The Path to Hospice – Anna’s Story

October 2023

There are over 500 active volunteers at our Hospice, and each volunteer has a unique and personal story of their pathway to Hospice.  

In many cases, they were inspired by their own experience with a family member or loved one in our care; wanting to “pay forward” the dedication and compassion they found at Hospice.

Anna is one of our newer volunteers, and shared her story.

Words cannot express how grateful and honoured I feel to have the opportunity to volunteer with Hospice. It has been an extremely rewarding experience for me.

My first encounter with Hospice was in March 2022 when my father was a resident. We were only at Hospice for one night, for approximately five hours; however, the support and comfort the Hospice staff and volunteers provided for my family is something words could never describe. I was able to sit with my Dad and just be his daughter rather than his caregiver. It was at that moment that I realized I would like to provide other family members with the same amazing opportunity I had experienced.

Having a degree in Therapeutic Recreation helped inspire me to approach the Hospice team with an idea for a new program. After receiving Hospice training, we implemented a legacy program that any volunteer could help run. We utilize ceramic hearts to imprint residents’ fingerprints so families have a precious keepsake. We have also had the opportunity to implement various seasonal activities, a ceramic plate program, and canvas art program where residents and family members create an art piece using their hand prints. It has been an extremely rewarding and therapeutic experience for the residents, family members, and myself as a volunteer as we reminisce, and create beautiful keepsakes. It has been an honour and privilege to work alongside residents and family members making memories that will last a lifetime.

Along this journey, I have learned through Hospice staff that Hospice is not about dying, it is about affirming life and helping people live their last days to the fullest.”

Anna is just one example of the ways in which our Hospice volunteers have taken inspiration from their own experiences with Hospice, and turned that inspiration into creativity and a passion for palliative care.

Although the teams in our Residences are fully focused on physically caring for our patients on their final journey, they also create moments of joy, laughter, and lifelong memories within those walls. That’s truly The Hospice Way.

If you would like to become part of our Volunteer team, please contact our Hospice at (519) 974-7100.