Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization -
Events

Upcoming Events

Recent Events (from oldest to most recent)

  • Angels Remembered campaign (November/December 2012)
  • Hike for Hospice in the Sackville Waterfowl Park (May 5, 2013)
  • Scotiabank BBQ fundraiser for THPCO (August 8, 2013)
  • THPCO at the Sackville Farmers Market (September 21, 2013)
  • "Anything that Floats" race (September 22, 2013)
  • Scotiabank cake auction (October 28, 2013)
  • Angels Remembered campaign (November/December 2013)
  • THPCO accepts the proceeds from the re-cycling of a vehicle through Donate-a-Car Canada (January 2014)
  • Coffee, cake, and conversation about death: Sackville's first Death Cafe (March 2014)
  • Skills for Healing Weekend Cancer Retreat (April 25-27, 2014)
  • Hike for Hospice in downtown Sackville (May 4, 2014)
  • THPCO launch calendar competition in Sackville Tribune Post (September 3, 2014)
  • Fundraising calendars available (November 26, 2014)
  • THPCO donates equipment to Extra-Mural Program in Sackville (December 17, 2014)
  • THPCO supports Hospice Greater Moncton (January 28, 2015)
  • Third annual Hike for Hospice in Sackville a success (May 3, 2015)
  • THPCO supports Ian's walk for end of life care (May 25, 2015) 
  • THPCO donates “comfort bags” to nursing homes and the Sackville Memorial Hospital (June 8, 2016)
  • Chignecto District Women's Institute donates items for THPCO "comfort bags" (October 22, 2016)
  • THPCO's End-of-Life Issues event a big success (November 14, 2016)
  • THPCO fundraising recitals a success! (May 20 and 21, 2017)
  • Third THPCO Death Cafe held at local funeral home (March 6, 2018)
  • THPCO's latest educational event focuses on LGBTQ-inclusive health care and advance care planning (October, 5, 2018)
  • THPCO receives donation from Cumberland Car Club (October 16, 2018)
  • THPCO celebrates ten years of grief and bereavement peer support in our region (November 13, 2018)


Articles for Recent Events (from oldest to most recent)

Angels Remembered article (November/December 2012) - "Local hospice efforts benefit from recent fundraiser"
Thanks to the generous support of Sackville residents and businesses, Hospice Greater Moncton’s “Angels Remembered” campaign in our community was a huge success, raising over $420.00. The Sackville and Tantramar region branch of Hospice Greater Moncton offers volunteer support for terminally ill individuals and their families in the Tantramar region. Trained volunteers are available to provide companionship, practical assistance (e.g., respite for caregivers, drives to medical appointments), and emotional support for people with a life-threatening illness and their families, wherever they are – in a hospital, nursing home, or in the dying person’s own home. There is no charge for this service and a referral is not required. During the month of December, visitors to the Sackville Memorial Hospital and customers at the Bell Aliant store on Main Street were able to purchase, through a donation, an ornamental angel, attach a tag bearing a loved one’s name, and hang the angel on a Christmas tree as a way of honouring their loved one’s memory. “Angels Remembered” cards could be purchased at the Sackville Guardian Pharmacy on Main and York Streets; with a donation, customers were able to write their loved one’s name on the card and the card was displayed in the store’s window.  Jane Claxton-Oldfield, the coordinator of the local hospice palliative care volunteer program, would like to say “a big thank you” to all (residents and businesses) who contributed to the success of the inaugural “Angels Remembered” campaign in Sackville. “The money raised will help support the provision of volunteer services both in Moncton and in Sackville and the Tantramar Region”, said Jane. “In addition, the funds raised in Sackville and through the “Angels Remembered” campaign in the greater Moncton area will also help Hospice Greater Moncton realize it’s goal of establishing a residential hospice in the future.” Anyone who would like more information about the hospice palliative care services and programs available in our community is encouraged to visit the Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization’s webpage at www.thpco.ca. If you, or someone you know, has a terminal illness and could benefit from the assistance of a trained hospice palliative care volunteer, you are urged to contact the Hospice Greater Moncton office at 383-2404.


