(Black Press file photo)

(Black Press file photo)

Victoria Hospice bereavement services coming to the West Shore

Services like counselling and drop-in bereavement group sessions will be available

Victoria Hospice services will be coming to the West Shore in the new year and it’s a welcome expansion, according to a Hospice official.

Come January, weekly patient consults with a palliative care physician and community counsellor as well as bereavement counselling sessions and a weekly drop-in group will be hosted at the Esquimalt/Westshore Health Unit.

Up until now, West Shore residents had to travel to Victoria to access these services which could be difficult, according to Tom Arnold, director of fund development at Victoria Hospice.

Arnold said a number of Hospice patients come from the West Shore and said he hopes they will take advantages of the new services being offered in their community.

Some major services being provided are one-on-one counselling and the drop-in bereavement support group.

“What we often hear from people who’ve experienced the death of a family member is that their friends are great but unless they’ve experienced death themselves they just don’t get it,” Arnold said. “It makes such a difference for bereaved people to be around other people who have similar experiences.”

Victoria Hospice serves roughly 1,000 patients a year in Greater Victoria and Arnold said the demand is continuing to grow.

“We know we need to do more to help people on the West Shore,” Arnold said.

Another service that will be offered is the opportunity to consult with a palliative care physician.

Arnold said Hospice is working with Island Health and local general practitioners in the community to find ways to support patients who want to be at home.

In Canada, an average of 75 per cent of people say they prefer the idea of dying at home. Arnold said data from the West Shore shows that when patients registered with Victoria Hospice, more than 80 per cent have been able to die at home or in a hospice setting.

“But we also know there’s a lot of patients we’re not reaching and that we’re not doing enough for,” Arnold said.

While the clinic is slotted to open in January, Arnold noted that the holidays can be a tough time for people who have lost a loved one. He offered some tips to help people get through the holidays: The holidays are a time where many people expect you to be cheerful and joyous but if you’ve just experienced a death you may not feel like you want to be. Understand that’s OK.

It’s OK to miss the person you love over the holidays.

Thinking about traditions can be important to people to honour a loved one but for others it can be hard. Give yourself the freedom to be flexible, especially in that first year.

Do something to keep the memory of your loved one alive. It can be something as simple as lighting a candle or doing something you used to love doing with them.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely first in B.C. for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $10.25 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $8.65 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
The five most expensive homes for sale in Greater Victoria

A roundup of luxury estates currently on the market

The Greater Victoria School District and two retired teachers are named as defendants in a lawsuit alleging that a student was sexually abused in the early 2000s. (Pixabay photo)
Former Saanich student files sexual abuse lawsuit against school district, retired teachers

Lawsuit claims student was groomed, abused by retired teacher

(Black Press Media file photo)
Mechanical issues blamed for Saanich car fire

‘Nothing untoward’ suspected, no injuries reported, firefighter says

Sidney's Beacon Wharf
Pontoon company piqued at prospect of public-private partnership around Sidney wharf

Seagate approached to submit proposeal for public-private partnership

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
Nanaimo transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

Black Press file photo
Investigation at remote burned-out Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

Identity of victim not released, believed to be the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Dog owners, from left, Marlyn Briggs with Nayla, Marjory Sutherland with Effie and Mick, and Christina Godbolt with Conon walk their pets frequently at the Chemainus Ball Park but are growing increasingly concerned about drugs being found discarded in the area. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Puppy rushed to emergency 3 times after ingesting drugs in Chemainus public spaces

Dog owners walking in Chemainus parks urged to take caution

Most Read