The PCSBV Bulletin June 2022
Imagine a space or an environment that brings you comfort and enjoyment. Perhaps it is a special room in your home, a spot in your community or even your workplace. The places that bring us comfort or enjoyment are closely related to our needs and everyday routines. As such, they can change when an individual experiences changes in their lifestyle. Changing Needs, Changing Environments
It is important to recognize this transformation to better support and care for individuals with a life-limiting illness. These individuals must have access to new spaces and environments that can adapt easily to their changing needs and abilities so they can find as much comfort and enjoyment in their surroundings as possible. For many of these individuals, hospice care serves as a dedicated space that fulfills this important need. Those who work in hospice care understand the physical and emotional changes that come with having a life-limiting illness and have the expertise to guide individuals and their family members through a difficult time. This type of care is especially important when individuals with a life-limiting illness are no longer able to turn to the spaces and environments that once comforted them. also dealing with feelings of fear and shock and are more likely to want to seek comfort in familiar spaces and environments.
When an individual is diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, their lifestyle is often transformed because of changes to their needs or limitations to their abilities. This transformation can come in many forms, whether that be through a reduced desire to eat or a decrease in mobility or intellectual capacity. As a result, the spaces and environments that may have once been a source of comfort or enjoyment may no longer have the same impact. For example, those who once enjoyed spending time outdoors may no longer find the same enjoyment interacting with nature if their illness limits their mobility. Similarly, an individual who takes great pride in their job may no longer feel enjoyment being in their workplace if their illness restricts their ability to work. These types of transformations can be particularly difficult for individuals who have a life-limiting illness as they are
JUNE 1 SPEAKERS SERIES
ORDINARY DYING - A FRANK CONVERSATION WITH DR. KATHRYN MANNIX
We had a fantastic turnout of more than 200 people for the presentation and panel discussion with Dr. Mannix and guests, Dr. Hsien Seow, from The Waiting Room Revolution podcast and Brian Callahan, community hospice advocate. In her presentation, Dr. Mannix introduces us to the way death is treated in our country compared to other countries, such as Ecuador, and how the media and Hollywood have misled people about what ordinary dying is - to the point where we don't know how to talk about it and have become fearful of it. She uses the example of her great-grandmother who had seen ordinary dying in her lifetime because she lived in the early 1900s and life expectancy was not what it is today. As such, the new generations need to reclaim the lost wisdom of ordinary dying. Kathryn recounts the defining moment where she learned how talking about death and the process of what happens to us as we die, can actually give us comfort. She believes having frank conversations about death, and not being afraid to say the words such as 'death' and 'dying' can change misconceptions and misunderstanding. She says "Dying at the end of life is as natural as a sunset at the end of the day". Her final suggestion is that we ask ourselves who knows our end-of-life wishes and to have these conversations with them so that we may be better planned when the end arrives.
PANEL DISCUSSION HIGHLIGHTS
Bill Harder, PCSBV Dr. Hsien Seow Brian Callaghan
Panel Discussion Key Learnings:
Open and truthful conversations about our illness, what to expect, how we are feeling, wanting more information, managing symptoms, and being honest with planning what we want as an end-of-life experience are key to better understanding and acceptance. We need a village of people we can count on to help us with different stages of our illness. These are your medical team, family, friends, and community. It's not uncommon to want more information and support from more than your medical team. Connecting with other societies can be helpful.
Finally, for the caretakers of loved ones, let your community lift you up and support you during your journey.
If you missed the session, or want to review it again, you can access the video by clicking the link below:
WATCH THE FULL SESSION VIDEO
RESOURCES FROM PRESENTATION Dr. Kathryn Mannix book : With the End in Mind Dr. Hsien Seow: The Waiting Room Revolution Brian Callaghan: Book recommendation: My Father's Wake
Palliative Care Society of the Bow Valley
GRIEF SUPPORT WALKING GROUPS
VOLUNTEER TRAINING UPCOMING DATES JUNE 2022
Walking Groups are a no-cost, drop-in grief conversation group. Walks are open to all who are 18+ who are grieving. The walks last approximately 30 minutes and then end with a guided conversation on the themes of grief and loss.
