the demographics of the Bow Valley population, I believe that PCSBV has a role to play in design for rural populations that supplements the excellent work of the existing AHS Palliative Teams. I hope I can give back to the community some of the expertise acquired through my career with health."

Thank you to all of our 2021-2022 Board Volunteers!


While many people talk about self-care activities such as meditation or fitness, it can be so much more – it is about taking an active role in protecting, preserving, and improving your own health and wellbeing, and advocating for yourself to yourself.

Self-care is important for those who are experiencing palliative care, as well as caregivers, support systems, friends, and loved ones.

When life gets busy, difficult, or focused on the care of others and our sense of well-being and balance is affected, we often forget to take care of ourselves.

Building self-care into your daily or weekly routine can greatly improve resilience and prevent burnout.

If we can identify what we need for support before a crisis and when we have time for thoughtful consideration taking the time to discover different self- care options, then it will be easier to access those supports when you actually need them. There are several areas for you to consider when creating a self-care system: Physical Personal Emotional Social Psychological Professional Spiritual Self-care activities can range from physical activity to mental stimulation, relaxation, participation in hobbies, seeking social supports, to even simply being kinder to yourself. When you or a loved one are experiencing palliative care, it is vital to remember the importance of self-care to the wellbeing of yourself and your loved ones.

Great resources you can check out online for more information include:

Palliative Care Australia https://palliativecare.org.au/resources/self-care-matters PCSBV Speaker Series (April 2020): https://vimeo.com/450312306


The creation of the “modern-day Hospice” is credited to Dame Cicely Saunders.

In the 1950s in England Saunders realized that managing pain was not enough, and that there were social, psychological, and spiritual aspects of the dying process that went unaddressed.

St. Christopher’s Hospice, a sixty-bed facility for the terminally ill, opened in July 1967 in Sydenham, London, England. With this first modern hospice, the specialty of care for the terminally ill was born. In Canada, the approach began differently. Instead, the hospice palliative care movement began with the creation of palliative care units in a hospital setting. In 1975, a palliative care unit was opened at the St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg followed by a similar palliative care unit that was opened at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal. Dr. Balfour Mount, a pioneer in hospice and palliative care in Canada, used the words “palliative care” rather than the word “hospice” because from the history of early lower Canada the word “hospice” in Quebec was commonly considered a place of last resort. As a result, the terms have been used interchangeably across Canada.

To learn more about the history of hospice palliative care and end-of-life care in Canada, check out this page:

"Milestones in Hospice Palliative Care" by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association:


A compassionate bereavement bill that will allow Canadian employees more time off work following a family member’s death has passed unanimously in the Senate of Canada and will become Canadian law. Bill C-220, introduced by Edmonton Riverbend Member of Parliament Matt Jeneroux, will allow employees who work under the Canada Labour Code to have 10 days of bereavement leave following a family member’s death, a doubling of the current five days. Compassionate bereavement bill passes in Senate, will become Canadian law

“This is extremely momentous. It is incredibly hard to get a Private Member’s Bill passed, but especially so in a minority Parliament during a pandemic,” said Jeneroux.

“But the pandemic has shown us that we need to have more bereavement supports in place for grieving Canadians, and all parties and Senate groups were willing to work together to make this bill a reality and help Canadians when they need it most.”

Fewer than two percent of Private Member’s Bills successfully pass the Senate stage.

Jeneroux originally introduced the bill in the House of Commons in February 2020. After delays due to the pandemic, the bill started to pick up steam in the House of Commons earlier this year and was passed unanimously at third reading in early May.

It was then referred to the Senate for another three readings and committee study, which were done quickly to ensure passage of the bill before the summer break.

The bill was passed on June 21 and received Royal Assent on June 29, 2021, becoming Canadian law. The provisions in the bill will come into force three months after Royal Assent to provide employers sufficient time to adjust their workplace policies and work with unions to modify collective agreements to align with the changes. Bill C-220 builds on Jeneroux’s work in the Alberta Legislature, where he had a Private Member’s Bill passed in 2014 that introduced compassionate care leave in the province. “Taking time to grieve after the death of a loved one is extremely important, and the passing of the bill is the first step to securing bereavement supports for more Canadians to use if necessary,” said Jeneroux. (Reprinted with permission)

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