May PCSBV Newsletter 2022 v2 (8.5 x 11 in)

The PCSBV Bulletin May 2022

National Hospice Palliative Care Week in Canada | May 1 - 7

This month we are imagining a better end of life experience with hospice care. We all deserve to live a life of joy, peace and vibrancy from beginning to end. May 1 – 7, 2022 marks National Hospice Palliative Care Week in Canada. This year, the Canadian Hospice and Palliative Care Association has us thinking in colour when it comes to hospice care. Their theme “Living in Colour” is about the experience hospice palliative care can provide for patients and their families and the belief that life should be lived with vibrancy and meaningful moments even in the end.

Hospice palliative care providers are a dedicated team who not only focus on the patient, but also their families. Hospice care providers ensure that both the patient and the family needs are met. This means not just pain and medicine management for the patient, but a comprehensive care approach for physical, mental, and spiritual support for all. Families may be introduced to a care team of social workers, nurses, ministers, and hospice volunteers whom families can ask questions, talk about their concerns and better understand what is happening. Having a supportive hospice palliative care team gives the patient and the families more opportunity to focus on embracing the valuable last moments together.

When one family member is diagnosed with a life- limiting illness it affects the whole family.

Between 62% and 89% of those who die could benefit from palliative care — including nearly everyone who does not die unexpectedly (CIHI, 2018)

Few Canadians (15%) have early access to palliative care in the community (CIHI, 2018)

Of the 270,000 Canadians who die each year, 90% die of chronic illness, such as cancer, heart disease, organ failure, dementia or frailty (Government of Canada, 2018)

62% of Canadians who received palliative care did so in an acute care hospital in their last month of life (CIHI, 2018)

Source: CHPCA Fact Sheet

~ Imagine Life with Hospice Care ~

There are stories of loss and suffering that are only added to by some of the more institutional aspects of the health care system.

Brian and Helmi Callahan

Since Helmi’s death, Brian has devoted himself to ensuring that end of life palliative care becomes a reality for residents of the Bow Valley. Brian acknowledges that working as a community, aware of the way life moves within the community, is what his wife would have wanted. He believes there is poetry to that. Brian’s notion that as a society, we can do better is also a philosophical one – we not only live in place, but we want to die in place, and in our home communities. As the palliative care movement gains prominence, Brian feels it is also very practical and cost effective to be cared for in a hospice rather than acute care beds in a hospital. There are stories of loss and suffering that are only amplified by some of the more institutional aspects of the health care system. As a measure of respect for fellow human beings, there are better ways to manage end-of-life than in an acute care bed. Brian found he needed to be a strong advocate and fight the system to ensure a sensitive approach to end-of-life care. Brian emphasizes the universality of this need and this journey. We all want love and respect of legacy for the people in our lives. Brian believes “we can do better” not only for the memory of those who have passed, but also to prepare ourselves for our own passing and our generations passing. As a generational cohort, there is an opportunity to change the way we manage death and dying that will benefit all ages and stages of society.

Brian Callahan is a resident of the Bow Valley and a supporter of PCSBV. A few years ago, Brian lost his wife, Helmi, to a brain tumor and her last days were spent in a hospital. On an emotional level they walked down a life path together that ended without the end-of-life experience they would have wanted. He found the journey from diagnosis to end of life was less than peaceful and comforting as he would have liked for Helmi. It felt cold and clinical. When Helmi moved from home to hospital, she no longer had the same case worker. Once she was in the medical system, there was less continuity of care and as a patient in an acute care bed, Helmi and Brian experienced the business of the hospital around them - From doctors attending to medical needs to custodians attending to cleaning duties. Brian longed for a place focused on both the medical and psycho-social needs of the dying person and the family. An environment centered around the family with continuing care from the beginning to the end. A place that supported and respected the human(s) and the dying experience. Brian has gratitude for the hospital staff for their sincere and well meaning gestures of care that they gave as best they could within the institutional setting. However, imagine if Brian and Helmi had a hospice in the region that could have given them the end-of-life care and inclusive support Brian hoped for? How much better of an experience would they have had?

Thank you to Brian Callahan for sharing his story.

PRIZE SPONSORS Mut Hut - Day Doggy Spaw Valhalla Pure – Gift certificate Value $250 Pursuit – Gift Certificates AMAZING EVENT SPONSORS Thank you for your support!

ACTIVITY SPONSOR Go Figure Fit - Warm-up

SWAG BAG SPONSORS Le Chocolatier Flying Pigs Recycling Eclipse Coffee Roasters Bow Valley Credit Union Save On Foods


Threshold Singers

Palliative Care Society of the Bow Valley




Email: to register and receive the zoom link.

Bill Harder welcomes drop-in visits at the Banff Community Foundation, 214 Banff Avenue.

