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A heartfelt thank you to Heartland Hospice

MLA Warren Michelson's column for the week of May 8, 2019
MLAsColumn_WarrenMichelson
Moose Jaw North MLA Warren Michelson

A few weeks ago, I attended an inspirational and informational evening sponsored by Heartland Hospice Moose Jaw. While I was aware of the work this group is doing, I left that event even more grateful for the dedication of the volunteers and board members who give so much of themselves to provide comfort and quality of days. 

Let us recognize and thank those involved with Heartland Hospice this week in particular, as it is National Hospice Palliative Care Week.

The purpose of hospice palliative care is to relieve suffering and improve the quality of living and dying for those nearing the end of their physical life. It promotes opportunities for meaningful and valuable experiences and personal/spiritual growth, for both the dying individual, and their family. Hospice palliative care affirms life and regards dying as a normal process and intends neither to hasten nor to unduly postpone death.

Recognizing a need for this type of care in our area, Heartland Hospice was established in 2014 with a goal of supporting the provision of compassionate holistic care to those nearing the end of their physical life. While palliative care has been part of the health services offered in Moose Jaw for some time, the hospice model of delivering care is a more individual quality compassionate care.  

Thanks to the work of Heartland Hospice, a room at Pioneer Lodge has been designated as a Hospice Care space. The room is home-like, and the space is comfortable for families who are journeying with their loved one.  A “Serenity Garden” is located just outside the hospice room. A multi-disciplinary team of health professionals, and well-trained, compassionate volunteers are closely involved to ensure that emotional, spiritual and physical needs are available. Heartland Hospice will also provide support to someone who would like to spend their final days in their own home.

The recently launched “My Wish” Program is coordinated by Heartland Hospice to assist terminally ill individuals who are seeking peace and closure with the realization of a final wish. Wishes are intended to be simple and carry little cost, but be rich in meaning for patients, families, and health care providers.

Heartland Hospice has partnered with other community agencies and sponsors to make an individual's wish come true.

Heartland Hospice has lots of excellent information on their website at https://www.heartlandhospicemj.com/  

This week is also Mental Health Week, a topic too important to miss. Just as, even when we aren’t ill, we need to take care of our physical health, so it is with mental health. The Canadian Mental Health Association offers 16 tips on their website to stay mentally healthy. Some examples are:

  • focusing on the positive; 
  • getting outdoors;
  • staying active; 
  • finding meaning; 
  • connecting with others; and  
  • disconnecting from screens.  

You can visit https://mentalhealthweek.ca/16-strategies-to-help-you-thrive for more of these tips.

Finally, this Sunday is a time to show appreciation for an important individual in all our lives. Mother’s Day is a time to reflect on and celebrate all Mothers.

Whether they are biological moms, step-moms, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, friends, or whomever else we think of when we think of mother; Mother’s Day is for all women. They raised and nurtured us, taught us important lessons and picked us up when we fell down. We owe these women a debt we’ll never be able to repay.

I hope everyone takes a moment to thank the women in their lives who love them in that special way only Mothers can – unconditionally, unequivocally, and unacquired, because thats what moms do. Happy Mother’s Day!