After a successful two-year trial period, the Cranbrook and Kimberley Hospice Society is renewing its Live and Learn day program, and is putting out the word to prospective clients.
Live and Learn is a nine-week program, delivered three times a year. It’s run for people who are early in the diagnosis of a serious illness, who can get together for peer support and story-sharing, and to take advantage of therapies and activities Hospice offers.
The trial period was government-sponsored for two years. Participating communities included Oliver, Salmon Arm, Nelson and Cranbrook and Kimberley.
“Because it was so successful, Cranbrook Kimberley Hospice decided to continued with the program,” said Jackie Jensen, with Hospice.
Jensen explained that the program is for clients living with serious illness — cancer, COPD, the effects of stroke, Parkinson’s — “anything debilitating or life-changing,” she said.
“A lot of these people would be home-bound. This would be a way to meet people in a similar situation. We’ve found that people [who took part in the program] really communicated, formed a bond, and carried on these relationships afterwards.”
The program will take place over nine weeks, and will run Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at Suite 302 at the F.W. Green Home in Cranbrook. It’s free of charge.
Jensen said the hospice wants to get the first of the three yearly programs running by the end of February.
“I’d like ideally for about seven people to start,” she said. “We have a couple of volunteers who run the program, and the facility is about the size that can handle that number.”
People interested in taking part can contact Jensen at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 250-426-8191.
During the program, the mornings are dedicated to peer support and sharing stories, gathering for coffee to talk about the week. Jensen said that therapists will come in the morning, available for anyone who wishes to participate. And complementary comfort care will be available for participants in the facility’s treatment room before lunch.
Lunch will be provided by local chefs and restaurants.
The afternoon will be spent enjoying various activities, such as art therapy, journalling or letter writing, Yoga breathing, advance care planning, music care, pet therapy, meditation, games or sing-song.
Partners in the Live and Learn day program include BC Centre of Palliative Care, Interior Health Authority, Bridge Interiors, Top Crop, United Way, and the many hospice volunteers.
Cranbrook Kimberley Hospice serves both communities and the surrounding area. Along with Live and Learn, programs include end of life’s journey companionship for clients and their families, bereavement support groups for adults, peer support, phone support, and bereavement service for children.