Hike for Hospice article (May 2013) - "Local hike for hospice event successful"
The first annual Hike for Hospice hosted by the Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO) took place on Sunday, May 5 and was a great success, raising over $1,000.00. THPCO Chair, Stephen Claxton-Oldfield said, “It was a beautiful sunny afternoon in the Sackville Waterfowl Park and a small but enthusiastic group of hikers showed up to support a worthy cause. I can’t believe we raised that much money.” The THPCO is an umbrella group of local service providers and interested individuals that advocates for quality hospice palliative care and strives to increase awareness of the services available in our community for those who are living with a terminal illness and their families. The Hike for Hospice marks the start of National Hospice Palliative Care Week in Canada. “It was a great day of friendship and fundraising” said Claxton-Oldfield, ‘We had hikers of all ages … from 3 to 80 years old. I’m really happy with the way it turned out.” All of the money raised will be used to support the provision of grief and bereavement and hospice palliative care volunteer services in the Tantramar region. Paul Jensen of the Sackville Citizen’s Band sent the hikers off to the tune of ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ on his saxophone and accompanied the hikers around the Waterfowl Park while playing a variety of tunes. Refreshments were served in the Sackville Visitors Centre after the hike. On behalf of the THPCO, Claxton-Oldfield would like to thank Sackville SaveEasy, Sackville Coop, the Bell Aliant store, community radio stations CHMA and CFTA, the town of Sackville, Paul Jensen, and all of the hikers for supporting this event.  


Scotiabank Fundraiser article (August 2013) - "Scotiabank fundraiser supports Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization"
On Thursday, August 8, the Scotiabank on Bridge Street held a BBQ to raise money for the Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO) Inc. Established in 2003, the THPCO is a local charitable organization which advocates for and supports the provision of hospice palliative care services in the Tantramar region. Thanks to Scotiabank preparing hot dogs and burgers for donations and then matching donations, a total of $500.00 was raised. THPCO chair, Stephen Claxton-Oldfield, would like to extend “a big thank you to the great folks at Scotiabank for thinking of our organization for this fundraiser. It’s always great to raise awareness about hospice palliative care and end-of-life issues in our community and raise money at the same time.” The money raised on Thursday will help support THPCO’s grief and bereavement peer support group, which helps people cope with the loss of a loved one, and the Sackville and Tantramar branch of Hospice Greater Moncton’s volunteer program, which provides trained volunteers to support persons with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Both of these services are available to people living in Sackville and the Tantramer region at no cost. For more information about these and other end of life services in the Tantramar region, please visit the THPCO website at: www. thpco.ca.


Farmers Market article (September 2013) - "THPCO at the Sackville Farmers Market"
On Saturday, September 21, members of the Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO) set up a table promoting their organization at the Sackville Farmers Market on Bridge Street. Visitors to the table were made to feel welcome and there were plenty of brochures on hand - describing THPCO, the grief and bereavement peer support group that THPCO sponsors, and the Sackville and Tantramar branch of Hospice Greater Moncton's volunteer program. There were also brightly coloured THPCO bookmarks for anyone who wanted one. Donations were happily accepted. According to Stephen Claxton-Oldfield, the Chair of the THPCO, the desired goal of raising awareness of the hospice palliative care services and resources that are available in the Tantramar region for people living with a life-threatening illness and their families was achieved, "as a number of people who had never heard of THPCO came over to the table to ask about us."


'Anything that Floats' article (September 2013) - "THPCO Floats to Third Place in 'Anything that Floats' Race"
The third annual "Anything that Floats" race took place on Sunday, September 22 and the Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO) was proud to be represented on the high seas (I mean waters) of Silver Lake. The THPCO entry, named "Floating to the Best Possible End", was built and skippered by THPCO member "captain" Wade Settle and his able first mates Josh and Zach. Constructed out of the "innards" of broken down old dishwashers, the THPCO craft got off to a flying start, with paddles flailing wildly in all directions. Rounding the buoy, however, the THPCO crew faced a stiff headwind and, despite taking on water, still managed to cross the line in third place, much to the delight of the cheering crowd. A good time was had by all.


Scotiabank Cake Auction article (October 2013) – “Let Them Eat Cake! THPCO Delighted to be One of Three Worthwhile Causes Supported by Annual Cake Auction”
The 6th annual Scotiabank Cake Auction was held on Monday, October 28. For the past six years, the Sackville Scotiabank on Bridge Street has been helping to support worthwhile causes within the local community by auctioning off cakes in their bank. This year, all proceeds were in support of the Tree of Hope, Open Sky Co-operative, and the Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO). A total of 22 yummy cakes were up for auction, with everything from chocolate cake to carrot cake to cheesecake, many of them spookily decorated for Halloween. In addition to the bank’s employees, each of the three organizations, which benefited from the event, provided cakes. THPCO’s cakes included a two-tier cake with the organization’s umbrella logo on top and a “pumpkin patch” of cupcakes. Auctioneer Randy Geddes kept the bidding going smoothly and provided a few laughs for the crowd with his jokes and stories. By the time the hammer fell on the last cake, just over $1,500 had been raised, which the Scotiabank matched, bringing the grand total to just over $3,000! THPCO chair, Stephen Claxton-Oldfield, said, “THPCO was delighted to have been invited as one of this year’s groups to benefit from this fantastic and fun event”, adding, “THPCO would like to extend a big thank you to the good folks at Scotiabank for their generous support of organizations, like ours, in the community.” 


