Hospice program suffers
I write in response to your article “Hospice volunteer program faces uncertainty,” March 12.
This program was running extremely well under the umbrella of Powell River and District Home Support Society. Then the government decided to put the home support program and the hospice program under the then new Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) authority. VCH has now cut the Home Support Program down to the bone and is cutting the hospice program altogether.
By eliminating the part-time position of hospice coordinator, VCH is also losing a number of hospice volunteers and their valuable hours. These volunteers cannot operate without a coordinator whose job is to train, provide support and schedule them with clients and families. These clients need services and support during the dying and bereavement process. The coordinator visits with the client first and matches up a suitable volunteer. The volunteers are dependent on this process.
VCH spokesperson Viola Kaminski’s comments that these services are provided by other community health workers and other service options are available in the community is true, but the services are not the same. The workers do not have the time to spend hours with the clients or patients, they barely have the time to do their other tasks. The volunteer can spend hours and even overnight in the home and the hospital. The volunteers can take clients to their chemotherapy appointments, doctor appointments and other outings. The services in the community are private and come with a cost and not all families and clients can afford this.
Sandy McCartie’s idea of forming a hospice society is going back 20 years. This would take time and in the meantime the hospice volunteers are floundering. Please give us back our part-time coordinator position—it is such a low cost for a great program.
Former home support administrator and hospice volunteer
Next steps for landscaping
Have the arboreal efforts to destabilize the bank along the seawalk been completed and is there an actual long-term landscape plan, or can we anticipate further random acts of habitat vandalism [“Seawalk vegetation,” February 19]? Do the people who make such decisions ever consider aesthetics, give advance notice of their intentions, or publicly justify them? Just asking.
Daffodils serve as memorial
Over the last few years we have planted daffodils along a section of Marine Avenue, in memory of family, friends and neighbours. We have had many positive comments about how uplifting it is to see the flowers blooming and heralding spring [“Participants share visions,” February 20, 2013].
Our intention is to continue planting a few hundred bulbs every fall, as long as we are able, and hope that they will naturalize, leading to an even more beautiful drive into town.
In spite of signs that ask people to leave the flowers for all to enjoy, there are many who pick armfuls, even stopping their cars to get out and to gather a bunch. Why? Please, if you are tempted to do so, think again. Leave the daffodils for all to enjoy.