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Embracing life's journey: Hospice Orillia's approach to end-of-life care

Free of charge programs offer support with compassion and respect

This story is made possible through the support of Housser's Paint and Wallpaper as part of OrilliaMatters' Community Leaders Program

In a world where discussions about death sometimes cause discomfort and are avoided, Hospice Orillia believes that death is an intrinsic part of life—a rite of passage deserving of dignity and support.

Through its comprehensive range of services, Hospice Orillia offers companionship and understanding to individuals navigating the complexities of progressive life-limiting illnesses.

The Volunteer Visiting Services, for example, is designed to provide practical and emotional support to those confronting progressive life-limiting illnesses, explains Amanda Tevelde, the communications, fundraising and community relations specialist for the hospice. The service includes leisurely activities like playing cards or sharing stories over a cup of tea, respite for primary caregivers, or simple gestures like playing soothing music or doing art sessions.

Complementing this are other supportive initiatives, like The Footprints Legacy Project, which provides individuals facing life-limiting illnesses with a space to reminisce about cherished memories and craft tangible mementos, like letters and scrapbooks.

Hospice Orillia also recognizes the emotional upheaval that often accompanies a diagnosis of a life-limiting illness. Its Supportive Counselling program, led by experienced social workers, provides a space for individuals and their caregivers to discuss their emotions, fears, and transitions that come with their illness. Complementary therapies, which use mind-body techniques and touch therapy to promote relaxation and enhance overall well-being, are also options.

Hospice Orillia offers all these programs free of charge and delivers them wherever the client calls home. Their volunteers, hailing from varied backgrounds and age groups, work with compassion and respect while honouring clients' choices and supporting them throughout their journey, Tevelde says.

To support Hospice Orillia, join their annual fundraising event, Hike for Hospice which is happening in May.

“This annual event not only enhances our sense of community but also increases awareness of Hospice Palliative Care and raises much-needed funds,” Tevelde says.

To learn more about the services provided by Hospice Orillia, visit their website. Online registration for the hike can be found here.