Angels Remembered article (November/December 2013) - "Angels Remembered Campaign Dubbed a Huge Success"
The recent “Angels Remembered” campaign, which ran from November to December, was a great success, raising nearly $400.00 for the Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO). For a donation, visitors to the Sackville Memorial Hospital (SMH) or the Village Pharmacy in Port Elgin could place an angel with a tag bearing the name of a deceased loved one on a Christmas tree at that location, as a way of honouring their loved one’s memory. THPCO is an umbrella organization made up of service providers and interested individuals who volunteer to advocate for and support the provision of hospice palliative care services and resources in the Tantramar region. These services include a grief and bereavement peer support group (offered twice a year), emotional, social, and practical support from trained volunteers who are available to assist anyone in the Tantramar region living with a life-threatening illness (wherever they choose to be – home, nursing home, or hospital), as well as educational events to enhance knowledge about hospice palliative care in the community. The money raised through the “Angels Remembered” campaign will help to support these activities. In addition, a portion of the money will be given to Hospice Greater Moncton’s residential hospice campaign. Stephen Claxton-Oldfield, the chair of THPCO, would like to thank everyone in the community who donated during the campaign, the volunteers who took donations at the SMH, and the staff at the Village Pharmacy in Port Elgin. 


Donate-a-Car Canada article (January 2014) - "Much Loved Vehicle Benefits Local Hospice Palliative Care Organization"
The Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO) has become the latest charitable organization in New Brunswick to benefit from Donate a Car Canada’s vehicle donation program. The program works like this. If you have a junk, used, or even a newer car to dispose of, Donate a Car Canada will arrange to have it towed away - at no expense to you - and look after the recycling or sale of your vehicle. The net sale proceeds are then sent to the charity of your choice and the donor receives a tax deductible receipt. Steve and Susan Kastuk-Ridlington recently donated their much loved 2000 Honda Odyssey van - a vehicle that had served them well - and chose THPCO as their charity. Susan is a member and past chair of THPCO. THPCO is non-profit, charitable organization, which advocates for and supports the provision of hospice palliative care services and resources in the Tantramar region. Current THPCO chair, Stephen Claxton-Oldfield, said, we’re always pleased to receive donations, but no one has ever donated a car before!” Fortunately, Donate a Car Canada handles all aspects of processing donated cars - from collection by a friendly, local tow truck operator to recycling or selling - and sends a cheque to the donor’s chosen charity. “What a great idea this is”, said Claxton-Oldfield. “Not only do you get rid of an unwanted vehicle at no cost to you, but you help a worthy cause at the same time.” If you have a vehicle to get rid of, don’t call the nearest junk yard, go online at www.donatecar.ca and donate it to charity. A list of charitable organizations (including THPCO) that accept vehicle donations through Donate a Car Canada can be found on their website.

If you would like to donate a car to THPCO, click on the following link to Donate a Car Canada's vehicle donation page:


Death Cafe article (March 2014) - "Lively Time had at Death Cafe"
Sackville’s first Death Café took place at the Black Duck Inn on Bridge Street last Wednesday evening. Despite the wintry weather outside, 19 people attended the event from 7 to 9 PM. Age-wise, it was a more mature crowd - a mix of strangers and friends - who showed up to talk to each other about death and dying, a largely taboo topic in our society. After everyone had time to get settled with their hot beverages and tasty treats, Death Café “host”, Stephen Claxton-Oldfield, talked briefly about the philosophy of the Death Café and how the movement got started. Claxton-Oldfield, an associate professor of Psychology at Mount Allison University, is also the chair of the Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO), which organized the Death Café. One of THPCO’s stated objectives, in addition to advocating for quality hospice palliative care in the Tantramar region, is to raise awareness of end-of-life issues, and one way to do this is to get people talking about death and dying. The atmosphere of the Black Duck Inn was inviting and relaxing. With refreshments ordered (nourishing food and drink is a big part of a Death Cafe), tables lit with candles creating an intimate glow, and introductions out of the way, the attendees broke into two groups and wonderful conversations, occasionally punctuated by laughter, began to unfold on both sides of the cafe. Topics and discussions at Death Cafes are group-directed, with no set agenda. Questions were prepared in case the conversation stalled; they were not needed! Conversations flowed easily and naturally as people shared thoughts about their own mortality, their personal experiences with death and dying, and the need to live in the now and truly enjoy life. No one hesitated to speak and no one’s views were judged as right or wrong. Being able to talk openly and freely with others about such an intimate topic served to reaffirm people’s feelings about death and/or life and opened their minds to other viewpoints. People want to talk about end-of-life issues, but don’t always have a safe and supportive environment in which to do so. Words used most often to describe the participants’ Death Café experience included emotional (but in a good way), thoughtful, comfortable, compassionate, warm, and honest. The two hours passed quickly as people sipped tea, nibbled delicious cake, and talked about death, dying, and living their lives to the fullest. By the end of the snowy mid-March evening, new friendships were made and a very positive experience was had by all. Based on the feedback, this is definitely something that will be done again. There is nothing morbid or depressing about attending a Death Café. On the contrary, it is an uplifting and life-affirming experience. For more information about Death Cafes, visit their website at deathcafe.com. For more information about THPCO, visit thpco.ca.


