Palliative beds long fought for

It was our pleasure to have a tour recently with Jill Gerke, of the five palliative beds located at Trillium Lodge.

It was our pleasure to have a tour recently with Jill Gerke, Director of Palliative Beds, Nanaimo and Mid/Upper Island, of the five palliative beds located at Trillium Lodge, with a separate entrance.

It has been a long trek since 2003 of our Oceanside Palliative Caregivers campaigning to bring about the great need of palliative beds in our very senior part of Canada. We started this campaign in 2003 with a presentation to the Provincial Authority Health Board in Victoria of some 30 cases.

There has been palliative training for RNs and LPNs, so that there will be a nurse on duty at all times to care for our loved ones, with Dr. Marlene vanderWeyde as the lead palliative physician. We are blessed to have this staff prepared to help us as caregivers, and we have a place to bring our loved ones.

Many caregivers have burned out caring for their loved ones at home, and it is so good to have another choice for the family, rather than driving to and from Nanaimo General Hospital and to be near their families.

The rooms are spacious with their own bathroom, overhead lift for ease in moving about, sleeper chairs for a family member, soft comforting colours.

Each room has a window to view the gardens. There is an extra large room for the families to relax, comfy chairs, microwave, fridge, so that family members can be close by their loved one.

We want to thank each and everyone of you that signed the petitions with 4,000 signatures and wrote letters of your life stories to the Health Minister. We know it took a lot of courage and strength to write these letters. This was a huge combined team effort and we celebrate this final grand result.

We want to extend our thanks and appreciation to Jill Gerke, Island Health, Dr. Carr, Don Hubbard, Oceanside Hospice and the End to Life group for their effort to help make the journey easier for our loved ones and their families.

Carol and Fred DoweQualicum Beach