Wednesday Evenings | 7:00 - 8:00 PM

Monday’s | 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.




Every Wednesday from 4:30pm to 5:30pm at Fenlands Recreation Centre, 100 Norquay Rd, Banff.

Every Wednesday from 4:45pm to 5:30pm.

We will meet at the community mailboxes at Riverside Park which is south of 8th on River Road.

We will meet at the reception desk in the recreation centre.

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.



If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with us, we are always looking for people to help.

For more information, contact Bill at


REGISTER TO ATTEND Annual General Meeting


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


Did you know you can buy a PCSBV membership?

Member benefits include:

Participating in shaping the future of the PCSBV Elect the PCSBV Board of Directors at the annual general meeting Vote on any motions at annual or special general meetings, thereby guiding the fulfillment of the PCSBV mission Approve by-law amendments Become part of our collective voice to advocate for palliative care support in the Bow Valley You will receive communications from the PCSBV. In most instances, communications will only be available by e-mail.


Precious Belonging Bags


Thank you to the members of the MCQG Mountain Cabin Quilters Guild who make Precious Belongings Bags for PCSBV. These bags are offered to families who have had a loved- one pass away in hospital so that they may take their possessions home from the hospital in a dignified way. Here we have two sewers Dale Robertson (left) and Albertina Pianarosa displaying the newest batch of bags that will be sent to the local hospitals.

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!

The Kennedy Administration held a very successful concert on April 30th to raise money for PCSBV! We are so grateful for the support.

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. All ways to give:


May 19: 9am to noon Emotional Supports (Facilitator: Bill Harder)

May 20: 10:00am to 11:30am Virtual and Phone Supports (Facilitator: Bill Harder)

Donations of $25 or more will receive a charitable receipt. Here are the ways you can make a donation:

May 25: 9am to noon Family Dynamics (Facilitator: TBA)

Click on the link >> Donate today! 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.

June 2: 9:30am to 11:00am Role of the Volunteer (Bill Harder)

June 7: 9am to noon Case Studies (Facilitator: Bill Harder)

For more information contact Kristin Fry, Fund Development at or call (403) 707-7633


Imagine you or a loved one receive a life-limiting diagnosis. Imagine the fear, loneliness and confusion that such a diagnosis might bring. While these feelings may be common amongst people experiencing a life- limiting diagnosis, that does not make them any easier to manage. Having the support of a compassionate medical team is critical during this time. Nurses play an instrumental role on such a team, guiding patients and families through the difficulties that come with managing illness. Their role is even more important when it comes to hospice care. Nurses take on a variety of roles when providing care and support in a hospice setting. While this work includes pain and symptom management for patients, hospice nurses must respond to the psychological, interpersonal and spiritual needs of their patients. In addition, hospice nurses often provide emotional support for family members. Nurses also play a vital mediator role between a patient, their family and other members of a hospice care team. However, what truly distinguishes hospice nurses from nurses working in other contexts is the special time hospice nurses spend with patients, whether that be through sharing stories, advocating for patient needs or providing general emotional support to improve patient wellbeing. There is no doubt that it takes an incredible person to act as a hospice nurse. The job of a hospice nurse can be demanding and sad at times, as they deal with terminal illness, while also being enlightening and rewarding, as they contribute to preserving the colour in a patient’s life. Hospice nurses carry a great deal of responsibility as they must navigate advocating for their patient’s interests while balancing family expectations, which may not always align with the wishes of a patient. Often, hospice nurses are the sole source of support for families and patients experiencing the confusion, fear and overwhelming feelings that come with a life-limiting diagnosis. This can be a heavy load to bear but is something that hospice nurses navigate daily while simultaneously ensuring that their patient is informed and as comfortable as possible. Imagine being a patient or a family member trying to navigate this process alone, without the support, kindness and care of a hospice nurse. These special Celebrate Hospice Nurses May 9-15, 2022.

and hardworking individuals deserve both recognition and gratitude for their dedication to assisting patients and families. This National Nurses Week is from May 9-15. Find a moment to share your appreciation for hospice nurses and the necessary and selfless work they do to support those navigating a very difficult time.

Recommended Resources

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. - Author, Atul Gawande

In this award-winning book, Atul Gawande, a surgeon by trade, covers end-of-life care and hospice care and explores his thoughts on how modern medicine has changed the experience of dying.

"Simply outstanding. I picked this book up for my holiday read, and I devoured it. It is so insightful, philosophical, and ultimately leaves you wanting to make the most out of life, and treat others with empathy."

Recommended Podcasts

The Waiting Room Revolution

What's Your Grief Podcast

Palliative Care Society of the Bow Valley

Facebook: @PalliativeCareBowValley Twitter: @PCSBowValley

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10

Made with FlippingBook - Online catalogs