Skills for Healing Cancer Weekend Retreat (April 25-27) - "Retreat a Powerful and  Immensely Rewarding Weekend"
The Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization helped organize a three-day “Skills for Healing Cancer Weekend Retreat" at the Maritime Conference Centre in Sackville. The retreat, which attracted over 40 participants (individuals with a cancer diagnosis and their family members, partners, and friends), was led by Dr. Rob Rutledge, a radiation oncologist from Halifax, and Dr. Timothy Walker, a contemplative psychotherapist and mindfulness teacher. Doctors Rutledge and Walker are co-authors of the highly acclaimed book, “The Healing Circle: Integrating Science, Wisdom, and Compassion in Reclaiming Wholeness on the Cancer Journey.” Participants learned about integrated cancer care, how to negotiate the medical system, scientifically proven healthy lifestyle habits, and stress physiology and relaxation. The skills of mindfulness-based stress reduction, meditation, yoga, Qi Gong, and reframing difficult thoughts were also taught. Much of the teaching was experiential and involved group discussion. The weekend retreat gave participants the opportunity to relax their bodies, calm their minds, and enjoy getting to know others on a similar journey.It was a powerful and immensely rewarding weekend.


Hike for Hospice article (May 2014) - "Local Hike for Hospice raises over $1,200"
The Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO) held its second annual Hike for Hospice on Sunday, May 4. This year’s route took the hikers through the centre of town. Starting at the Sackville Town Hall, a small but enthusiastic crowd of 24 hikers followed the dulcet tones of Paul Jensen’s saxophone along Main Street, York Street, and Bridge Street. The sun was shining brightly, the spring air was warm, and hikers sang along as Paul played a medley of tunes as they slowly wound their way through down town Sackville. Curious onlookers were given THPCO brochures and bookmarks as part the THPCO’s campaign to raise awareness of hospice palliative care in our community. The THPCO is an umbrella group of local service providers and interested individuals who support hospice palliative care in the Tantramar region. This year’s hike raised over $1,200.00 for THPCO. The THPCO is a not-for-profit organization and all of the money raised by the hike (through pledges and donations) is used to help THPCO support services/resources such as the grief and bereavement peer support group that is offered twice a year (spring and fall), a library of end-of-life care resources (books, CDs, DVDs) that anyone can borrow, and the Sackville branch of Hospice Greater Moncton’s visiting volunteer program (volunteers are available to support terminally ill people and their families in their home, nursing home, or hospital). These services/resources are available at no cost. THPCO also sponsors and organizes various educational events for both health care professionals and the public (e.g., Death Café, ‘Skills for Healing’ cancer weekend retreat). For more information about THPCO, please visit our website at thpco.ca. At the end of the hike, hikers chatted and shared refreshments back at the Town Hall. THPCO chair Stephen Claxton-Oldfield declared this year’s Hike for Hospice a “huge success. It’s great to see local people and local businesses get behind this great cause with their pledges, donations, and participation. We had a blast hiking through town!”

Calendar Competition article (September 2014) - "THPCO Wants Your Photographs for their Calendar Competition"
The Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO) invites amateur photographers to submit photographs for their calendar competition. THPCO are putting together a 2015 wall calendar as a fundraiser. THPCO is a local not-for-profit charitable organization that advocates for and supports the provision of hospice palliative care services and resources in Sackville and the Tantramar region. Some of the funds raised will be used to support THPCO’s grief and bereavement peer support program which is offered twice a year, Hospice Greater Moncton's visiting volunteer program for dying persons and their families in the Tantramar region (volunteers are available to support dying persons/families wherever they choose to be – home, nursing home, hospital), and educational events in the community. The theme of the calendar competition is the landscapes of the Tantramar region, which includes communities such as Dorchester, Sackville, Port Elgin, Murray Corner, Cape Tormentine, etc. THPCO is looking for photographs that showcase some of the Tantramar region’s beautiful scenery throughout the seasons. To enter the competition, photographers must send their photographs as a high resolution JPeg attachment to info@thpco.ca. Photographers can submit a maximum of 2 photographs per person. Along with your photograph(s), please include your name and the location of where each photograph was taken. The competition closes on September 19. The shortlisted 20 photographs will be published in the Sackville Tribune Post on September 24 and readers will then have 10 days to vote for their favourite photograph. The top 12 photographs will appear in the calendar, which will be available locally before Christmas. For more information about THPCO, please visit their website at www.thpco.ca.

