September PCSBV Newsletter 2022

The PCSBV Bulletin September 2022



Welcome to the PCSBV team, Theresa!

In order to achieve the PCSBV vision, one of the key goals for Theresa is to connect with as many stakeholders as possible to build on what already exists and help to fill in the gaps. “Another goal is to make sure that we truly understand what is needed. There are many great models for palliative care around the world, but it will be important to understand what our community needs and what works best for us.” Most importantly, Theresa would like to create a change in the conversation about palliative care. She says, “Yes, it provides support at end of life, but to have the best impact on an individual’s journey, it starts so much earlier, at the point when the life-limiting illness is diagnosed, sometimes months or years earlier.” As CEO and only two weeks into the role, Theresa looks forward to continuing to engage with community members, partners and donors, discovering ways to work together to achieve the PCSBV vision. “To see the establishment of a Bow Valley wide palliative care program and services which includes a hospice, respite care and in home support and complements the existing services available - Now that would be an achievement!” - Theresa Radwell, CEO PCSBV

The Palliative Care Society of the Bow Valley is thrilled that Theresa Radwell has joined the team as the CEO. Theresa shares the vision to support individuals and their families with a full spectrum of palliative and end-of-life care in the Bow Valley and is passionate about the opportunity to lead the organization to make this vision a reality. “Many of us have experience of how palliative care can make a difference to a person's journey following the diagnosis of a life-limiting illness. It's often seen as something people discuss at the end of their life, however, it is so much more,” Theresa says, “PCSBV’s vision is to support individuals and their families throughout the journey. We are fortunate that we already have access to some incredible palliative care here in the Bow Valley. I am looking forward to working with the people who are already involved to build on what we have, to provide people with more access to palliative care support when and where they need it closer to home.” Theresa brings an inclusive leadership style and is a long-standing champion for engaging all voices in the delivery of high-quality care, health services and research that addresses real questions and gaps in knowledge.




Mondays | 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

Wednesdays | 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Bill Harder welcomes clients at the Banff Canmore Community Foundation, 214 Banff Avenue. Email Bill at

Virtual Drop-in Grief Support Group starts up Sept 7th and runs weekly. Email Bill at to register and receive the Zoom link.


The Canmore Grief Support Walking Group starts September 7th . Meeting on Wednesdays from 4:45pm to 5:30pm. We meet at the community mailboxes at Riverside Park which is south of 8th on River Road. This is a no-cost, drop-in grief conversation group, open to all 18+ who are grieving. We will walk and chat for about 30 minutes and then stop for a guided conversation on the themes of loss and grief.

Please direct any questions to Bill Harder at


October 16, 9:00 am to Noon Effective Listening (Facilitator: Dr. Tiffany Kriz)

Volunteer Training Dates

October 14, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm Role of the Volunteer (Facilitator: Bill Harder)

October 16, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Virtual and Phone Supports (Facilitator: Bill Harder)

October 15, 9:00 am to Noon: Grief Companioning (Facilitator: Bill Harder)

October 25, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm Emotional & Psychological Supports (Facilitator: Jackie Baker) To Register, please email Bill at This will ensure that we have your email address to send out course materials and Zoom link.

October 15, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm Exploring Spirituality (Facilitator: Rev. Dr. Richard LeSueur)

SPECIAL SPEAKERS SERIES VIRTUAL PRESENTATION Nov 9, 2022 11:00 am to 12:30 pm Dr. Samantha (Sammy) Winemaker Co-host of the "Waiting Room Revolution" podcast


Golfers, sponsors, patrons and donors made our 4th Annual Golf Tournament amazing, and helped raise more than $74,000. Plus, an additional $12,000 of in-kind gifts were contributed by our community to this year's tournament.

As well, an important emphasis is put on the celebration of the individual’s life and the continued creation of life by the Creator. Traditions and cultural practices belonging to Anishinaabe First Nations differ from those held by Indigenous communities across Canada. It is thus important to understand that different cultures in Canada have different perspectives on death. Hospice or end-of-life care looks differently for each Canadian depending on their culture, upbringing and way of life. Learning about the numerous Indigenous approaches to death can allow members of the hospice community to better understand and respect the unique needs and wishes of Indigenous individuals as they reach the end of their life.

Indigenous Peoples: Perspectives on Death

September 30th is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day is meant to honour the thousands of lost Indigenous children and survivors of residential schools, and other oppressive means taken, as well as impacted families and communities. This day also serves as a reminder of the importance of the collective obligation of Canadians and everyone who are visitors to Turtle Island to further the reconciliation process. Education and self-reflection are vital components of reconciliation. Everyone should learn more about the oppressive history and present, impacts of intergenerational trauma, governance differences, and reflect on their own bias, stereotypes, and behaviours. We should also come to appreciate, amplify, and restore the distinct languages, cultural practices, spiritual beliefs and traditional knowledge. These were actively suppressed and now need to return in order to heal. As we come together to see the truth and continue to learn, whether that is through reading, listening, talking, by coming together in understanding, we can move forward to build reciprocal relationships to create positive long lasting impact. What can our efforts mean for Indigenous Peoples and Communities? It will help heal, restore humanity and dignity. What can this learning mean for members of the hospice and palliative care community? It means care providers are taking up the responsibility and humility that every Canadian has to contribute to right the wrongs of our past ancestors and leaders of this country. Before the arrival of settlers to Turtle Island (or what is known as North America in common language today) Indigenous communities had their own distinct practices and beliefs on death and the process of passing. One of these perspectives is held by the Anishinaabe, a group of culturally connected First Nations that traditionally lived in the Great Lakes area. Many Anishinaabe First Nations hold ceremonies before the death of an individual that are meant to help safely guide their spirit after death. Often, different sacred medicines such as sage or sweet grass are burned to purify an individual nearing death.

