Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Letter: Living your remaining days in comfort

Thank you, to the staff and volunteers at the Moog & Friends Hospice House in Penticton

I would like to share a few stories of how hospice care in Penticton has helped my family over the years.

In 2004, my father-in-law was terminally ill. When his care became too difficult to manage at home, we were able to move him into the Moog &Friends Hospice House in Penticton. Although he referred to it as the “dying house” we all soon learned that it was much more than that. It was a place for family to feel secure in the knowledge he would live his remaining days in the most comfortable way possible. Friends and family were able to visit and to share memories as well as goodbyes. Those of us facing the loss were strengthened by the caring staff and volunteers.

When my mother-in-law fell seriously ill in 2009 it was without hesitation that she requested to be moved to hospice house. She was familiar with the house and felt safe there. She was warmly welcomed and comforted by many of the same familiar faces of the staff and volunteers from five years earlier. As before, family and friends were able to visit her in a home-like environment.

Last year my father passed away from complications of ALS. He was determined to live as well as he could at home, for as long as he could. Dad was an enormous inspiration to us all. During this time, the hospice care workers visited and called regularly. Any concern or need was managed by his palliative care team. Due to the nature of the disease, he knew a time would come when his symptoms would be better managed in a medical environment. His hope was hospice house. Sadly, when that time came, a bed wasn’t available. Instead we said our goodbyes in a cramped and bustling hospital ward. Despite the sadness of that last day, there was a bright spot. Cooper, a volunteer therapy dog came in to offer comfort in the form of a great big doggy hug.

In closing, thank you, to the staff, volunteers (including Cooper) and the very important donors that come together to make the lives of the terminally ill and their families easier during such difficult times.

Debra Huck

Okanagan Falls