The Top 12 Vote-Getting Photographs Are … (October 16, 2014)
Members of the Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO) would like to thank readers of the Sackville Tribune Post for voting for their favourite photographs in our recent calendar competition. The 12 photographs that received the most votes along with the names of the photographers can be found below. Photographers' names and the location of the photographs will be printed in the calendar. The THPCO's 2015 fundraiser calendar will be available for sale locally before Christmas. Check back for more details.

Photograph by Amy Guitard
Photograph by Amy Guitard
Photograph by Anne Varner
Photograph by Anne Varner
Photograph by Brenda Dean
Photograph by Brenda Dean
Photograph by Monika Wohlmuth
Photograph by Monika Wohlmuth
Photograph by Len Standring
Photograph by Len Standring
Photograph by Randy Stright
Photograph by Randy Stright
Photograph by Julie Ridlington
Photograph by Julie Ridlington
Photograph by Julie Ridlington
Photograph by Julie Ridlington
Photograph by Wendy Price
Photograph by Wendy Price
Photograph by Gary Tucker
Photograph by Gary Tucker
Photograph by Gary Tucker
Photograph by Gary Tucker
Photograph by Melanie Colwell
Photograph by Melanie Colwell




THPCO Calendar article (November 26, 2014) - "Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization Fundraising Calendars Now Available"
The Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization’s (THPCO) 2015 fundraiser calendars are now available. In early September, local amateur photographers were invited to submit their photographs of Tantramar landscapes as part of a calendar competition staged by THPCO. Twenty shortlisted photographs appeared in the Sackville Tribune Post in early October and readers voted for their favourites. The top 12 vote-getters appear in the full colour glossy calendar. The calendar, which is filled with beautiful photographs of the Tantramar region, sell for $12.00 each or two for $20.00 and are going fast! A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Hospice Greater Moncton’s residential hospice campaign. The remainder will help THPCO support the provision of volunteer support (for terminally ill persons and their families) and grief and bereavement support (for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one) in the Tantramar region, as well as support educational events in our community. For information on how to purchase a calendar, please email info@thpco.ca. Calendars will also be available for sale during the next “Midnight Madness” event in Sackville on December 5.
 



THPCO Donation article (December 17, 2014) - "THPCO Donate Equipment to the Extra-Mural Program in Sackville"
The Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO) recently made a donation of equipment to the Extra-Mural Program in Sackville. The equipment included a geo-matrix gel mat that can be placed in a patient’s bed for pressure relief if the patient is not moving a lot. This helps to prevent skin breakdown and pressure sores. Also donated was a heel protector pad that helps to lift patients’ feet up off the bed to prevent pressure ulcers forming on the heels and a bed rail for home use, which helps patients get in and out of bed more easily and, at the same time, reduces wear and tear on family caregivers who often assist with lifting and positioning their loved ones in bed. The equipment is primarily intended for use by palliative patients who are receiving end-of-life care at home, but will also benefit the frail elderly as well. Marlene Hueston, the Extra-Mural Program manager in Sackville, and Joanne McNeary, an occupational therapist with the Extra-Mural Program, were thrilled to receive the equipment. “We really appreciate THPCO’s support”, said Joanne. “This equipment will definitely assist us in keeping our palliative patients comfortable at home.”



THPCO Donation article (January 28, 2015) - "THPCO Supports Hospice Greater Moncton"
The Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO) recently made a donation of $500.00 to Hospice Greater Moncton’s (HGM) residential hospice campaign. A portion of the donation was raised through the sale of THPCO’s 2015 fundraising calendar. HGM is committed to the goal of building an adult residential hospice in the greater Moncton area in the near future. A residential hospice is a special home-like place where dying people who, for whatever reason, cannot be cared for at home but do not want to go into hospital, can receive around-the-clock medical and nursing care, as well as emotional, social, spiritual, and practical support. Right now, the only residential hospice in Atlantic Canada is Bobby’s Hospice, a 10-bed residential hospice in Saint John, New Brunswick. As an organization, THPCO’s objectives include helping HGM realize the goal of establishing a residential hospice in southeastern New Brunswick, a facility that would also benefit people in the Tantramar region. As THPCO chair and hospice advocate Stephen Claxton-Oldfield states, “Residential hospices are bright, cheerful, warm, and uplifting places - like a home away from home - where dying people can be helped to live as fully as possible right to the end. My personal preference”, says Claxton-Oldfield, “would be to die at home in my own bed, surrounded by my family but, if for some reason, that can’t happen, then a residential hospice would be the next best thing. Unfortunately, there is only one residential hospice in the whole of Atlantic Canada at the moment. We need to change that.” THPCO is a local organization whose other objectives include increasing awareness of end-of-life issues and advocating for quality care for terminally ill persons and their families. Twice a year, THPCO offers a grief and bereavement peer support group for anyone in the Tantramar region who is having difficulty coping with the loss of a loved one. Other valuable resources in our community include trained visiting volunteers, who are available to provide companionship, emotional support, and practical assistance to individuals living with a life-threatening illness and their families, wherever they may be needed (e.g., in the hospital, nursing home, or in the dying person’s own home). The goal is to ensure that a residential hospice will soon be another option for local residents.


