Who We Are

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Beverly Drever, Treva Olson
The Hospice Society of
Camrose and District
began as a dream shared by two friends, Beverly Drever (on the left) and Treva Olson (on the right). For Treva, working in hospice care has been a long-held desire; for Beverly it was the loss of her father that initiated her keen interest. With encouragement in 2010 from a nurse who spoke about the many needs in the Camrose area, the dream soon became a whole-hearted journey.

Community support for hospice care was immediately offered, and in 2011 a Hospice Society was formed. Charitable status soon followed, and plans were developed for a volunteer program that began in the Fall of 2012.

Six years later, the Hospice Society of Camrose & District is a non-residential society providing support to those with a life-limiting illness, and to their families. From compassionate bedside care to grief support, and public education, our staff and trained volunteers endeavor to support quality of life to the end of life.

In 2018, HSCD volunteers contribute between 250-300 hours/month in support of Camrose and District palliative/grief care.

The Hospice Society of Camrose and District is a registered charity, established in November 2011.
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(From Pilgrim's Hospice, Edmonton) The Sunflower is an image of strength and hope and is the international symbol of hospice. With its face turned to the sun, it generates strength within itself, showing the strength of hospice to reach out and provide care throughout a community. The seeds at the centre represent those who are suffering, their loved ones and their caregivers, surrounded by petals – the many ways hospice staff and volunteers provide compassionate care with respectful dignity.
Our Mission   
  • To enable our community to support those facing advancing illness, death and bereavement with dignity – through education and compassionate care.
Our Vision
  • To provide compassionate holistic care to those who are dying and to their loved ones.
Our Goal
  • In addition to providing quality care throughout Camrose and area, we have a goal to build a freestanding hospice facility as an alternative home for those who want to die in a comfortable, peaceful and supportive setting.

Our Charter of Values

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Values are our priorities in how we carry out our purpose.

Our values create a safe, welcoming environment for those we serve, for volunteers, for visitors, and for staff.

Hospice values encompass five arenas of care:

Physical, Social, Emotional, Spiritual, and Community

Physical Care: Individuals under our care will be treated with comfort and dignity based upon best practices and principles

Social Care: Individuals under our care will be offered companionship and hospitality

Emotional Care: Individuals under our care will be provided refuge, restoration, and compassion

Spiritual Care: Individuals under our care will be nurtured in spirit through their living and their dying, attentive to their needs, within a compassionate environment

Community Care: Hospice will serve its community with a commitment to integrity in providing education on the themes of palliative/end-of-life care and grief and bereavement
 

History of  the Modern Hospice Movement

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Dame Cicely Saunders
Hospice care is a centuries old practice that is becoming integrated into our modern health care system.  Hospice recognizes that, in addition to the best medical attention, optimal care includes emotional, social and spiritual needs as well.

As more members of our aging society face the dying process, we hope hospice care will become an integral part of the support that is offered (Excerpt is from “History of Palliative Care” – Victoria Hospice) Modern hospices or programs of care for the dying began in Britain. The most famous is St. Christopher’s Hospice in London, begun by Dame Cicely Saunders in 1967. (Pictured at right.)

Hundreds of years ago, during the Crusades of the Middle Ages, we know that hospices were often found in monasteries, established not only for the sick and dying, but also for the hungry wayfarer, the woman in labour, the needy poor, the orphan, and the leper. The goal was hospitality in its true sense: protection, refreshment, and fellowship rather than the demand for a cure.

In the 17th century, a young French priest, St. Vincent de Paul, founded the Sisters of Charity in Paris and opened several houses to care for orphans, the poor, the sick and the dying. In 1900, five of the Irish Sisters of Charity founded St. Joseph’s Convent in the East End of London and started visiting the sick in their homes. In 1902, they opened St. Joseph’s Hospice with 30 beds for the dying poor.

The first hospice programs in Canada opened in 1975 at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg and in Montreal at the Royal Victoria Hospital under Dr. Balfour Mount.

In Montreal, Dr. Mount coined the term “palliative care” (soins palliatif in French) rather than the word “hospice” which, from the early history of Lower Canada, was commonly considered a place of last resort for the poor and derelict. The word “palliative” comes from the Latin word meaning “to cover or cloak”. This unique Canadian use of the term “palliative care” caught on quickly and, in Canada, is used more frequently than “hospice”. An alternative word “home” (maison in French) is also used in Quebec.

The Palliative Care Foundation of Canada was formed in the early 1980s, later replaced by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association.

The oldest freestanding hospice house in Alberta is Agape Hospice in Calgary, founded in 1992.  Since then, hospice houses have been established in EdmontonRed DeerOkotoks and Olds.