The Sunshine Coast Hospice Society is trying to raise money for another hospice bed through a Hike For Hospice event planned for May 6 at Porpoise Bay Provincial Park. The group wants the hike to become an annual event to provide ongoing funding for their efforts, as well.
“Basically what we do is provide support for people who are going through grief, bereavement and the end of life process,” said hospice president Ali Khan.
The non-profit group works in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) to provide two hospice client rooms and a family room at the Shorncliffe care facility in Sechelt.
“VCH provides 24-hour palliative care nurses and staffing for the rooms, and the hospice society renovated the rooms and provided all the furnishings there,” Khan said. “It’s really a homey, peaceful, tranquil place to go when you’re at the end of life.”
But demand for the two hospice rooms that service the entire Sunshine Coast from Langdale to Egmont has been high.
“Every day, every week of the year, those rooms are occupied, so unfortunately there’s times when people are referred to hospice and we have to turn them away. They end up dying at home or in the hospital, and at the hospital there’s four or six other people in that room with them,” Khan said. “Most people at the hospital are healing or recovering. Our clients are at the end of their life. The only privacy that people have there is they can pull that curtain around their bed. Their family and friends can only visit them during visiting hours, so just in that you can see the difference between a hospice room and being in a hospital.”
He said the need for more hospice rooms will only get larger with the aging demographic on the Coast.
The society hopes the Hike For Hospice event will generate some much needed revenue for the non-profit group to continue to expand their services that also include counselling and support for those who have lost loved ones.
The hike will take place on May 6 from noon to 2:30 p.m. at Porpoise Bay Provincial Park in Sechelt. The date coincides with the National Hospice Palliative Care Week.
Participants can register for the event by paying a $25 registration fee, which will get them a T-shirt and lunch courtesy of the Lions Club.
The hikers need to raise a minimum of $100 in pledges to take part in the 2.5 km hike around Porpoise Bay.
Every penny raised will go directly to the Sunshine Coast Hospice Society.
To register for the Hike For Hospice event or to learn more, visit www.coasthospice.com or call Khan at 604-886-2277.