January-February PCSBV Newsletter 2024

January / February 2024 PCSBV Bulletin

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

(403) 707-7111 | pcsbv.ca

A Decade of Dedication in Compassionate Care

Time for Celebration!

Yes, it’s hard to believe but it was 10 years ago that the idea and vision for a hospice and community based palliative care programs and services came about. Thanks to the passion and enthusiasm of Bow Valley residents, the Palliative Care Society of the Bow Valley has been able to support our community following life-changing diagnoses and experiencing grief and loss. Through the unwavering commitment of our amazing community and compassionate volunteers, we have been there for our clients, their families, friends and loved ones. We have supported many to live their best life, focus on what matters to them and the memories that they want to make, to feel at one with our beautiful surroundings. We continue to evolve as a community-based organization to meet the needs of those here in the Bow Valley. With volunteers at the heart of what we do, we now have a small team of committed staff to lead and grow the programs and services we can provide, partnering with others to provide access to all that is needed across the palliative care journey. As we enter our 10th year, we are excited to embark on the next leg of our journey – realizing the vision of a centre for palliative care and hospice alongside the community- based services, right here in the Bow Valley. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and supporters, this vision will begin to become a reality. There is still a lot to do but with our community’s support, we have no doubt that we will achieve the vision set by that dedicated group of people, 10 years ago. Thank you for being a part of our journey and the PCSBV family. Thank you for helping us make a difference in people's lives and continuing to be part of this exciting next step. We look forward to celebrating with you and the important role that you can play in helping us achieve success.

Together, we can truly make it happen.


Living with Loss Group

Palliative and grief clients have the option of accessing a personal volunteer for 1-1 support. Volunteers provide time to navigate community resources with clients to find those supports that will co-nurture client quality of life.


The Dementia Care Team is a dedicated upskilled group of volunteers who provide caregiver respite, resource navigation and physical/cognitive nurturing activities for dementia clients and their families.



Sign up for the PCSBV Volunteer Training courses! Available courses and dates can be found on our Volunteer Training Calendar.

Canmore Recreation Centre - Meet at the reception desk. A compassionate and welcoming space to connect to, learn from, and listen to each other. This drop in program is open to the public for 18+ years of age. In the months following the end of an intense caregiving role, navigating a new normal that is comfortable and rewarding can be challenging. We offer a Life After Caregiving Group. Reach out for support or to register for one of our programs at info@pcsbv.ca or call 403-707-7111.





Living with Loss Winter Dates

DEMENTIA CAREGIVING Managing the Challenges of Care

Caregivers of loved-ones with dementia face a unique set of challenges that demand immense resilience, compassion, and adaptability. Witnessing the gradual decline in cognitive function and personality changes can be emotionally taxing. Care providers often grapple with feelings of grief and loss as they navigate the evolving landscape of their loved one's identity. Practical challenges further compound the caregiver's experience. Daily tasks become more demanding as they cope with the increasing dependence of the individual with dementia. From managing medications to addressing safety concerns, caregivers must navigate a complex caregiving role that extends beyond the typical responsibilities associated with aging family members. According to a study by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, care providers of older adults with dementia provide 26 hours of care a week, on average. Communication hurdles present a significant challenge as well. Dementia alters cognitive abilities, making it difficult for individuals to express themselves coherently. Caregivers often find themselves deciphering non-verbal cues and adapting their communication styles to connect with their loved ones effectively. The emotional toll of caregiving is profound. Constant vigilance and the need for patience in handling repetitive behaviors or mood swings can lead to burnout. Care partners may experience feelings of isolation as the demands of caregiving limit their social interactions and personal time. Building a support network, seeking respite care, and staying informed about dementia care strategies can significantly alleviate the burden. The caregiving journey for those with a family member with dementia is a complex experience, requiring a delicate balance of empathy, self-care, and adaptability. Did you know, every year, family and friends provide more than 470 million hours of care to people living with dementia?

At the PCSBV we provide support to help the caregiver with the day to day activities and offer support to the loved-one experiencing dementia. Our Dementia Care Team is a dedicated upskilled group of volunteers supporting families. Volunteers provide caregiver respite, resource navigation and physical/cognitive nurturing activities for dementia clients and their families. They are creative in finding activities suitable to the client and/or caregiver that are rewarding, fun and gives them a sense of contribution and purpose, as their sense of, and status in their community, shifts and evolves. The volunteer is a solid and valued member in their circle of support and this gives the dementia clients more of a chance to be at home and maintain some independence. As with the care providers, our volunteers find that despite challenges, there is a real sense of purpose and fulfillment in their role. Please reach out if you would like access our network of support or if you are interested in becoming one of our volunteers!

Contact: info@pcsbv.ca



Click on the link >> DONATE 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.

