Palliative Care Society working towards opening new facility

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The society was initiated by Lynn Cooper, a retired nurse who saw the need for a palliative care centre in the Bow Valley to make that particular type of health care locally available to patients and their families. Currently, patients and their families must make the commute to Calgary to get the support that they need.

“It’s about quality of living anytime in your life if you have health issues,” said Cooper.

Palliative care is the type of health care received by a person who has a life-limiting condition after they have stopped receiving medication.

“With an ageing population, now we realize that chronic disease and all of these other pieces are really going to affect number one, our quality of life, but also our availability of services and level of care,” said Cooper.

This year, the PCSBV was incorporated as non-profit organization in Alberta and the organization is working toward becoming a registered charity with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Ultimately, the PCSBV would like to build a palliative care home with hospice care beds located in Canmore that would serve the health care region from Cochrane to Lake Louise. The society has been researching palliative care facilities, building a relationship with Alberta Health Services and getting the wheels in motion to make their dream become a reality.

“It will save families and patients costs of travel back and forth from Canmore to Calgary and all the other jurisdictions; it will bring appropriate primary care to these rural communities,” said Barbara Price, former cancer nurse and hospital planner who has been working on the plans for the palliative care home.

The PCSBV plans to build a two-storey house to provide therapy and support for individuals in need of palliative care services. The facility would house 12 hospice beds, have space for day programs and accommodate cultural, therapeutic, psychological and bereavement counselling services. Ideally, the house would be located near the hospital to keep medical services and community spaces, such as the garden, close by.

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