September 7, 2021
Standing alongside the new expandable double bed for palliative care at High Prairie Health Complex are, from left: Ione Perry, president, High Prairie Palliative Care Society; Margaret Kruger, president, High Prairie Ladies Health Care Auxiliary; Karen Zelman (AHS volunteer coordinator; and Samantha Nemec, care manager. Photo supplied.
Story by Karen Zelman
Patients and families now have access to enhanced comfort during end-of-life care at High Prairie Health Complex, thanks to a generous gift from the High Prairie & District Holistic Palliative Care Society and High Prairie Ladies Health Care Auxiliary.
These community organizations donated more than $50,000 to help equip the healthcare facility’s palliative care suite with an expandable double bed.
“I’ve heard comments from a few family members who said they would have preferred to lay with their loved ones rather than sit beside their bed in their final days,” says Karen Zelman, AHS volunteer resources coordinator in High Prairie.
“We listened to that patient feedback and we recognized the single bed was too small. We identified an expandable double bed as something that would be more comfortable for our palliative care patients and their loved ones.”
Once the need for a bed was identified, the Palliative Care Society and Ladies Health Care Auxiliary came together — with an assist from Janet Farney, site manager, High Prairie Health Complex — sprang into action to make it a reality.
“We truly appreciate our community Palliative Care Society and Ladies Auxiliary for supporting our vision of end-of-life care and togetherness,” says Farney.
“Touch is a very important sense, especially for patients in palliative care. Even when a loved one may no longer be verbally responsive, they still can sense an individual’s presence. While not traditional in palliative care, the idea of having a bed large enough for loved ones to be physically closer with their loved one encompasses the holistic vision of care.”
While the Palliative Care Society’s annual Hike for Hospice event is their main fundraising event, they’ve been unable to host it due to COVID-19 restrictions. They do, however, graciously accept donations from the community.
The Health Care Auxiliary Foundation receives most of its donations through informal grassroots fundraising efforts and their gift shop in the complex.
“We are very pleased to be able to enhance comfort for our patients and their families in palliative care with this new expandable double bed,” adds Samantha Nemec, care manager at the complex.
“We thank our community Palliative Care Society and Health Care Auxiliary for their generous, continued support.”