As part of a new initiative they're calling 'Light up the Lodge for Christmas', Heartland Hospice Moose Jaw has filled the Pioneer Lodge Serenity Garden with Christmas decorations and are hoping to build the collection each year.
"Heartland Hospice's vision is to create 'An end-of-life haven in Moose Jaw for individuals and their families, supported by a circle of compassionate care.' That circle of care is not only within the walls of the care facility, but in the space that lies beyond the windows and doors as well," explained Sara Bryan, a Heartland Hospice board member, in an email announcing the initiative.
"Since its inception in 2020, (the Pioneer Lodge) Serenity Garden has blossomed into a beautiful tranquil space where patients and families can enjoy nature’s therapeutic effects every summer. Our hope is that the sparkling Christmas lights in the Serenity Garden will have a similar effect during December on those in the hospice room and the residents of Pioneer Lodge."
Kicking off the decorating, Moose Jaw Co-op donated a Christmas tree from the Rotary Club of Moose Jaw Wakamow, and Canadian Tire contributed several festive lawn decorations.
Heartland Hospice Moose Jaw is a non-profit, community-based organization with a volunteer board. Founded in 2014, Heartland Hospice's is working toward a complete palliative/hospice care wing at Pioneer Lodge on Albert St. in Moose Jaw, which is operated by the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA). So far, they have established one dedicated hospice bed, as well as the serenity garden.
Palliative care is the relief of symptoms and suffering caused by a severe illness — in other words, the improvement of a patient’s quality of life, rather than sacrificing quality of life in order to fight illness. It is a separate concept from curative care. Hospice care is a form of palliative care designed specifically for the final six months of a person’s life, focusing on making them as comfortable as possible in a holistic sense — physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Through their ongoing capital campaign, and with SHA involvement and approval, Heartland Hospice wants 2024 to be the year they complete their renovation goals by establishing:
- Three dedicated hospice-palliative bedrooms;
- A family resource centre with reading materials and activities for children;
- A sacred space for the use of the whole facility;
- A dedicated family entrance separate from the long-term care section;
- A serenity garden (much work has already been completed) and;
- Essential palliative care training for hospice staff.
Anyone wishing to make a donation to contribute to Light Up the Lodge for Christmas, or to Heartland Hospice in general can go to: heartlandhospicemj.ca/contribute.
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