Hospice offers alternative

Hospice and palliative care advocates are speaking out as Parliament gets ready to continue its debate on a bill that would legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide. The second hour of debate for Bill C-384, a private member’s bill, is scheduled for Dec. 1, when a vote could also possibly be held.

Hospice and palliative care advocates are speaking out as Parliament gets ready to continue its debate on a bill that would legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide.

The second hour of debate for Bill C-384, a private member’s bill, is scheduled for Dec. 1, when a vote could also possibly be held.

Cheri Purpur, nurse manager with Red Deer Hospice Society, said if people understood what type of care people receive in a hospice, they likely wouldn’t look at euthanasia.

“It would seem the whole issue of euthanasia and assisted suicide is mis-focused. Not enough people know what kind of pain and symptom management is available to make those last weeks and days comfortable and less stressful,” Purpur said.

People assume the pain management available will not be enough, she said.

“It really isn’t the case. There is always something.”

The Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians, the Alzheimer Society of Canada and the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association all want to refocus the debate on the right to have high quality care for all Canadians at the end of life.

Sarah Walker, executive director of Hospice Calgary and a Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association board member, said there are far more crucial issues like resources for palliative and hospice care.

“With all the changes occurring with Alberta Health Services, how are they addressing and fitting hospice, palliative care? What priority is that for them,” Walker asked.

“The discussion that is so important to have is how do all of us as individuals want to face and embrace the end of our lives. That’s the discussion we need to have.”

Red Deer Hospice, which opened in September 2005, has helped 186 clients and their families at its 10-bed facility in Anders.

The hospice, which provides end of life care, depends on fundraising and donations and must raise $700,000 of its annual $1.1-million budget.

It costs $285 a day to care for each resident. There is no fee to use the program and families are asked to donate as much as they can.

The hospice’s spring gala, set for March 11, is its biggest fundraiser of the year.

More government funding is needed, especially with the aging population, Purpur said.

Red Deer Hospice executive director Brenda Watts said support from Central Albertans has been “amazing.”

“They believe in hospice care because here we are and our facility is a wonderful facility,” Watts said.

But it’s a continuing challenge to educate the community.

“Even though we’ve been in Red Deer for four years, even people in our neighbourhood really don’t know what this facility is and we’re constantly educating the public as to who we are and what we do.”

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

BREAKING: Alberta election set for April 16

Premier Rachel Notley makes announcement on Tuesday morning

Camper found in good health at Pinto Lake

Rocky Mountain House Search and Rescue respond

Red Deer city council to consider starting a bike registry

Coun. Buck Buchanan suggested it would help police return recovered stolen property

Rimbey-area landowner believes earthquake damaged his electricity supply

Underground line was damaged at same time quake hit, says landowner

Reliance on equalization not a factor in Quebec’s low productivity rate: author

MONTREAL — Despite low unemployment and a strong economy, Quebec continues to… Continue reading

WATCH: Celebrating francophone Canadians at the 10th annual Red Deer Winter Carnival

The event was hosted by the Red Deer region of the French-Canadian Association of Alberta Saturday

Andreescu rockets to No. 24 in WTA Tour rankings after Indian Wells title

Canada’s Bianca Andreescu has rocketed to No. 24 in the WTA Tour… Continue reading

Canadian figure skaters looking to reach new heights at world championships

Nam Nguyen, Alaine Chartrand and Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro all have… Continue reading

Man linked to largest art heist in history freed from prison

HARTFORD, Conn. — A reputed Connecticut mobster who federal authorities believe is… Continue reading

Florida Georgia Line, Glorious Sons headline concert series at Canadian Open

HAMILTON — Florida Georgia Line and the Glorious Sons will headline a… Continue reading

Family: Time to shed winter clothes and inhibitions

It has been a long, crazy cold winter. But, if the thermometer… Continue reading

Chelsea Carey rink registers two wins at world women’s curling event

SILKEBORG, Denmark — Canada’s Chelsea Carey rebounded nicely Sunday at the world… Continue reading

Canadian Bianca Andreescu has her first WTA title, winning BNP Paribas Open

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Canadian Bianca Andreescu has her first WTA title.… Continue reading

‘Captain Marvel’ soars even higher with stellar 2nd weekend

LOS ANGELES — “Captain Marvel” has continued to dominate the global box… Continue reading

Most Read