What is a Palliative Care Approach?

Palliative Care aims to improve the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with a life-limiting illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification, comprehensive interdisciplinary assessments, and appropriate interventions.

End-of-Life Care is special palliative care provided to an individual and their family when they are approaching a period of time closer to death, which may be exemplified by an intensification of services and assessments aimed at comfort.
(Ammended from the Palliative/End-of-life Care Alberta Provincial Framework)

Hospice Society Programs


Nav-CARE stands for "Navigating, Connecting, Accessing, Resourcing, and Engaging"

The goal of Nav-CARE is to improve the quality of life of individuals with advanced chronic illness by:

  • Relieving feelings of loneliness, isolation and anxiety.
  • Providing someone to be a sounding board.
  • Connecting to community and the world at large.
  • Locating local services and resources to help manage your illness.
  • Assisting to re-engage in hobbies and other interests.
  • One on one relationships tailored to your specific needs.

Nav-CARE utilizes:
  • Navigation services
  • Community partnerships
  • Coordinated access to services and resources
  • Promotion of active engagement of older adults. 

Through trained volunteers, the outcome of NavCare is that navigation services provide support, education and connection to resources in the community to help individuals improve their quality of life and remain in their home.

Visits take place in-home, at the convenience of individuals needing support.

To access Nav-CARE, contact Volunteer Coordinator, Joy LeBlanc at 587.322.9269

Palliative Care Approach During a Life-Limiting Illness

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This program brings together trained  HSCD volunteers with individuals who have received a diagnosis of a life-limiting illness. Quality of life is key to our service, and Hospice volunteers provide practical, emotional, and spiritual support to both clients and their families. We acknowledge that these relationships benefit and enrich both the volunteer and those facing a life-limiting illness.

Care Volunteers may help with daily tasks, listen to life stories, or simply sit in quiet companionship. Family and other supports may be present, or they can take time to step away for rest or other responsibilities.

All Hospice volunteers receive thorough training, as well as on-going support, so that they may provide a high level of excellence in service to the community.

To receive palliative care/end-of-life Hospice support contact our Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, Joy LeBlanc, at 587-322-9269, or email

Grief Companioning Program

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Grief companions are HSCD-trained volunteers offering one-on-one grief support. Based on Dr. Alan Wolfelt’s model of companioning the bereaved, companions are a compassionate, listening presence when you need a safe place to tell the story of your loss and share tears... or laughter. Meeting in your home, or out for coffee, companions fill spaces created by the loneliness of bereavement.

For more information or to register, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 587-322-9269 or email

One-On-One Grief Support

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Book time with Grief & Bereavement Navigator Lori-Ann Huot, for a conversation about your grief journey.
Assessment and referral are provided as desired.
There is no fee for this support.

Phone 780-608-0636, or email

Bereavement & Grief Workshop

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Colette Howery (retired RN, Certificate in Grief Support) and Donna Lynne Erickson (Certified Grief Facilitator) facilitate a one-day bereavement and grief workshop for the public that covers the following topics:
  • How to be a companion/grief helper to someone who has experienced a loss
  • Types of loss: loss of mobility, loss of health, loss of earning potential
  • The importance of integrating loss into our own lives first
  • That everyone’s grief journey is unique and that we all grieve differently
  • How to recognize signs of complicated grief
  • How to access appropriate community resources
Donna Lynne writes:
“Since 2011, we have met hundreds of wonderful people who have taught us the uniqueness of grief and loss. This seminar is for everyone. Learn how to walk alongside another who is suffering loss (of any type). Understand the nature of grief and how it affects your physical, mental, emotional, cognitive and social realms. There may be tears, sure to be laughter and likely a shift in your perspective when it comes to understanding the ritual of mourning.

Colette writes:
"Our losses are all different and unique, yet we have so much in common. Now, with Covid, our losses have become even more similar in the areas of fear, isolation, insecurity, and loneliness. Let's learn together how we can support each other."

This workshop is for people who are coping with grief and loss, as well as for people interested in becoming “grief helpers” – co-workers, family members or even physicians and health care professionals supporting people going through a loss.

