Thursday, February 29, 2024

Importance and comfort of Advance Care Planning theme for Council presentation from Prince Rupert and District Hospice Society

Ms. Susan Crowley had opportunity to get the members of City Council and those viewing the Monday session at home this week to think about a topic most of us put off for another day, that of Advance Care Planning. 

The First Vice President of the Prince Rupert and District Hospice Centre was speaking as part of Council's committee of the Whole on Monday, her presentation one coming ahead of Advance Care planning Day in March, which the City will be receiving a request for a proclamation on.

She observed of the relationship between the Society and council and how the City has always been supportive.

"We're actually very happy about the relationship that we have with City Council. 

That's not news, Council has always supported us a couple of Councillors Randhawa and  Forster came to our presentation, our public table that we had set up last year during that week and talked to people about Advanced Care planning.

So that shows we have the support"

From those comments she explored some of the programs that they offer for the local community to share the Advance care program, noting of their with work at the Seniors Centre, where they host workshops.

"Some of our work is done through Northern Health, we have a small contract with Northern Health we're really a not for profit, seriously not for profit Society.  

And we do have a contract with Northern Health to provide companionship and visiting and support of families in the Hospital, the Manor and in extended care.

But we don't have any contract with Northern Health, they have the responsibility in the province for helping to  provide folks here with advance care planning.

But we haven't worked too much with Northern Health on Advance Care planning.

They're centred out of Prince George and we haven't really worked too much, we're hoping to work more with them in Prince Rupert.

From those comments she explored some of the programs that they offer for the local community to share the Advance care program, noting of their with work at the Seniors Centre, where they host workshops.

"We kind of are doing it in the last year and we're going to continue working a lot with the Seniors and that's where Councillor Cunningham has been super supportive as well.

Because we offered four workshops through the Senior Centre, the Senior's Centre did al the advertisement, set us up in the place; an hour and a half long work shop for them and I think we reached about 60 people.

And probably 59 of them have not completed their Advanced Care Planning  papers, but they have the idea of kind of what to do and so that's another connection that we have with Council and Council's support"

Some of her focus was also on the grief counselling and drop in support programs that they offer in the community, much of it taking part through the proceeds of their fundraising efforts. 

"We offer individual grief counselling by phone and in person, group and then drop in support ... that's not in some definitions and in fact we're not funded to do that, so that comes from the fundraising in the community"

Towards She also noted of their upcoming fundraising and community awareness program in the community Hike for Hospice set for the First Sunday in May.

She observed of the importance to have these very important conversations with our families about the tough decisions that are required towards Advanced Care Planning.

She also noted of the opportunity for local companies to book a Hospice Centre representative to host a workshop at their offices to help inform the public of the program.

"We've been able to kind of tailor it to the age group and just talk to people about these are the forms this is what we're on about ... we've been offering our public one's through the Seniors and they've been very well accepted.  

But anybody much younger than that we would even encourage to start to think what they want or what my be happening with other members of the family, so come out to our Hike and see if there is somebody else in the city that might want to have a workshop or a presentation"

The nature of the difficult conversations that families have to have when it comes to Advanced care was highlighted through a short video presentation that she included as part of her time with Council.

Following the short video, Council members offered up some thoughts towards the program that is offered in Prince Rupert.

For Councillor Nick Adey the focus was on the portability of the Advanced Care program, the councillor noting that many Seniors move from their homes or to other communities as they age.

Ms. Crowley noted that leaving the province can make for some additional steps, but that it's a overall a very portable document an one valuable to medical professionals.

Councillor Teri Foster who is a nurse in the community, offered up her appreciation for the presentation and noted as to how the idea of a care plan is not limited to Seniors but a wise course for many to follow. 

"I really appreciate this presentation as I did last year, as you mentioned as medical professional this is helpful and it's not just for our older parents or older relatives.

I myself did mine in my twenties and I update it every few years. Because I spend a lot of time driving on the highway I spend a lot of time where if an accident happened Im very certain in what I would want to happen. 

And I want  give my family that gift of not having to in an already tense crisis situation have to suddenly argue what they think"

The councillor also noted of a workbook, the My Voice book available for those interested in the program.

Councillor Cunningham noted how the program has been well received by the members of the Seniors Centre and offered up his own endorsement of the program and its importance for families.

Mayor Pond observed that the topic had been one he had looked to personally take part in on year ago, but as the year went by he let that time slip by.

"This is the human confession if you will, I remember being very impacted last year when you presented and saying to myself, I've got to do something. And I can't believe that the clock has ticked around one entire year and I have not done anything. So thank you for coming and prompting me"

Ms. Crowley took advantage of that to remind the Mayor  of the upcoming sessions planned for the community. 

You can review the full presentation to Council from the City's Video archive, it begins at the start of the Council session.

More notes on the Monday Council session can be reviewed here.

You can learn more about the Prince Rupert and District Hospice Society from their website and social media feed.

Further items related to Community themes can be reviewed here

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