June 2: 9:30am to 11:00am Role of the Volunteer (Facilitator: Bill Harder)
June 7: 9am to noon Case Studies (Facilitator: Bill Harder)
Contact Bill for more info: email@example.com
For more information, contact Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org
DROP-IN GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP - Online Gathering
TIME: Every Wednesday from 4:30pm to 5:30pm LOCATION: Fenlands Recreation Centre, 100 Norquay Rd, Banff. We will meet at the reception desk in the recreation centre. BANFF - WALKING GROUP
Email: email@example.com to register and receive the zoom link.
Wednesday | 7:00 - 8:00 PM
DROP-IN GRIEF SUPPORT VISITS
Bill Harder welcomes drop-in visits at the Banff Community Foundation, 214 Banff Avenue.
Monday | 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.
CANMORE - WALKING GROUP
TIME: Every Wednesday from 4:45pm to 5:30pm.
SAVE THE DATES! Upcoming Speakers Series Presentation - July Truth and Reconciliation Day - September 30 National Hospice Palliative Care Day for Children - October 13 National Bereavement Day – November 15
LOCATION: We will meet at the community mailboxes at Riverside Park which is south of 8th on River Road.
June is Men's Health Month!
As part of the fight against toxic masculinity and its effects, it is vital to have services that can assist men who may be unwilling or unable to seek help when dealing with their own illness or the diagnosis of a family member. Spaces such as palliative care centres are dedicated to supporting individuals dealing with the effects of a life-limiting diagnosis. They are an essential aspect of the fight against toxic masculinity and its harmful effects. It is important that we all work together to ensure men feel that they are able to seek out the assistance they need. Here are a few helpful resources to turn to that offer both physical and mental health services. The Canadian Men’s Health Foundation offers a directory of services available in Canada to assist men who may feel unable to seek out the help they need. These supports range from mental health resources to online medical consultations. In addition, the Government of Canada has a webpage devoted to men’s health issues that offers guidance on a wide range of issues relating to physical and mental health.
Caring for Men’s Health
A life-limiting diagnosis forces individuals to grapple with the idea of death, which can cause feelings of fear and shock that cannot be easily suppressed or ignored. Individuals coping with a life-limiting illness as well as their loved ones often need emotional support to work through the difficult feelings associated with the diagnosis. It is essential that individuals and their family members feel that they are able to seek out the assistance they need, which is not always the case for men dealing with harmful standards about the ways they should deal with sadness, fear or pain. Toxic masculinity is an unwritten code according to which men must suppress emotion or pain to maintain the appearance of stoicism. It can be harmful to men because it discourages them from seeking health care, emotional guidance or support when dealing with a difficult experience. This is particularly the case for men dealing with their own life-limiting illness or the diagnosis of a loved one. Imagine experiencing sadness, fear or pain but being told by someone close to you to “suck it up” or to “deal with it”. These phrases sound harsh as no one should be left alone to deal with pain or other difficult emotions. However, society has upheld these ideas when it comes to responding to men’s emotions. Historically, men have faced unrealistic and unhealthy standards that often discourage them from seeking help when they are experiencing difficulties. Many young men are told that “boys don’t cry” and to “man up”. While society has begun to reject these standards, they still affect many men today. June is officially recognized as Men’s Health Month to combat some of these harmful views that are part of what is known as toxic masculinity.
of men feel like they're expected to be "emotionally strong and to show no weakness".
of men have avoided talking to others about their feelings to avoid appearing "unmanly."
Sources: Global Ipsos Poll ,mindbodygreen.com
REGISTER TO ATTEND Annual General Meeting
THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2022 7:00 PM
Per the by-laws of the Society, notice must be given to Members in Good Standing by the Secretary 21 days prior to the AGM. Classification of Membership as well as Rights and Privileges of Members can be found in section 3 of the Society's by-laws.
Questions related to the AGM, by-law changes, or other business related to the AGM can be directed to the Board Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org
REGISTER HERE FOR PCSBV'S AGM
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Get involved with PCSBV to help supprt palliative care in the community.
BECOME A BOARD MEMBER
BECOME A VOLUNTEER
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with us, we are always looking for people to help.
We are always looking for enthusiastic individuals to join our Board of Directors. If you are interested in getting involved.
