Why I want to be a Hospice Hero – I want to give back even a little money in order to in some small way repay the deeply personal and careful attention given to my family when my mother was a resident of hospice.
To say the very least, the hospice was a direct answer to our prayers at an overwhelmingly difficult time in our lives. Our intentions were to keep mom at home and provide care for her there, but with all the complications arising from her end-stage melanoma (The tangled web of medications, dosage tweaking, side effects) we burned out fast. It was my moms idea and suggestion to go to hospice. As a health care professional and advocate of the sanctity of life from natural beginning to natural end she was a huge supporter for bringing hospice care to the area.
This faith in end of life care made it easier for my siblings and I to make the call that day that is forever etched in our minds. The switch from frenzied, inexperienced care-givers back to getting the sleep we need to love and grieve my mom in her last days meant everything. When we got to hospice we could return to being Barbs “kids” again. The reality was that within days at hospice her quality of life increased to the point where we could truly enjoy each other and live in the present moment.
During hers 6 weeks in hospice not only mom but our entire family felt 100% supported by the staff and volunteers. While I spent time there with mom I reflected on my days working as a PSW. I thought of how I would have given anything to be able to offer patients the level of care the staff at Chapman House offer. I knew in that moment that I wanted to be part of this enormously life-changing service. It was almost a year after my moms death that I inquired about becoming a volunteer-and I’m so glad I did. I took the Fundamentals of Palliative Care course offered by Chapman house and became a weekly RFC volunteer. I worked in the back with health care teams and directly with families.
One thing lead to another and I soon became involved with fundraisings events and before I knew it I was a permanent member of the Residential Hospice of Grey Bruce team. I love going to work every day and I love hearing the difference we make in families lives as I personally know first hand what they mean. It is my greatest honour to work alongside the staff and to serve residents and their family. I feel privileged and grateful to be a part of the lives of all the people at hospice.
– Amy McConachie