Day hospice offers respite, camaraderie

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The brainteaser was one of several questions posed to those in attendance, part of what co-ordinator and registered nurse Keitha Mitchell calls ‘Mensa Densa,’ a fun way to engage the clients and volunteers. It’s not so much about getting the correct solution, but about engaging the brain and having fun trying to figure out the answer.

The day hospice program is a weekly gathering that supports those living with a life-limiting illness.

There are activities – like cards, arts and board games – for those who want to partake, but many just enjoy the opportunity to talk with others.

“To have conversation with other people who have gone through the struggle you’re going through and understand a bit of what your circumstances are, that’s why I like coming here,” said Andrew Harvey.

“It’s good to be able to come here once a week and socialize with everyone. Everyone in here is fantastic; the volunteers are really good. It’s really a nice place to come for part of the day.”

Harvey has been attending the day program for about six weeks. A former high school English teacher, Harvey was diagnosed with cancer and had to retire from his vocation.

“When you have cancer, one of the things you have is an issue with filling the day up,” he said.

He learned of the program through Mitchell, who repeatedly called him until he agreed to check out the service.

“Don’t discount something like this as, ‘That’s not for me’ until you try it,” Harvey said. “I never thought I would come here. Hospice, I would think, is not for me. But only because Keitha kept calling me that I’m here right now today, and I’m glad to be here.”

To view the full article, please visit Metroland News.

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