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 Hospice building 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 fd@pcsbv.ca or call (403) 707-7633



Living well after being diagnosed with a life-changing illness involves embracing a holistic approach that addresses physical, emotional, and social well-being. Embracing a Healthy Lifestyle Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is paramount. This includes balanced nutrition, regular exercise tailored to individual abilities, and sufficient rest. Consulting healthcare professionals for personalized guidance is essential in navigating the complexities of the illness. Nurturing Emotional Well-being Equally important is nurturing emotional well-being. Acceptance of the diagnosis, coupled with seeking support from mental health professionals, friends, and family, can help individuals cope with the emotional challenges that may arise. Establishing a strong support network fosters resilience and provides a valuable outlet for expressing feelings. Making Social Connections Social connections become a lifeline during such times. Engaging in activities that bring joy and fulfillment, spending time with loved ones, and participating in support groups can combat isolation. Maintaining a sense of purpose, whether through work, hobbies, or volunteering, contributes significantly to overall well-being. Embracing Mindfulness and Self Care Mindfulness and other self-care techniques aid in navigating the emotional roller coaster that often accompanies a life- changing diagnosis. Setting realistic goals and celebrating small victories helps individuals focus on what they can control, fostering a positive mindset. In essence, living well with a life-changing illness involves a multifaceted approach that acknowledges both the physical and emotional dimensions of health. By prioritizing self-care, seeking support, and fostering meaningful connections, individuals can enhance their quality of life despite the challenges posed by the diagnosis.

Recreational therapy can help with enhancing the quality of life for individuals facing a life-changing illness by addressing not only their physical challenges, but also their emotional and psychological well-being. This form of therapy utilizes various recreational activities to promote engagement, social interaction, and a sense of accomplishment, ultimately contributing to a holistic approach to care. It helps individuals maintain or improve their physical function. Tailored activities such as adapted sports, yoga, or aqua therapy are designed to address specific physical limitations while promoting flexibility, strength, and overall mobility. These activities are often adapted to suit individual needs, allowing participants to engage in meaningful physical pursuits despite their diagnosis. Moreover, recreational therapy serves as a powerful tool in alleviating the emotional burden associated with a life- changing diagnosis. Creative arts, music therapy, and nature-based activities provide avenues for self-expression and emotional release, allowing individuals to explore their feelings and fears in a supportive environment. These activities can contribute to a sense of normalcy and help individuals regain a degree of control over their lives. The social aspect of recreational therapy is equally significant. Group activities foster connections with others facing similar challenges, creating a supportive community that understands the unique struggles and triumphs associated with a life-limiting diagnosis. This sense of camaraderie can combat feelings of isolation and provide a valuable network of emotional support. Additionally, addressing physical and emotional well-being, recreational therapy enhances overall quality of life by promoting a sense of joy and fulfillment. Engaging in enjoyable activities, whether it be through art, music, or outings, allows individuals to focus on their abilities rather than limitations, fostering a positive mindset and contributing to an improved outlook on life that empowers individuals to lead fulfilling lives, promoting well-being throughout their journey.

READI NG RECOMMENDATION Hope for the Best, Plan for the Rest, is a new book authored by Dr. Seow and Dr. Winemaker.

Preventative Health Awareness Month! FEBRUARY IS What preventative health measures do you take for maintaining overall well-being and reducing the risk of developing chronic illnesses? Here are three key actions individuals can take to prioritize preventative health:

“When you are diagnosed with a life-changing illness, it can be overwhelming. While your diagnosis cannot be changed, the way you experience your illness can.”

Regular Exercise:

Engaging in regular physical activity is one of the most effective ways to prevent various health issues. Exercise helps control weight, improves mood, strengthens bones and muscles, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases

Purchase your copy today - proceeds to PCSBV!

such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Healthy Eating Habits:

We have several of these books available for purchase. Thanks to the generosity of the authors, part of the proceeds go to PCSBV. If you would like to purchase copies, please call 403-707-7111 or email info@pcsbv.ca.

Adopting a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for preventing many health conditions. Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods provides essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support overall health and help prevent obesity, heart disease, stroke, and other chronic conditions.


Have you got a New Year’s Resolution to read more books this year? Let us know if you would be interested in in book club to read The book Hope for the Best, Plan for the Rest and gather with community for conversation and coffee!

Routine Health Screenings and Check-ups: Regular health check-ups and screenings are vital for detecting potential health problems early when they are most treatable. Schedule routine appointments with your healthcare provider for preventive care, vaccinations, and discussions about maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


Recreation Therapy Month Preventative Health Awareness Month

February 4 - World Cancer Day February 14 - Valentine’s Day February 19 - Family Day

By incorporating these preventative health measures into your daily routine, you can proactively safeguard your health and well-being for the long term.

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