Please note: This is a scent-free environment. 
Location: Hospice office  5415 49 Avenue, Camrose

2022 Dates:

Friday, October 14th, 2022
Friday, November 18th, 2022

Time: 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Cost: Free with registration
Register by phone: 780-608-0636

Coffee and tea will be available.
Please bring a bag lunch

Hospice Support Groups

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Hospice provides a selection of support groups throughout the year.

Groups are offered when demand is sufficient and facilitators are available; check with the office for dates:

  • Suicide Loss Grief Group (see below for more info)
  • Death of a Child Parent Loss Grief Group
  • "Art for the Heart" Children's Grief Group (ages 7-12; see below for more info)
  • Teen Grief Group (ages 13+)
  • Daytime Grief Group (see below for more info)
  • Grief Walking Group (see below for more info)
  • Men's Cooking Circle Grief Group (see below for more info)
  • Caregiver Support Group (see below for more info)
  • Cancer Survivor Support Group (see below for more info)

These groups do not necessarily run concurrently; check the "What's Happening" tab above or call the office for dates and schedules.

Daytime Grief Support Group

Sorrow is a universal human experience, one that arises from a vast array of losses.

Sometimes the symptoms of our grief are overwhelming, washing over us in waves of emotion. Making sense of our loss in a way that is transformative is at the heart of our sorrowing journey.

This support group is for adults who have experienced a loss.

Interested participants will be contacted by a facilitator who will discuss the program content, answer your questions and discuss readiness for group grief work.

Topics Covered Include:
  • Telling Our Story 
  • Soulfulness of Grief
  • Signs and Symptoms
  • Feelings
  • Looking Back
  • The Business of Reality
  • Self-compassion
  • The Legacy
  • Grief’s Journey

Group work includes discussion and activities, facilitator presentations, videos, writing exercises, journaling, and knowledge sharing. You are invited to share as you feel comfortable. You may observe only or step out of the group at any time.

Now taking Registration:

Sept 7th - Sept 28th, 2022

Hospice offices at 5415-49 ave

To Register by phone, or for more information
Call 780.608.0636 or email

Thank you to Saint Mary's Hospital, Camrose, for generously sharing their grief support facilitator's manual with Hospice

Download "Daytime grief group brochure current copy.pdf"

Grief-Support Walking Group

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This drop-in walking group meets year round on
Wednesday mornings at 9:30 am. 

Meet at the Hospice Office for a leisurely walk around Mirror Lake, followed by coffee and conversation.

Summer walking - Meet at the Hospice office - Mirror Lake Center, lower level (lake-side) 

Please register when you arrive.

Winter walking - takes place at the Camrose Recreation Center indoor walking track (2nd floor); there is a $3 fee for using the track.

Everyone is welcome to attend 
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iPad Loan Program

HSCD has iPads available for loan. As much as Covid protocols allow, the iPad comes with a Hospice Nav-CARE volunteer (see description above). This person will provide mentoring and teaching on use of the iPad for connecting to family and friends digitally.

Our digital-connection program provides clients with an iPad and charger for a thee-month period of use. A volunteer is available during this time for technical and social support, as well as supporting clients in navigating other resources to raise their quality of life.

After three months, if clients/families are comfortable with and appreciate the device they are encouraged to purchase one for themselves.

Contact the Volunteer Coordinator for more information:

P: 587.322.9269

Men's Cooking Circle

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Men's Cooking Circle is an opportunity to learn basic cooking skills, meet other men, cook and eat together, and to engage in conversation with men who are experiencing grief. This is a partnership program with Hospice, Alberta Health Services, Safeway/Sobeys, Camrose Association for Community Living, and community facilitators.
The program runs one evening per week for seven weeks, and includes a grocery store tour, nutritional information, cooking instruction, dining on the meals we prepare, and of course, rich conversation on all things grief and mourning for men.All grieving men are welcome.

Next Cooking Circle dates: TBA

To register by phone call 780.608.0636, or email
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Caregiver's Support Group

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US - Understanding Support is a gathering of support for those in caregiver roles.

Meeting twice monthly, this group provides debriefing, resources, and connections for personal caregivers.

