Pal­lia­tive Care Pro­gram din­ner was a sell out suc­cess

The Standard (Elliot Lake) - - NEWS -

The Pal­lia­tive Care Pro­gram She ex­plained what the Pal­lia­tive Care Pro­gram does.

“El­liot Lake Pal­lia­tive Care’s mis­sion is to as­sist clients by pro­vid­ing trained caring, com­pas­sion­ate vol­un­teers to sup­port them and their fam­i­lies dur­ing the pal­lia­tive stage of their ter­mi­nal ill­ness.”

She added that the pro­gram pro­vides ser­vices in homes, the hospi­tal and long-term care fa­cil­i­ties.

“Since April of this year, we’ve been pro­vid­ing ser­vices to 32 clients.”

She ex­plained that they to­talled 1,200 hours of vol­un­teer time. The vol­un­teers spend up to four hours each time with the client as well as pro­vide respite for the care­givers, and they try to al­le­vi­ate their fears and anx­i­eties.

“They also help with let­ter writ­ing, video mes­sages, and sup­port their fam­i­lies through the grief be­fore, dur­ing and after the death.”

Fer­land Ger­rard says they get fund­ing from the North East Lo­cal Health In­te­gra­tion Net­work (LHIN) in the amount of $57,000 per year. After op­er­a­tional costs and wages, there is not much left for pro­gram­ming.

How­ever, this year the El­liot Lake Pal­lia­tive Care Pro­gram is re­ceiv­ing an ad­di­tional $5,200, and they must ex­pand the pro­gram to in­clude Span­ish.

But there is a need for fundrais­ing.

The money raised by the din­ner would go to­ward pro­gram­ming such as be­reave­ment sup­port, train­ing vol­un­teers and to ad­vo­cate for a res­i­den­tial hospice in El­liot Lake, she ex­plains.

They also need to re­cruit more vol­un­teers in El­liot Lake and in Span­ish.

She says they hope to add a new part-time po­si­tion to ex­pand their pro­grams to in­clude com­mu­nity ed­u­ca­tion ini­tia­tives, such as ad­vanced care plan­ning. That would help clients to doc­u­ment their med­i­cal wishes if they can’t speak for them­selves at the end of life.

She would also like to de­velop mu­sic ther­apy.

“It helps peo­ple to re­lax, to re­mem­ber fond mem­o­ries and can set a peace­ful at­mos­phere.”

She says they would also like to pur­chase vir­tual re­al­ity glasses. How­ever, that re­quires train­ing, which also comes with a cost.

Fer­land Ger­rard hopes to hold a sim­i­lar event next year. How­ever, the theme might change.

Photos by KEVIN MC­SH­EF­FREY/THE STAN­DARD

Ac­cor­dion­ist Rose Neufeld was wan­der­ing through the Collins Hall en­ter­tain­ing those who at­tended the El­liot Lake Pal­lia­tive Care Pro­gram’s fundrais­ing din­ner ‘An Evening in Tus­cany Fundraiser Gala’ on Oct. 27.

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