A memorial service was held Thursday, Nov. 8 to remember the lives of those who have died while in the care of the hospital. It is part of an initiative of the district’s palliative care program. Similar services have been held at the hospitals in Digby and Shelburne. The plan is to hold these services twice yearly.
Julie Ford, Manager of Palliative and Supportive Care Services, said, “These memorial services provide an opportunity for families, friends and hospital staff to gather for mutual support and to remember the lives of those we all cared for.”
Ford said palliative care is much more than caring for patients nearing the end of life. It also recognizes that families and other caregivers need help and support as well. South West Health Palliative and Supportive Care is introducing a new program to better serve the needs of those who have experienced a loss. Information and resources will be provided to families receiving services to help them cope with loss and grief.
“Families will receive a series of letters with information on issues such as grief and bereavement,” said Ford. “Also included will be information on how to access the services of a social worker for additional support.”
Another new service is palliative volunteer inpatient visiting for those in hospital. It is expected to help provide an enhanced level of support and will be implemented with the consent of patients and families.
“We look forward to being able to offer better support to patients, families and our own staff at this very important stage of care,” said Ford.