US  is:
  • Face to face contact to share your experiences & concerns
  • Opportunity to create supportive friendships
  • Reducing isolation, an opportunity to get out of home
  • Regular, bi-monthly meetings
  • Local people, local connections
  • Avoiding Tunnel Vision   
  • Sharing feelings
  • Focusing on that which you can control
  • Finding the silver lining

* US will create space for the sharing of your unique story.
* US explores issues that may be a cause of caregiver fatigue.
* US offers suggestions for coping with day-to-day caregiving challenges that you may encounter in caring for a loved-one.

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Hospice office at Mirror Lake Centre
5415-49 Ave (lower level)
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Cancer Survivor Support Group

Are You:
  • A cancer survivor
  • A cancer patient
  • A caregiver or supporter of someone with cancer

Together we can help and support each other through sharing our questions, knowledge, and experiences.

This drop-in group meets twice monthly in the lower-level, south side of Mirror Lake Centre.

Dates: 1st and 3rd Wednesdays
Time: 6:30-8:00pm
Location: Hospice offices (5415-49 ave, south/lake side, lower level)

Not Currently Running

For more information call: Margo at 780.608.7990

Suicide prevention day

Suicide-Grief Support Group

This intake-based group is for anyone, 18 years and older, who has been affected by a death by suicide.

Not Currently Running

Call 780.608.0636 for more information. 

Threshold Choir

The Threshold singers of Hospice honour the ancient tradition of singing at the bedside for those in transition & on the threshold of life.

We practice twice a month, 1st and 3rd Wednesday evenings from 6-8pm in a private home in Camrose. We are in the beginning stages of learning our song repertoire, so will be ready to sing bedside in the New Year.

As a group, we will soon be ready to sing at care homes, private residences, Saint Mary's Hospital, Rosehaven ~ anywhere there is a need to sing bedside. We also provide demonstrations at Camrose hospice events and gatherings when requested.

As with all Hospice supports, there are no fees for this service.

For More Information:
P: Ron & Leah 780-885-9947
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From the Threshold Choir Website:
"Our goal is to bring ease and comfort to those at the thresholds of living and dying. A calm and focused presence at the bedside, with gentle voices, simple songs, and sincere kindness, can be soothing and reassuring to clients, family, and caregivers alike.

When we are invited to a bedside, we visit in groups of two to four singers. We invite families and caregivers to join us in song or to participate by listening. Many of the songs we offer are composed by Threshold Choir members specifically to communicate ease, comfort, and presence.
Because our songs are not religiously oriented, our singing is appropriate for those who are deeply spiritual, whether religious or not.

A session typically lasts about 20 minutes. Using soft, lullaby voices, we blend in harmony or sometimes in unison, if that provides the most comfort. We offer our singing as gentle blessings, not as entertainment, and we are honored when a client falls asleep as we are singing. Most of our songs are very short, so their repetition is conducive to rest and comfort. Families have said that our presence helps them to 'be' with their loved one after the “doing” is done. The service is our gift."

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Art for the Heart: A Child-Grief Support Group

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This 5-week program is for children ages 7-12 who are grieving a loss. Children will engage various art forms as a way to explore their grief.

Through art and conversation participants will be skillfully guided by our team of trained and enthusiastic facilitators in a safe, welcoming and compassionate setting.

Parents and guardians are welcome to participate with their children. A group readiness conversation will be scheduled to meet the facilitators and to answer questions about the program.

As with all Hospice programs, there are no fees to participate in this program

To register, or for more information contact the Hospice office at 780.608.0636 or email

Start date for the next group is TBA

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Death Cafè

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"Bringing grief and death out of the shadow is our spiritual responsibility, our sacred duty. By so doing, we may be able to feel our desire for life once again and remember who we are, where we belong, and what is sacred."
(Francis Weller, the Wild Edge of Sorrow)

Through open conversation in a natural, comfortable setting, we can bring death out of silence and increase awareness of death while helping people make the most of their lives.

Join the conversation at this drop-in, no-fee gathering where all things death and dying are open for discussion. All Death Cafés occur on the lower level of the Mirror Lake Center (Hospice Offices) at 5415-49 ave. Park on the south side of the building (lake side) and enter through the lower level. Ring the doorbell if the door is locked.

 Please note, this is not a grief therapy or support group; rather, it is a conversation forum.

Not Currently Running

Time: 7-8:30 pm