Since 1983, Comox Valley Hospice Society (CVHS) has been working to support the physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual needs of those who are dying, along with their caregivers and loved ones.
The goal of hospice is to ensure people nearing the end of their lives are as comfortable as possible, and able to participate in decisions that affect them. Hospice care may be provided in hospital, at home, or in the home-like setting of the six-bed Aitken Community Hospice at Ocean Front Village.
Everyone’s end-of-life journey is unique. CVHS’ team of counsellors, other staff members, and trained volunteers offer a variety of programs and services for various stages of the journey.
Services for individuals nearing the end of life (and their loved ones and caregivers) include counselling, companionship, support groups, and more.
For people grieving a loved one who has died, CVHS offers limited grief counselling and a variety of volunteer-led grief support groups.
Other offerings include a comprehensive package of grief resources, referrals to other community services, and an in-house lending library of books and other resources on grief and loss.
Hospice is a philosophy, not just a place. Death happens to all of us; CVHS works to normalize the conversation around dying and grieving, whether you are healthy, your care needs have changed, or when a death occurs. Death Cafés, hosted by dedicated volunteers, spark conversation over tea and homemade treats—and bring awareness about the need to plan ahead. CVHS is also developing café-like monthly groups for those with a life-limiting illness and another for those grieving a loss.
CVHS volunteers also lead Advance Care Planning (ACP) workshops to help anyone, at any stage of life, discern their values and wishes about quality of life and medical interventions. These can then be shared with loved ones, so you can be sure your health-care choices will be followed if one day you are unable to speak for yourself.
All Comox Valley Hospice services and resources are free to the community, funded by the generous donations of individuals and families, local businesses, service clubs, Island Health, and various granting bodies, as well as fundraising events like the annual Cycle of Life Tour, a 200-km bike ride on Vancouver Island in late August, and the stay-at-home New Year’s Eve Gala called “Hearts for Hospice – Put up your Feet, Show us your Soles (Souls).”
Visit www.comoxhospice.com, join them on Facebook, or call 250-871-0696 to get involved.