On Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, something extraordinary is going to happen.

People from around the world who have been impacted by a life-limiting illness, either personally or by supporting a loved one, will be raising awareness, celebrating, and supporting hospice palliative care. 

World Hospice and Palliative Care Day

Oct. 10 is World Hospice and Palliative Care Day and it’s extraordinary because in this time when there seems to be so much dividing us throughout the world, we have a day that causes us all to pause and remember the one defining thing that we all have in common, our universal humanity in caring for each other at end of life.

World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is a time to reflect on how important it is to us as a society and community to provide care to individuals and families facing end of life. It is about recognizing that good end of life care is a basic human right and that it should be considered as an essential component of all health systems. 

Dame Cecil Sanders, the founder of the modern hospice movement, said “You matter because you are you – and you matter right to the end of your life”. This is our call to recognize the person as more than their illness. To recognize their humanity and their story. To provide wholistic care to the complete person, including their physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and practical needs. And this is what hospice palliative care does so well.

Oct. 10 is also the day that we at Hospice of Waterloo Region are celebrating our soon to be completed new Gies Family Centre and Cook Family Residence by launching our campaign, Making Hospice a Home. This new Centre and 10 bed residential hospice will provide much needed comfort, care and support to those on an end of life journey. And we are inviting the community to help us in the final stages of making this hospice a home for those who will be ending their journey with us.

Making Hospice a Home will provide the special touches that turn a building into a comfortable home by adding the blankets, the baking, the pillows, the tea kettle and the food, which bring people together. It will furnish all of those needed items that will help to make the individual and family feel like they are surrounded by care and support, not only from the staff and volunteers but from a truly compassionate community. Join us in helping to make our new hospice a home for our clients.

Judy Nairn

Executive Director, Hospice of Waterloo Region

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