(Black Press file photo)

Victoria Hospice bereavement services coming to the West Shore

Services like counselling and drop-in bereavement group sessions will be available

Victoria Hospice services will be coming to the West Shore in the new year and it’s a welcome expansion, according to a Hospice official.

Come January, weekly patient consults with a palliative care physician and community counsellor as well as bereavement counselling sessions and a weekly drop-in group will be hosted at the Esquimalt/Westshore Health Unit.

Up until now, West Shore residents had to travel to Victoria to access these services which could be difficult, according to Tom Arnold, director of fund development at Victoria Hospice.

Arnold said a number of Hospice patients come from the West Shore and said he hopes they will take advantages of the new services being offered in their community.

Some major services being provided are one-on-one counselling and the drop-in bereavement support group.

“What we often hear from people who’ve experienced the death of a family member is that their friends are great but unless they’ve experienced death themselves they just don’t get it,” Arnold said. “It makes such a difference for bereaved people to be around other people who have similar experiences.”

Victoria Hospice serves roughly 1,000 patients a year in Greater Victoria and Arnold said the demand is continuing to grow.

“We know we need to do more to help people on the West Shore,” Arnold said.

Another service that will be offered is the opportunity to consult with a palliative care physician.

Arnold said Hospice is working with Island Health and local general practitioners in the community to find ways to support patients who want to be at home.

In Canada, an average of 75 per cent of people say they prefer the idea of dying at home. Arnold said data from the West Shore shows that when patients registered with Victoria Hospice, more than 80 per cent have been able to die at home or in a hospice setting.

“But we also know there’s a lot of patients we’re not reaching and that we’re not doing enough for,” Arnold said.

While the clinic is slotted to open in January, Arnold noted that the holidays can be a tough time for people who have lost a loved one. He offered some tips to help people get through the holidays: The holidays are a time where many people expect you to be cheerful and joyous but if you’ve just experienced a death you may not feel like you want to be. Understand that’s OK.

It’s OK to miss the person you love over the holidays.

Thinking about traditions can be important to people to honour a loved one but for others it can be hard. Give yourself the freedom to be flexible, especially in that first year.

Do something to keep the memory of your loved one alive. It can be something as simple as lighting a candle or doing something you used to love doing with them.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Saanich’s 20-year-old acting mayor encourages other young people get involved in politics

There is a ‘hunger for young voices’ in politics right now

Personal health scare inspires Sidney’s newest gym

Arne Jackson said the scare was a ‘wake-up call’

Designs for Johnson Street Bridge waterfront areas hit delays

Upgrades to the Songhees Park, surrounding area being presented Thursday

Supplemental information for SD63 students circulates as strike appears close to end

Letters were sent to families of SD63 students late last week

UPDATE: Northbound lanes open 20 minutes at a time on Malahat after small rockslide

Traffic backed up from Goldstream, clean-up crews on site

Abortions rights advocates urge Liberals to turn politics into policy

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was pressed to clarify his stance abortion over several weeks

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Most Read