Hike for Hospice article (May 3, 2015) - "Third Annual Hike for Hospice in Sackville a Success"
The Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization's (THPCO) third annual Hike for Hospice in Sackville was a success. Hike for Hospice marks the start of National Hospice Palliative Week in Canada. The official theme of this year’s National Hospice Palliative Care Week is “The Power of 10: Let’s Talk about Hospice Palliative Care.” The idea is for each person to talk to 10 people – family, friends, acquaintances – about the importance of quality hospice palliative care in Canada. It was a warm sunny day and a small, but enthusiastic "crowd" of hikers showed up to take part in this year;'s event. The hike, which started at Sackville Town Hall, followed a route through town and hikers gave out THPCO brochures and "The Power of 10" postcards to those they encountered along the way. The hike finished up back at Town Hall where hikers enjoyed some cake, fruit and camaraderie. It was a great way to spend an afternoon and over $700.00 was raised to help THPCO support the provision of volunteer and grief and bereavement services in our community as well as other end-of-life initiatives.



Ian's Walk article (May 25, 2015) - "THPCO Supports Ian's Walk for End of Life Care"
On Monday, May 25, Ian Bos, a 39-year-old man from Nova Scotia who is walking across Canada to raise awareness of hospice palliative care, passed through the Tantramar region. Three members of the Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO) accompanied Ian for approximately 9 kilometres along the Trans Canada from the Big Stop in Aulac to the Main Street exit in Sackville. Ian’s cross-country walk, dubbed “Ian’s Walk for End of Life Care” was undertaken to get people talking about hospice palliative care and to honour the memory of his father Ted. Ted, who died January 16 of this year after a brave fight with cancer, received excellent end-of-life care at home provided by the Aberdeen Palliative Care Society in New Glasgow. Besides raising awareness, Ian is raising money to support the Aberdeen Palliative Care Society, the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, and palliative care organizations across Canada. What a pleasure it was to meet this remarkable man and walk with him for a couple of hours. As THPCO member Jane Claxton-Oldfield noted, “I admired him before we met, then after only two hours of walking on the highway with him, he became my hero. Those trucks flying past can be a little unnerving to say the least!” Ian’s 6,000 kilometre journey, which began in New Glasgow on May 21, will end in Victoria, BC, sometime in late October. You can follow Ian’s progress on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ianswalk2015 and make a donation to Ian’s walk online.


2016 THPCO fundraising calendar. The top vote-getting photographs are … (October 16, 2015)
Once again, members of the Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO) would like to thank readers of the Sackville Tribune Post for voting for their favourite photographs in our recent calendar competition. The 13 photographs (extra one for January 2017) that received the most votes along with the names of the photographers can be found below. Photographers' names and the location of the photographs will be printed in the calendar. The 2016 THPCO fundraiser calendar will be available for sale locally toward the end of November. Check back for more details.

Photograph by Bob Hunsley
Photograph by Bob Hunsley
Photograph by Caitlin Mahoney
Photograph by Caitlin Mahoney
Photograph by Catherine Priemer
Photograph by Catherine Priemer
Photograph by Gary Tucker
Photograph by Gary Tucker
Photograph by Janet Hammock
Photograph by Janet Hammock
Photograph by Thilo Joerger
Photograph by Thilo Joerger
Photograph by Len Standring
Photograph by Len Standring
Photograph by Melanie Colwell
Photograph by Melanie Colwell
Photograph by Wendy Graham
Photograph by Wendy Graham
Photograph by Caitlin Mahoney
Photograph by Caitlin Mahoney
Photograph by Catherine Priemer
Photograph by Catherine Priemer
Photograph by Cindy Blacklock
Photograph by Cindy Blacklock
Photograph by Randy Stright
Photograph by Randy Stright

Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization donates “comfort bags” to nursing homes and the Sackville Memorial Hospital (June 8, 2016)
The Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO), a local non-profit organization which advocates for the provision of quality end-of-life care services in the Tantramar region, has donated “comfort bags” to two nursing homes and the Sackville Memorial Hospital (SMH). The bags are intended for family members with loved ones who are nearing the end of life. During a loved one’s final days, family members may spend considerable time sitting at the bedside. Caring for a dying loved one is never easy. In a nursing home or at the SMH, family members may be at the bedside night and day, keeping vigil over their loved one during the dying process. To help family members during this most difficult (and exhausting) time, the THPCO is providing “comfort bags” containing items that family members may find useful (and may not have with them), such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, tissues, lip balm, bottle of water, mints, notebook and pen, gum, chewy bar, deck of cards, and a puzzle book. These bags are available for family members sitting with dying loved ones at the Westford and Drew nursing homes and the SMH. The bags also include helpful information about what to expect when the end of life is approaching and information about local resources, such as the THPCO’s grief and bereavement peer support group.




