Fundraisers Coming Up as Day Hospice Program is Introduced this Spring

hospicelogoHospice Miramichi, Inc., a charitable non-profit volunteer organization, was established in March 2011 and received its corporate status in July. The focus of hospice palliative care is on comfort not cure and on life not death. Hospice Miramichi is seeking to raise the awareness of the unique needs of those living with life threatening illnesses where cure is not an option and medications are no longer controlling the condition. Hospice Miramichi will work within the community to provide practical care and support for clients and families in their homes, in nursing homes, hospitals and residential care facilities (special care homes) .Hospice Miramichi volunteers will be trained to provide practical and emotional support during the end stages of life and through the grieving process.

The plan is to bring hospice to Miramichi in three (3) phases. The first phase, the Hospice Outreach Program was introduced to the community in June 2013. Volunteer in- home practical, non-medical support services are offered to families who are living with life threatening illnesses with limited prognoses. These support services may improve the quality of life for the dying and include friendly visiting and companionship, transportation to appointments, assistance with shopping and light meal prep, assistance with pet care along with spiritual, emotional and grief and bereavement support.

The former "Bishop's Palace" located at 14 Howard Street beside St. Michael's Cathedral is the future location of the Hospice Day Program.

The former “Bishop’s Palace” located at 14 Howard Street beside St. Michael’s Cathedral is the future location of the Hospice Day Program.

The second phase of Hospice Miramichi’s plan to introduce hospice services to the Miramichi and surrounding areas will be in the addition of the Day Hospice Program (DHP). This program is the first such service within the province of New Brunswick. When a person is diagnosed with a progressive life- threatening illness family and friends may unintentionally focus on the illness not on the person. They make comments such as “my dying husband, instead of “my husband who is dying.” At the Day Hospice Program, Hospice Miramichi will focus on the individual’s potential to “live to the fullest” in the time that remains.

The DHP will provide diversion, support and respite for those individuals/families living with life threatening illnesses with limited prognoses. This service will be available up to three times a week through self-referral or referral from family, physician or health care provider. Family, hospice volunteer drivers, or community partners, will pick up the participants in the morning and deliver them to the facility at 14 Howard Street at 10 am where coffee, tea and muffins will be served upon arrival. A light lunch will be provided at 12:30. At 3 pm, transportation home will be available if required.

Activities for the DHP may include art and music therapy, woodworking, alternative therapies such as yoga, meditation, massage and Reiki, along with recreational activities including cards, puzzles, reading, and letter writing. As well, hair stylists and estheticians have agreed to donate their services to hospice.

Great way to spend Valentine's Day

Great way to spend Valentine’s Day

The benefits of the DHP to the individual is two- fold. The individual’s participation in the program, not only provides respite for the family, but also more importantly, the person will receive compassionate companionship and support from volunteers, and others going through similar situations. The DHP may provide a sense of normalcy for clients experiencing life limiting conditions and perhaps, for a few hours each week, the person may forget about their illness.

Knowing that people with breathing difficulties have the potential to isolate themselves in their home, Hospice will be purchasing several oxygen concentrators. This will accommodate clients who are on oxygen therapy at home and will enable the individual to attend the DHP.

The DHP is supported by trained volunteers and is free of charge although donations will be gratefully accepted. In order to attend the DHP, participants must be a client of the Hospice Outreach Program. The tentative date for the opening of the DHP is in early spring 2015.

The focus of hospice palliative care is on comfort, not cure, and on life, not death.

The focus of hospice palliative care is on comfort, not cure, and on life, not death.

Due to the fact that all services of Hospice Miramichi are free of charge, fundraising has become instrumental to the success of the program. At present, Hospice Miramichi have created a $50-50/50 fundraiser. Only 5000 tickets have been printed. With a $50 ticket purchase the individual’s name will be entered into the draw for a chance to win 50% of the dollar value of the number of tickets sold. If all 5000 tickets are sold by noon on February 13, 2015 the winner will receive a cash prize of $125,000. The draw for the $50-50/50 fundraising initiative will take place during the next Hospice fundraising event “A Taste of Chocolate” being held February 14, 2015 at Rodd Miramichi. Entertainment for this year’s event is Ron Hynes. Ron, a former member of the Newfoundland group The Wonderful Grand Band and the composer of the song “Sonny’s Dream” has received many awards over the years in honour of his amazing talent as a performer and songwriter.

Executive Director Connie Doucet anticipates that the cost for the renovations necessary in order to open the DHP will be approximately $50,000. Improvements to the building will not only be of benefit to those individuals participating in the DHP, but also to those who choose to receive their end of life care in the community based Residential Hospice facility scheduled to open in 2018 thus completing the third phase of the plan to introduce hospice services to the community.

For further information on any of the community programs being offered by Hospice Miramichi you can contact Connie Doucet at 773-7607 or by email at .

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