Krista Manuel and the rest of the team from The Revelstoke Hospice Society are hard at work. With four events on the horizon and more in the pipeline, this vital group of local volunteers strives to make a positive impact on palliative patients and their families.
“I think people have a misconception that volunteering with palliative patients means holding someone’s hand at the end of their time. That isn’t the case. Palliative patients can live for years. Some are housebound, some are in care homes, some are mobile. Our goal, in addition to providing comfort and companionship, is also to ensure that services and resources are accessible,” says Krista.
The importance of connection is something Krista stresses. “There are opportunities for everyone to benefit from volunteering,” she explains. “For example, if you have a young family in town, and no extended family, then befriending and visiting someone who can act as an intown grandparent is integrating relationships of varying generations and rewarding to everyone involved.”
While most volunteers for the society are long term, there are other ways to involve oneself. The society is aiming to amp up its fundraising. Revelstoke residents who would want to volunteer at events are always welcome.
The Society will be at the Volunteer Fair, on November 27 with an information booth manned by volunteers and society board members.
The society also hosts the monthly Death Cafes at Dose Cafe. “The Death Cafes are the last Monday of every month,” says Krista. “There is no agenda, just conversations around death. There are no boundaries about what can come up, each time it is dynamic and different. Plus, there is free cake (or some kind of treat) and tea at every one.”
The group will be involved at in the Snowflake Ceremony on December 2 at Queen Elizabeth Park. The society offers families and friends of lost loved ones an act of remembrance – they can write their loved one’s name on a paper snowflake.
“Death is such an uncomfortable subject in our culture,” says Krista, “but it is also something everyone is going to experience. I think it is important to lesson our fear of it.”