A Letter from June

 A Client's sister says thank you to hospice

Flower borderI wanted to write a note to let you know how much hospice means to families such as ours. My sister was in care at the hospital for a very long time. Longer than she ever expected. No one wants to be there. No matter how cheery the staff, it is still impersonal, it is still not home.

In acute or short term situations families are often able to be present as support, but when a patient is in long term care, and when family members are thousands of miles way, or those in the vicinity are working long hours at their jobs, and in general tending to their own unavoidable demands, there are inevitably long hours when the confined loved one is is very much alone.  For us, to have the hospice volunteer come in every week was a godsend.

Barb was so warm and joyful, and she truly paid attention to the particulars of our family. I would make a special tea for my sister when we were in Kemptville, and Barb took it upon herself to learn how to make it so that she could bring a thermos for my sister when we were back home in the North Bay area. She learned that my sister enjoyed mystery stories so began a story which they shared each week, both looking forward to the next chapter. My sister was delightfully literate, and when Barb would come across a word new to her, my sister would always know the word, so that it became an affectionate joke as Barb would stop and tease "oh I suppose you know what that means", and of course she did. I know that my sister must have loved their time together sitting outside in the warm summer air, hearing a new chapter each week.

 

It is so unfortunate that there are not enough volunteers to allow for more than just a few hours a week. I hired someone to take my sister home when we had to leave Kemptville and make the drive back to attend to  obligations at our home. We were fortunate that we could do this and that the woman we hired was such a wonderful compassionate person. Also, the fact that there is a wheelchair accessible van in your area is a great asset. But I saw many lonely faces the weeks when I was there, and how comforting it would have been for them to have a regular caring visitor to look forward to each week. Better yet, each day!!   

Wouldn't it be an amazing thing if there could be an actual building designated for a hospice, with beds and staff to bring a little kindness into this world. 

 

There have been many great individuals who at the ends of their lives were asked the inevitable question "what is the answer?" And how often has the reply been, "kindness".  There are many things one could invest in out there, but what could be a greater choice than to invest in kindness. In the end, there can be nothing more profound than that.

 

So once again thank you for this unbelievably important work. I know that should you have the opportunity to grow, you will effect deep and lasting changes on this planet.

 

                                            With warm regards, 

 

 

                                                   June Keevil

 

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Testimonials

  • “I can say without a sliver of doubt that without all the people and on-going mental health support for me as a caregiver from everyone at Beth Donovan Hospice not only would “our Joanie” not have been able to come home, she would not have had the quality of end of life full-on ‘LIVING’ she was able to experience in the short time she had once home.”
  • “Thank you for all the wonderful weeks. ‘Hospice day’ is a highlight! Thank you as well to all the volunteers – they add so much to our day out!”
  • “For us, to have the hospice volunteer come in every week was a godsend; she was so warm and joyful, and she truly paid attention to the particulars of our family. She learned that my sister enjoyed mystery stories so began a story which they shared each week, both looking forward to the next chapter. I know that my sister must have loved their tie together sitting outside in the warm summer air, hearing a new chapter each week.”
  • “I can’t thank the hospice enough for all their help, concern and mostly professionalism they showed in sorting out Grandma’s dilemma. It’s people like you that make our community a great place to live.”

  • “I want to thank you for your care and concern shown to our loved one during his illness. He certainly appreciated all you did as do I. He looked forward to his volunteer visiting, she was always professional and treated him with dignity. I was so grateful she came the morning he went to hospital. Thank you so much.”

Volunteer Share

  • “Being a hospice volunteer is an amazingly rewarding experience. Being able to give comfort and support to families while they are facing a very difficult time, or being able to give them a few hours a week even just to sit and chat, can mean so much to them. I am proud to be part of this wonderful organization and have formed lasting friendships with other volunteers as well as the staff.”

    Sandra Mackenzie, Home-Visiting Volunteer

  • “When I lost my mother and mother-in-law, the hospice and palliative care they received meant the world to us. I knew then it was my volunteer calling. Weighed against other volunteer experiences, this is by far the most meaningful for me. When it comes to end-of-life, we can’t fix the situation or alter the course, but we can make the journey a little better along the way. To ‘make the best day possible’ for clients and their families, that’s my hope.”

    Daryl Webber, Home-Visiting Volunteer

Stories

  • Beth Donovan (1943 - 2010)
    My journey to hospice began many years ago. As a new grad from Brockville General Hospital in 1963 I started my nursing Career in the…
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1107 French Settlement Road,
Kemptville, ON, K0G1J0 

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