Hospice Palliative Care

Hospice Palliative care is a philosophy of care that focuses on comfort and quality of life. It supports patients physically, psychologically, spiritually and socially and helps patients achieve the best possible quality of life right up until their death.

Palliative care starts at the point of diagnosis to engage in relationship building with a health care team, addressing symptoms, coping, providing information, engaging with family, exploring treatments and supporting with end-of-life planning.

At the exhaustion of all life prolonging or curative treatments, patients may enter a hospice or receive hospice care in their residence. The goal of hospice care is to help manage symptoms and provide comfort until the end of life. Patients continue to be supported by a palliative care team of social workers, doctors, nurses, and spiritual care providers.

Our volunteers can help to support patients and loved one in the following ways.

To learn more about receiving palliative support please fill out this form or contact us at 604-520-5087 or info@burnabyhospice.org.

What do palliative support volunteers do?

Our volunteers can help patients in many ways:

  • Talk about anything on your mind
  • Sit in calming silence or simply be present
  • Accompany you to daily events at the hospital
  • Help you place a call
  • Help you convey a message to the staff
  • Watch TV or listen to music together
  • Read poetry/stories/newspaper together
  • Play board games or puzzles together
  • Create memorabilia or special crafts for loved ones
  • Provide Therapeutic Touch sessions (select volunteers)
  • Write cards or letters
  • Help organize photos or paperwork
  • Compile a video montage of advice, memories, stories
  • Create a memory box

Volunteers also provide support for caregivers:

  • Sit with your loved ones when you rest
  • Sit with you in calming silence or simply be present
  • Go out with you for some fresh air
  • Bring you coffee or tea or snacks
  • Talk about anything on your mind

What do palliative support volunteers NOT do?

  • Housework
  • Provide any professional treatment
  • Attempt to transfer patients
  • Administer medication
  • Look after children or pets
  • Accept any gifts or monetary compensation
  • Drive patients to appointments (though they may accompany patients places)

I enter each room with openness, willingness, and peace. I sit a while, hold a hand, sing a song, massage cream into dry skin, play cards, bring a drink, and read a book out loud. But what I mostly do is listen. There are often things needing to be said and to have a listener is sometimes all it takes.
~ Judy Dixon, Volunteer