Chignecto District Women's Institute donates items for THPCO "comfort bags" (October, 22, 2016)
On October 22, following a brief presentation by THPCO chair Stephen Claxton-Oldfield, members of the Chignecto District Women’s Institute of New Brunswick made a very generous donation of items to be included in THPCO’s “comfort bags” (see June 8, 2016 article above). The presentation was made by Janet Gour (pictured below with Stephen Claxton-Oldfield) at the Baie Verte Hall in Baie Vert and a wonderful lunch ensued. THPCO would like to extend a huge thank you to the Women’s Institute.



THPCO's End-of-Life Issues event a big success (November 14, 2016)
On Monday, November 14, three specialists in end-of-life matters presented on their areas of expertise at the “End-of-Life Issues” event held at the Maritime Conference Centre. The event was sponsored by the Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO) and was attended by more than 85 people (health care professionals and members of the general public) from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The afternoon’s speakers included Dr. Timothy Christie, a medical ethicist, who discussed Canada’s new medical assistance in dying law (Bill C-14). After distinguishing between terms such as “withholding treatment”, “withdrawing treatment, “assisted suicide” and “euthanasia”, Dr. Christie talked about some of the key events in the assisted suicide debate in Canada, from Sue Rodriquez in 1993 to Carter vs. Canada in 2015. After reviewing the eligibility criteria for medical assistance in dying,  Dr. Christie talked about some of the expected controversies (e.g., 15-day waiting period, age restrictions, conscientious objection, independent witness). The afternoon’s second speaker, Dr. John Ross, an emergency room physician in Halifax, shared his views on when to pursue aggressive treatments for terminal illnesses and when to call for palliative care. Dr. Ross also talked about how our health care system is really more of a reactive “disease care” system and how health care is more about being socially engaged (he referred to a number of social determinants of health). He also talked about the grey tsunami, how changes in life expectancy are tied to advances in medicine and medical technology, and the importance of having conversations about end-of-life care preferences (i.e., planning what we want  - and don’t want - at the end of life). The afternoon’s last speaker was Dr. Pamela Mansfield, a palliative care physician, who talked about the need to improve hospice palliative care services in our province. Acknowledging that we’re all going to die, Dr. Mansfield talked about the palliative approach to death and how palliative care is not just for the last weeks or days of life but, ideally, should be introduced earlier. Dr. Mansfield also spoke about the importance of advanced care planning and concluded by saying that, despite the “awesome” work of the Extra-Mural Program in our province, there really is no coordinated plan for hospice palliative care in New Brunswick, even though there are many benefits and advantages to hospice palliative care for those living with a life-limiting illness. All three speakers provided plenty of food for thought with their information, insights, and humour, and responded to questions at the end of their presentations. The event was a tremendous success for THPCO, thanks to the hard work of the education planning committee. Another educational event is in the works for the new year!

THPCO fundraising recitals a success! (May 20 and 21, 2017)
Over a thousand dollars was raised for the Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO) as a result of the fundraising recitals on May 20th and 21st. The recitals, held in the bright and airy Skyloft Studio at Janet Hammock and Marilyn Lerch’s home in Sackville, featured a springtime bouquet of music and poetry, followed by refreshments and conversation. Performers included Danise Ferguson, cello, Janet Hammock, piano, James Mark, clarinet and Penelope Mark, piano. Poetry was recited by Robert Lapp and Sackville's Poet Laureate Marilyn Lerch read three new poems. A solo piano work by Toronto composer Beverly Lewis written especially for these recitals was premiered by Janet Hammock. THPCO chair, Stephen Claxton-Oldfield, who attended the Saturday afternoon recital said, “It was a fantastic recital, very uplifting. I can’t thank Janet enough for organizing this. I would also like to thank all of the performers for giving so generously of their time and talents and for donating the proceeds from ticket sales to our organization.” The money raised will be used to help fund a workshop for healthcare professionals on the topic of how to effectively support lgbtq2 individuals at the end of life. The workshop is tentatively scheduled for the Fall 2017.


Third THPCO Death Cafe held at local funeral home (March 6, 2018)
Twenty-three people attended the Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization's third Death Cafe which was held at Campbell's Funeral Home. It was a great evening of open and honest conversation about death and dying, with plenty of laughter, food, and drink! The event was a real success and everyone who participated seemed to really appreciate the opportunity to come together with like-minded others to talk not just about death and dying, but also about life and living. As with previous Death Cafes, the evening just flew by. An email received from one of the participants summed the evening up nicely; it read simply, "It was enriching ... inspiring. Thank you for this wonderful Death Cafe."

