Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Hospice palliative care?
Hospice palliative care is the active, expert and gentle care of people with serious progressive illness when cure is not expected and includes support to individuals who are caregiving for someone at the end of life, and to those who have suffered the loss of someone such as a family member or a friend.
The terms Hospice and palliative care are used interchangeably in most parts of Canada. Hospice palliative care, or comfort care, is an integrated program in which expert physical, social, emotional and spiritual support is provided to patients and family members coping with advanced illness, death and bereavement.
Do Hospice clients have to pay?
No - All programs and services are free of charge.
How does Nanaimo Hospice support clients and family in their end of life journey?
Our Counselling and Bereavement programs offer support and counselling to clients, family (including children and teens) and close friends, offering help in coming to terms with advanced illness, death and loss. After a death occurs, our bereavement program offers a variety of support groups and services for adults and children, and follows families of registered patients for one year with assessment, grief counselling or bereavement support groups as needed.
What about counselling?
There is no charge for professional counselling. Most people who come to hospice have at least one visit with a counsellor to determine how we can best meet your needs. The counsellor may refer you to one of our programs, or a choice may be made to continue to meet with the counsellor for a period of time.
Who refers individuals to Nanaimo Hospice?
Referrals come from Home and Community Care, staff on the palliative care unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, Victims Services, the Crisis Society, Mental Health, School Counsellors, general practitioners, psychiatrists, friends and family, or the individual can refer themselves.
Who becomes a hospice volunteer and how are they able to help?
Hospice volunteers have a wide range of life experiences and skills that enable them to offer practical assistance and supportive care to meet the special needs arising out of the physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and economic stresses which are experienced during the final stages of living, and
during caregiving and bereavement.
How much training do your volunteers
Hospice volunteers are required to take a 40 hour training program based on provincial standards with a minimum of 4 hours of orientation to the palliative care unit. In addition, they receive continuing education and mentoring to assist in the facilitation of group programs, or to work in such areas as the child and youth program.
Hospice volunteers have excellent listening skills, and receive training in group facilitation and/or one-to-one support that enables them to provide companionship and support to patients and families in their homes, in hospital, in care facilities, and through programs at Hospice House.
Hospice volunteers sign a pledge of confidentiality and undergo an RCMP security check.
Does it cost anything to take the training?
Yes - $125 with $75 refundable after 100 hours of volunteer service. If cost is a factor, special arrangements can sometimes be made.
If I have already trained as a volunteer at another Hospice do I have to take your
Yes. All volunteers working for NCHS must take our training. By doing so the trainee becomes familiar with the organization and Hospice staff have an opportunity to get to know the volunteer, thus allowing for ease of placement within the programs and