End of Life Rituals

How Can Rituals be a Source of Comfort for an Individuals with a Life-Limiting Illness?

In the context of hospice care, many people believe that rituals are inherently religious. Many consider rituals to be certain actions performed before an individual’s death that align with their spiritual beliefs. However, rituals are not necessary religious, and can be a source of comfort for any individual with a life-limiting illness and their loved ones. Rituals are actions that are meant to show care and promote the comfort of an individual before their death. While some rituals can be as simple as holding an individual’s hand, sitting next to them or brushing their hair, other rituals are more complex. Sometimes loved ones will hum or sing a certain song, read a story, or remind the individual that they are loved and that they will be remembered. Rituals can be chosen and performed based on the specific needs and wishes of an individual and their loved ones and thus differ greatly. Rituals are especially beneficial for both patients in hospice care and their family members. Rituals can serve as a source of comfort or relaxation during a particularly difficult or stressful time, such as the period before death. The calming nature of rituals can soothe the feelings of pain and sadness that surround an individual’s end of life. Rituals can also be a way of expressing love for an individual who is facing death. In this way, performing rituals can not only improve the comfort of an individual at the end of their life, but also help family members cope with the loss of a loved one.


Help today for support tomorrow!

The Palliative Care Society of the Bow Valley offers essential services to those in our community experiencing life-altering changes, including terminal diagnoses, life-limiting illness, and grief.

Together with supporters like you we can achieve our goals for better palliative care services and programs delivered to communities in the Bow Valley.



$42 per month

Our volunteers make a DIFFERENCE in client’s lives on a weekly basis. Giving $42 per month supports the training of a client-care volunteer

$500 per year

For health care workers Town staff Parks staff Parents, teachers, child support staff The Bow Valley community We offer workshops on navigating grief and loss: Giving $500 per year helps us maintain these important workshops.


Your donations are used for programs with the greatest need of 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 are an easy way to give and will ensure constant support for our programs and services throughout the years.

Here are the ways you can make a donation:


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 .

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

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

Geriatricians: Specialists in Aging

Upcoming Public Event The Needs of Aging September 27, 2022 7:00 pm PCSBV volunteer, Karl Wahl, will be presenting a talk on the needs of the aging.

What are geriatricians?

Many people’s familiarity with the term “pediatrician” does not extend to the term “geriatrician”. Just as there are doctors who specialize in treating children, there are doctors whose focus is on older adults, specifically those who are more than 65 years old. Geriatricians are doctors with specialized education and training that allows them to effectively respond to the complex health matters faced by many older adults. Examples include balance issues, incontinence, arthritis, depression, cancer and heart disease. As old age can complicate the treatment of these issues, geriatricians are often best positioned to assist older adults who are experiencing one or more of these conditions and may also have underlying conditions. While geriatricians specialize in treating illnesses or health matters in older adults, there is a more holistic side to their treatment. They often work to improve an older individual’s quality of life. As aging adults experience changes to their bodies, their habits and way of life may need to adjust, which can be difficult to accept. Geriatricians work to understand these changes within the context of a patient’s specific lifestyle in order to offer more effective and personalized treatment. The guidance of a geriatrician can be especially beneficial for older adults who have been diagnosed with a life- limiting illness. Geriatricians are experienced in managing the effects of these illnesses that especially impact older adults. Their holistic approach to care and treatment emphasizes the importance of preserving a patient’s comfort and quality of life. Finally, many geriatricians are trained in offering hospice care. These aspects of geriatricians’ work make them particularly well-suited to assist older individuals who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness.

Open to the public. Masks are required to enter. Origin at Spring Creek, 808 Spring Creek Drive Canmore, AB, T1W 0K3

Canadian Virtual Hospice offers learning opportunities to enhance understanding of Indigenous values, beliefs, and views about care. Indigenous Cultural Safety Training: Advanced illness, palliative care and grief

Find it at:

Upcoming Special Dates and Events

Orange Shirt Day/ Truth and Reconciliation Day - September 30 World Hospice and Palliative Care Day - October 8 National Hospice Palliative Care Day for Children - October 13 Healthcare Aide/ Assistant Day - October 18 National Bereavement Day – November 15 Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Conference - Nov. 16 -17


Dr. Atul Gawande on Aging, Dying and "Being Mortal". Full Documentary

Palliative Care Society of the Bow Valley

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