THPCO's latest educational event focuses on LGBTQ-inclusive health care and advance care planning (October, 5, 2018)
On Friday, October 5, the Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO) sponsored an educational event at the Maritime Conference Centre in Sackville. The first presenter was Dr. Kimberley Acquaviva. Dr. Acquaviva is a professor at the George Washington University School of Nursing in Washington, D.C. She is an innovator and authority on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ) aging and hospice palliative care, and the author of the book LGBTQ-Inclusive Hospice and Palliative Care: A Practical Guide to Transforming Professional Practice. During her presentation, entitled “LGBTQ-Inclusive Care: What patients, healthcare professionals, and community members need to know” , Dr. Acquaviva discussed the essential elements of an LGBTQ-inclusive healthcare organization and encouraged participants to assess the extent to which their organization’s policies and practices are inclusive of LGBTQ people. The second presenter was Dr. Pamela Mansfield. Trained at Dalhousie University, Dr. Mansfield did her residency program in family medicine at the Moncton Hospital, then went on to further specialty training in palliative medicine in Halifax.  Working for the last ten years in Moncton, she is a palliative care consultant for patients who are in the hospital and for patients in the community by doing home visits. She also teaches medical students and resident doctors about palliative care. Working with the New Brunswick Hospice Palliative Care Association, Dr. Mansfield advocates for palliative care for all New Brunswickers and works to improve the palliative care education of health care providers and volunteers. Dr. Mansfield’s presentation focuses on the importance of advance care planning - thinking about and sharing your future healthcare wishes (i.e., what you would or would not want if you became ill and could not speak for yourself). Approximately 60 individuals (health care providers and community members) attended the presentations.


THPCO receives donation from Cumberland Car Club (October 16, 2018)
The annual Cumberland Car Club Car Show was held at Robb’s Centennial Field in Amherst, NS on June 24, featuring vintage cars and trucks, classic cars, and street rods and sports car. This year, the Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO) was chosen as one of the Car Club’s charities to donate to, using the proceeds form the 50-50 raffle held at the show. THPCO chair Stephen Claxton-Oldfield met with Car Club president Bill Crossman and member Austin Tingley to receive a check for $250.00. On behalf of the THPCO, Claxton-Oldfield thanked the Cumberland Car Club for their generous support of their organization.



THPCO celebrates ten years of grief and bereavement peer support in our region (November 13, 2018)
Since 2008, the Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization’s (THPCO) grief and bereavement peer support group has been helping people in our region cope with the death of a loved one. The peer support group provides an opportunity for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one to come together and support each other in a confidential and emotionally safe place. Groups are held twice a year (Spring and Fall) and run for 7 to 8 weeks, free of charge. Two of the group’s original volunteer facilitators - Audrey Hicks, a retired nurse, and Lesley Read, a retired social worker - are still with the group 10 years later. Over the past 10 years, a total of 17 groups have been held, attended by over 100 people; only 3 planned groups were cancelled due to lack of participants. An information session was held in Port Elgin with over 40 people attending, followed by a regular peer support group there. “We have been inspired to keep offering these groups because of the courage and strength shown by the participants”, says Hicks. Since the group’s beginning, approximately 14 people have also received one-on-one peer support. The group’s goals include providing information (e.g., what are normal reactions to grief, coping with anniversaries and other special dates), being supportive and understanding, and helping each other work toward the positive resolution of their grief. The group provides participants the opportunity to meet with other individuals who are going through similar experiences, share their stories, learn from one another, and receive much needed support to help them cope with their loss. “It is very rewarding to watch group members grow and change from sadness and despair to having hope again”, says Read. THPCO provides handbooks for each group, which have been greatly appreciated by participants. About 4 to 6 weeks after each group, a get together is planned so that participants can share how they are doing and be together. In the words of one participant, “Before attending this group, I was lost. I was going into a very dark place. After attending the sessions with very well-informed and kind leaders, and being among others suffering like me, telling their stories, it made me realize that I am not alone. My emotions are normal for what I am going through. I would certainly recommend these sessions for anyone who is grieving.” Another participant shared, “I told everyone I was going and how much it helped me. I couldn’t have got through it on my own.” In addition to Hicks and Read, Donna Fillmore and Jane Claxton-Oldfield have also served as volunteer facilitators in the past. “Our organization is incredibly proud of the amazing work of the group’s facilitators and the real difference they have made in people’s lives over the past 10 year. This is definitely a milestone worth celebrating”, says THPCO chair Stephen Claxton-Oldfield.

Don't forget to support the Hospice Shoppe at 164 Collishaw Street in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Download Jane Claxton-Oldfield's article "Healing Involves the Body, Mind, and Spirit"

 





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