Abbotsford residents requiring hospice care will soon be able to receive the services they need in their own community. The B.C. government is providing $3.5 million to support hospice services through the Abbotsford Hospice Society.
Hospices help improve the quality of life for those with a terminal illness. Continuing to reside in their own community is of great benefit to these patients, meaning their loved ones can visit more often and they are not completely uprooted for their final weeks.
Families and friends dealing with the anticipated death of a loved one are often under a great deal of stress. The resources provided by a hospice can help families come to terms with their loss.
Currently, Abbotsford has no adult hospice. The goal of the society's Light the Way Campaign is to raise awareness and $7.5 million to help cover construction costs of the two-storey, 2,650-square-metre (28,500-square-foot) facility. The name Holmberg House honours the life and legacy of David Holmberg Jr., an Abbotsford resident whose family has made significant financial contributions to hospice, including the campus of care project.
The new hospice is just one facility that is being developed to provide further care for the people of Abbotsford. The City of Abbotsford has contributed land adjacent to the Abbotsford Regional Hospital, which will be shared with two other organizations in a campus of care model.
The Ministry of Health developed the Provincial Framework for End-of-Life Care in 2006, which is used as a guide by health authorities and care providers in developing and delivering services to those in need.
Hospice care and support does not end after a loved one is gone. Bereavement services and grief support are available, free of cost. These are vital resources to help family and friends of all ages move on in a healthy way.
Quotes:Debbie Lehmann, executive director, Abbotsford Hospice Society -
"This year the Abbotsford Hospice Society celebrates 25 years of providing critical front-line services to the dying and the bereaved. On behalf of our team, our clients and the many community members working toward building the first adult hospice residence in Abbotsford, I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to the Holmberg family and to the Ministry of Health for their significant support."
John van Dongen, MLA Abbotsford South -
"It is an honour to see our new Abbotsford hospice being named after David Holmberg Jr. whose family has been deeply committed to our community. Having a hospice facility close to home will be a great positive for all families in Abbotsford. Thank you to the Holmberg family."
Randy Hawes, MLA Abbotsford-Mission -
"The choice to move to a hospice is never an easy one to make. It is a very hard time for many, but hospices promote comfort and healing in the hopes of creating lasting memories. Holmberg House will help Abbotsford area residents for years to come, and we are fortunate to have so many caring volunteers who help guide families through difficult end-of-life circumstances."
- Hospice care is not just for the elderly. Anyone over the age of 19 with a terminal illness may require adult hospice services.
- Palliative care is recommended when treatment no longer supports the quality of life.
- Hospice care does not hasten or delay death.
- Abbotsford has a population of approximately 139,000 and nearly 20,000 of those are over 65 years of age.
For more on end-of-life care, visit: www.health.gov.bc.ca/hcc/endoflife.html
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)
Abbotsford Hospice Society