SUPPORT THE PALLIATIVE CARE SOCIETY OF THE BOW VALLEY
Together with supporters like you we can achieve our goals for better palliative care services and programs to the community in Bow Valley. Please consider making a donation today to support us in raising $20,000 to cover costs such as training and deploying 40-50 volunteers this year!
Donations of $25 or more will receive a charitable receipt. Here are the ways you can make a donation:
WAYS TO GIVE:
General Donations are used for programs currently with the greatest need of your financial support. Tributes honour a family member, friend, or loved one. Building donations support creating a residential hospice home accessible to the Bow Valley community. Monthly donations will ensure constant support throughout the years.
Click on the link >> Donate today! Online at www.pcsbv.ca 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 .
For more information contact Kristin Fry, Fund Development at email@example.com or call (403) 707-7633
Bow Valley Hospice Update!
Canmore’s Town Council has sent to second reading a proposal to develop land in South Canmore, which will include a standalone hospice care facility.
Once the land is approved the PCSBV will build a 6 bed hospice that will provide hospice access at no cost to all Bow Valley families, needing end-of-life care.
Presently the PCSBV works in collaboration with medical and home care professionals in the Bow Valley, with the goal of improving the quality of life of a person facing a life-limiting illness.
This month we celebrate the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people of Canada on National Indigenous Peoples Day. Improving our understanding of traditions and the ways of the people is a step we can all make on our Truth and Reconciliation journey. As individual tribes, Indigenous People embody their own heritage, language, culture, and beliefs; however, they do share many similarities, such as their perspectives on life and death. NATIONAL INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY: JUNE 21ST Traditional Cree Ceremonies
Before burial in the ground, the casket is adorned with a special blanket as a gesture of respect and farewell. After the service the congregates enjoy a feast to pray for the spirts well-being and journey. After one year has passed, the family of the deceased holds another feast to honor the passage of the spirit from the body. The Round Dance is a communal gathering that helps heal, honour and celebrate life. Ceremonies around death are deeply routed in the cultural of Indigenous Peoples. Due to colonialism, the way these ceremonies are practiced has changed. However, with supportive and educational resources available, these cultural practices can be honored within hospitals and palliative care settings. Many excellent learning resources can be found on the website RRC Polytech Library and Academic Services, including Canadian Virtual Hospice Indigenous Peoples Tools for Practice.
“We understand who we are, We know where we came from, We accept and understand our destiny here on Mother Earth, We are spirit having a human experience.”
Of the Indigenous Peoples in Canada, the Cree (Nehiyawak (neh-HEE-oh-wuk) are the largest First Nations tribe with the highest population living in Alberta. The Cree view life and death as The Circle of Life, meaning: To understand death, we must first embrace the circle of life and the four stages in the journey of the human spirit: Birth, Life, Death and Afterlife. Healing and bereavement ceremonies, the Wake and Round Dance, are important traditions for the Cree. In the most basic understanding, it can be explained as this: When a person dies, even though the body undergoes a transformation, the spirit remains unchanged. These ceremonies are to complete the cycle of life when the body is returned to the original mother, Mother Earth and the spirit returns to the original father, The Creator. The Wake may last up to 4 days. Family and friends visit and stay with the body during this time of bereavement. It is a time to share stories, say prayers, sing sacred songs and mourn to let go of the spirit of the deceased. Traditionally, women would prepare the body for its burial and make moccasins for the feet. When the body is buried, sweetgrass which is considered a sacred and purifying plant among the Cree, is placed in the right hand of the deceased. Tobacco is also placed in the casket as it is considered an aid to communication between us and The Creator. If the deceased has a pipe, it is also buried with the body as are some other personal items.
Sources: PPT Indigenous Perspectives, Cree Death, Traditional Cree Ceremonies, GOC Indigenous Peoples Day.
RECOMMENDED READING & VIDEO RESOURCES
The Soul in Grief: Love, Death & Transformation
Author: Dr. Robert Romanyshyn, Ph.D.
Available at: Banff Public Library Canmore Public Library
"The Soul in Grief shows how moments of grief can help us move beyond false constructs of the ego...it expands our idea of psychology to situate life and the soul within the greater fabric of the living universe." -David Fideler, editor of Alexandria: A Journal of Cosmology, Philosophy, Myth and Culture
Short Video: How Grief Affects Your Brain And What To Do About It | Better | NBC News
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