A message from Jeff Chant, CEO
The level of compassion and understanding the team shows for patients and families is not only impressive but is often overwhelming. From our care and support staff to our volunteers, each team member approaches the day with love and dedication – providing the best possible end-of-life care. Since joining the team at Hospice Halifax in May we have been incredibly busy, from patient care to events, our hallways are filled with meaningful conversations and new connections.
In my first few months I heard stories from the patient floor about the care our team provides and thought to myself ‘this has to be rare’, or ‘it is must be a one-time thing’, but over time I have learned this is the norm – patients and families are thankful for the space we give them and the care we offer – to live before they die.
There have been many highlights for me in my short time at Hospice Halifax, but one that perhaps captures my current sentiment the best would be our first annual Light Up a Life event that was held in early December. This event demonstrated what a team of people can do to support the need for grief-safe spaces, and the desire the wider community has to find these spaces and support our mission.
I am thankful to join the amazing team and the growing and committed board of directors. I look forward to what 2023 holds and welcome you to join us as we look back on 2022.
In 2021, the staff at Hospice Halifax went all-in on planning an incredible ‘night at the cinema’ in our Centre for Training and Education (CTE) on the top floor of our residence. This January we met another patient who loved date nights at the cinema, and our team knew exactly what to do! The theatre was recreated in the CTE and featured several films requested films, including F9 The Fast Saga and Eddie Murphy Coming to America.
Our Candy Grams are just like the ones you remember from school; a small packet of assorted candy and chocolate designed to be sent through the mail so that you can send something SWEET to warm the heart of someone you care about. In February our community sent over 600 candy grams to loved ones around Canada!
Ben and an enthusiastic group from the local Halifax Lancers stopped by to visit an old friend who was staying at hospice and spread his joy with our residence. The crew walked through downtown Halifax enjoying the sunshine and stopping for photos before their final destination, the lovely gardens surrounding Hospice Halifax.
April showers brought flowers this year. To help our patients enjoy the first signs of spring, we have added hummingbird feeders to Vivian’s Garden to bring life during the early bloom, and window scratchers and sun prisms near the windows in patient rooms to make each day that much brighter.
Care at Hospice Halifax is more than just clinical end-of-life care. It is also creating meaningful moments for patients and families to enjoy every last day. One patient this month, we will call him T, was always in such a great mood. They passed the time by completing puzzles and telling jokes. T told so many jokes we created a joke book in his honor. We shared a few of our favourites on our blog.
The Gordon Stirrett Wealth Management Hike for Hospice was June 12th this year. Hike for Hospice is a grassroots initiative, and we love to see the outpouring of support each year. This year the community raised over $95,000 for the Hike for Hospice program!
Thank you to all of our participants and donors who contributed to this year’s success!
The Halifax Pride Festival is an annual celebration for the 2SLGBTQ+ community in the HRM. This year at Hospice Halifax marched with our team and the hospice banner. We believe that being an ally extends beyond Halifax Pride week; we are devoted to supporting our community, expanding our knowledge, and providing a safe space for self-expression. Check out a video of our team walking in the parade!
The GRAND Split is the latest fundraiser from Hospice Halifax and your chance to win some serious cash!
This year through the Grand Split Hospice Halifax awarded $30,000 in prize money, with Margaret Westin even winning twice!
In September, Lisa, her friends, and her family had their second annual baseball tournament in memory of Darcy Curry. They raised over $5000 for Hospice Halifax to be used to provide the best end-of-life care for patients and families at Hospice Halifax.
This past October Kate and members of our care team rode 128 KM, 1 km for every patient that died at Hospice Halifax this year.
Thanks to Seaside FM we were able to capture some of the stories of the families in the Hospice community. At hospice we always want our patients and families to feel like they are at home. Sarah Blades came to hospice when her mom was nearing death. As her mom’s organizer of care, Sarah was aware that her mom felt a level of anxiety around dying in their home and placing what she felt was a burden on her family. “The fact that hospice was available for mom so that she could feel at peace and feel that she wasn’t a burden to us was incredible. She kept saying she just needed a good rest, and hospice was able to provide give her that.”
Giving Tuesday is a global movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. This Giving Tuesday our community raised enough to support 22 days of care, which is the average stay for one of our patients.
This year was the first annual Light Up a Life event. Our magnificent tree outside of hospice was lit with hundreds of lights in memory of loved ones in our community. We invited all of our community to dedicate a light and honour loved ones during the holiday season. Wherever they are, whomever they lost and whenever it was we invited them to cherish the memories of our loved ones.
On December 3rd over 300 people gathered for our opening ceremony which featured a local choir, carolers, a guided meditation around grief, and lit the tree for the first time. Our community wall is running each night in December from 5 pm to 10 pm – displaying the names and photos submitted by members of our community in memory of their loved one.