Hospice Society expands into Kimberley

End of life comfort, bereavement support among services offered

As first reported in 2012, the Cranbrook Hospice Society is expanding into Kimberley. This week at Kimberley City Council, Don and Jeany Davidson from the Hospice Society reported on how the integration has gone thus far.

“We are pleased to report that the expansion into Kimberley is going very well,” Don Davidson said. “We are also pleased to announce that we graduated 10 more trained volunteers last November and five of them were from Kimberley.

“We are now in a very good position to start providing services on an ongoing basis.”

The name has officially been changed to the Cranbrook Kimberley Hospice Society and three Kimberley residents now sit on the Board. They are Joanne Lamb, who was formerly responsible for a great deal of the Interior Health services provided out of Kimberley, Kim Miller, who is a social worker, and Jackie Van Zyll, a physician currently on hiatus while raising her young children.

While pleased with that number, the Davidsons said that more board members from Kimberley would always be welcome.

The Hospice Society provides support during the end of life process, for both the dying and their family. That support extends  through to bereavement support.

Volunteers are selected to try to match client’s interests, and those volunteers will visit in the hospital, at home, in an extended care facility — wherever the client happens to be.

The Society also offers advance care planning — how much or how little end of life care is wished, and who will speak for you. They are looking into bereavement support for children, which would be offered through the schools.

Another priority for the Hospice Society is a needs analysis, a look at what services are available, where they overlap and where gaps occur.

Davidson reported that the Society had evolved through different funding models through the years and have now built one they feel can be sustainable. He said rather than relying on grants, which can and do dry up, the Hospice Society runs on a very lean budget.

“We get occasional donations and we are a United Way organization,” he said. “We manage to eke out as needed and we keep costs to a bare minimum.”

Mayor Ron McRae thanked the Society for providing what he called a wonderful service.

If you wish to get in touch with the Cranbrook Kimberley Hospice Society, call 250-417-2019 or  email hospice1@telus.net