Frequently Asked Questions

What is hospice palliative care?

Hospice palliative care is the active, expert and gentle care of people with serious progressive illness when cure is not expected. It includes support to individuals who are caregiving for someone at the end of life, and to those who have suffered the loss of someone such as a family member or a friend.

The terms hospice and palliative care are used interchangeably in most parts of Canada. Palliative care, or comfort care, is an integrated program in which expert physical, social, emotional and spiritual support is provided to patients and their loved ones coping with advanced illness, death and bereavement.

What do hospice societies in BC provide?

“Hospice societies provide support and care for people living with life-limiting illness and for people at the end of life, as well as family, friends and others affected by someone’s life-limiting illness or death. These societies also provide support and care for people experiencing bereavement and those who are grieving. The support and care offered by hospice societies aims to enhance quality of life and provide comfort, while maintaining people’s dignity. Hospice societies provide emotional, social, practical, spiritual, and grief and bereavement supports. Hospice societies use a whole-person approach that is person and family-centered. Their support and care are provided with compassion and recognize and respect the diverse aspects of a person’s identity and culture. Specially trained staff and volunteers deliver this support and care in a variety of settings, including the person’s home, long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, hospice facilities or residences, hospitals, virtual platforms, or other community locations. Hospice societies are part of a broader system of formal and informal supports. In British Columbia, the services hospice societies provide and the way they provide them can vary, depending on which community they serve. Hospice societies are not the same as a hospice facility or residence which provides 24-hour medical care for people with palliative and end-of-life care needs. Only a few hospice societies operate a facility or residence.”

(BC Centre for Palliative Care & BC Hospice Palliative Care Association (2024). Hospice Societies’ Care in British Columbia: A Consensus Definition From a Multidisciplinary Delphi Panel.)

Do Hospice Society clients have to pay?

All Chilliwack Hospice Society grief support and palliative care support programs and services are provided free of charge because of the generosity of community donors and their support of our fundraising events and the Thrifty Boutique.

How are clients and families supported?

Chilliwack Hospice Society provides one-to-one grief support, group grief support, palliative care support, relaxation services, and volunteer one-to-one and group grief support, as well as a variety of educational workshops, presentations, and resources. Support is available to clients, family (including children and youth), caregivers, and close friends.

How much training do your volunteers have?

Hospice Society volunteers are required to take a 35-hour training program based on provincial standards and best practices.

Hospice Society volunteers have excellent listening skills and receive training in group facilitation and/or one-to-one support that enables them to provide companionship and support to clients and families in their homes, in hospital, or wherever the client calls home. Support is additionally offered through programs at the Chilliwack Hospice Society office.

Hospice Society volunteers complete a confidentiality agreement and undergo a RCMP criminal record check.

Does it cost anything to take the training?

Yes — $125 to offset administrative costs.

If I have already trained as a volunteer at another hospice, do I have to take your training?

Yes. All volunteers working for Chilliwack Hospice Society must take our Basic Hospice Training. By doing so the trainee becomes familiar with the organization and Hospice Society staff have an opportunity to get to know the volunteer, thus allowing for ease of placement within the programs and services.