2020 Annual Campaign
How We Die Matters.
Hospice Northwest provides care at the end of life in areas that are challenging, underserviced, under-resourced and sometimes forgotten. We aim to be leaders in providing volunteers in areas that are sometimes avoided by others such as dementia care and long-term care settings.
Hospice Northwest responds to the needs of the community. Our grassroots organization strives to promote normalization of dying and death in our community and region.
Hospice Northwest provides a high-quality service utilizing specially trained and well supported volunteers from a variety of backgrounds.
How Does Hospice Benefit Our Community?
Volunteers and the training are the core of our organization
Volunteers provide psychosocial (emotional and behavioural) and spiritual support. In addition, they provide grief and bereavement support
Volunteers make regular visits to provide support and companionship
Communication with Family Members
Individuals need to choose a primary decision maker who will manage information and coordinate family involvement and support.
Ensuring that everyone in the family understands the client's wishes. It's important for anyone diagnosed with a life-limiting illness to discuss their feelings with loved ones before a medical crisis occurs.
Pivoting in a Time of Need
A Message from Cherie Kok, Executive Director
On March 13, 2020, as COVID-19 hit Northwestern Ontario, we quickly realized that our 34-year-old organization would be greatly impacted by this worldwide pandemic. As you can imagine. our organization is built on personal visits, holding hands, compassionately listening, and helping individuals, as well as their families, at the end of their lives. As each day presented new protocols surrounding COVID-19, we immediately felt helpless in determining how to provide our quality services to our clients.
We needed to provide the same level of companionship and comfort, but HOW?
Our staff quickly came together during this unsettling pandemic and realized that we needed to pivot and be flexible in the way we serviced our clients. As you may know, Hospice Northwest provides care at the end of life in areas that are challenging, underserviced, under-resourced and sometimes forgotten. We aim to be leaders in providing volunteers in areas that are sometimes avoided by others, such as dementia care.
Although, COVID-19 disrupted the services of our volunteers, we quickly pivoted to still reach out to our clients and isolated seniors in our community.
Fortunately, our team worked quickly, and our volunteers rose to the challenge. However, the PPE costs involved in preparing and training our volunteers has greatly affected the financial position of our organization
Between supplies and additional training, Hospice Northwest has increased our expenses exponentially
Our organization needed to respond to the challenges of the pandemic and still provide compaionship and comfort
We started a new program called Support-a-Senior, phoning and keeping in touch with seniors in our community who do not have access to other support systems.
In addition, we are noticing an overwhelming increase for grief services. We are developing a new Indigenous grief group called Gashkindamede'e (Be Grieved from the Heart)
We are now training our volunteers to utilize technology to reach out to our clients as well as utilize safety measures by supplying the proper PPE to visit clients within their home.
I became intimately involved with Hospice Northwest when my mother needed End-of-Life Care in 2016. My mother was matched with a wonderful hospice care volunteer, visiting my mother two and three times per week, and furthermore, communicating with me and my sister Mary, as we all did our best to offer loving, supportive care during the last few months of Mom’s life.
And ‘very’ recently, my mother’s sister (a single woman without children, whom we brought from Toronto to Thunder Bay two years ago) has been referred from Assisted Living to Hospice Care at St Joseph’s.
I would like to thank Hospice Northwest for the wonderful and ‘very-personal’ supports they have offered to my mother and my aunt.