Who hospice is for
Serving clients and their families
Anyone who is deemed palliative and is no longer receiving curative treatment for an illness is welcome to request our services, as are the families of these people. Our clients request extra companionship and help, and our families often require some respite.
One of our greatest gifts to our clients and their families is the provision of respite to the family members who are often on duty 24-7 with their loved one. And for those who live alone in the city, we are sometimes the only consistent social support they have at their end of life.
There is no cost for this non-medical support and there are no timelines set for how long clients need to use our services. Some clients need help off and on — for example, through our Hospice Now program — and some clients use our Hospice without Walls for the regular visits and companionship or Bereavement Support for the family after the client passes.
How Prairie Hospice helps
Helping clients with daily tasks
Services are provided by well-trained volunteers, and include helping clients with some of the instrumental activities of daily living that allow clients to live independently in the community, like buying groceries, running errands, preparing food, taking care of simple household chores, and providing transportation.
Living life to the fullest
Our volunteers will often simply “be there” – sitting quietly with our client, reading, playing games, visiting over tea, or outings. We believe that people who are at end of life want to live their lives to the fullest extent possible in spite of their illness, so we provide services that make it possible for them to “live until they die.” We try to help them be in the moment and experience joy in their lives in spite of their circumstances.
Hospice client service volunteers may do the following:
- Provide companionship and emotional support.
- Accompany to appointments, errands, social outings, and walks.
- Assist with collecting and recording of life stories.
- Provide a variety of non-medical comfort measures.
- Offer respite for caregivers.
- Assist with sorting and organizing.
What volunteers cannot do:
- Give medications.
- Offer services related to “activities of daily living” (i.e. no lifting, transferring, bathing, dressing, toileting, feeding).
Hospice without Walls
Hospice without Walls is a program that provides a consistent, one-on-one volunteer to journey alongside people facing death and their caregivers. Clients can stay in their own homes and we will follow our clients as their needs change, providing non-medical care.
Hospice Now is our quick response service that provides clients and families with urgent respite and household-related services wherever that resident resides. The main focus is on transportation requests for medical appointments but everyone has different needs.
Prairie Hospice provides grief and bereavement support to clients’ families. Volunteers support families for one year after the death, offering the next of kin a safe environment to grieve. The family can opt-out at any time. This is friendly support, not professional counselling.
Our care providers
Prairie Hospice volunteers
Volunteers have undergone a criminal record check, and have been interviewed by our team, provided references, and completed the intensive training program.
Volunteers come from diverse backgrounds, and clients are matched based on common interests and personalities. Once matched, clients will always meet with the same volunteer, providing consistency and allowing them to get to know each other. Volunteers may also stay in contact with the family for up to a year after the client has passed on.
Prairie Hospice volunteers offer approximately four hours per week of their time. The volunteer and client establish a schedule that works for both parties.
Eligibility & referrals
Eligibility criteria are somewhat flexible to ensure that those at end of life, with non-curative illness are provided with support in their homes. At this time, we are only able to serve clients within the city limits of Saskatoon.
In general, Prairie Hospice Society clients must meet the following criteria to be accepted into our programs:
- The potential client has a terminal diagnosis
- The potential client is no longer seeking curative treatment.
- There are no concerns about physical safety of the client’s home or about safety related to mental health issues of the client or client’s family. The safety of volunteers and staff can be reasonably ensured.
Access and referral process
Anyone may call or email us to start the referral process, which will involve a home visit and an assessment by the Volunteer Coordinator. Referrals may also come from various health-related agencies on behalf of individuals (or their families) facing end of life. One of our volunteer coordinators will speak directly with you to arrange the assessment. They will take the time to understand your needs and review our services with you.