Paige Karczynski is the new executive director of Nanaimo Community Hospice Society. (Photo submitted)

Paige Karczynski is the new executive director of Nanaimo Community Hospice Society. (Photo submitted)

Providing hospice in a time of pandemic

Vancouver Island hospices forced to adapt during a time when grief counselling greatly needed

Hospice is doing what it can in a time of sickness, death and grief, when its services are badly needed.

Nanaimo Community Hospice Society is adapting to different ways of delivering services in a pandemic, and one of the people leading that transition is new executive director Paige Karczynski.

“It’s been a weird year with COVID and they’ve had to reimagine operations and fundraising events and we’ve lost that personal touch…” Karczynski said. “One silver lining from this whole thing is we’ve opened up some ideas as to how to continue certain things virtually or have a mixed delivery method of programs and services.”

RELATED: Cowichan welcomes $10 million end-of-life facility

RELATED: Hospice services a ‘hidden gem’ for those in need

There are 250 volunteers who have been impacted by changes. Volunteers don’t stop in at the hospice house, for example, and in-person visits at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s palliative care unit have been suspended.

But they’re still finding a way to connect with those who need help, Karczynski said, as volunteers who are more tech-savvy have assisted their peers. Grief counsellors, she said, can actually help more clients in day over the phone and on Zoom than they could in-person.

The continuity of service is important, Karczynski said, as she believes everyone has been struggling whether or not they’re dealing with death or dying, and isolation has been challenging.

“Those that are grieving death and dying and couldn’t see someone because [they] couldn’t go into the hospital – even funerals now having to happen virtually or in a certain setting – lots of people are grieving and struggling with that…” she said. “With that happening, we definitely have overcome and welcomed different resources like moving virtually.”

Karczynski takes over as executive director in time for Nanaimo Community Hospice’s 40th anniversary this year, and she said there will be some manner of celebration, even if it has to be virtual. The society hopes its Hike for Hospice can happen, and it’s close to announcing details of a dream home lottery.

“We’re really thankful that our community has stood by us during this time,” Karczynski said. “We wouldn’t be able to keep our lights on and our doors open without the community support and donations.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Nanaimo Community Hospice was happy to recently receive a $446 Movember donation from Nanaimo District Secondary School…

Posted by Nanaimo News Bulletin on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Charity and Donations

Just Posted

Mary Mason of Owls Path Foundation presents plans for a Nuu-chah-nulth Cultural Centre to Port Alberni city council. The structure pictured in this image is the Copenhagen Opera House. (SCREENSHOT)
$25 million Indigenous cultural centre pitched for Port Alberni

Three possible locations put forward for multi-million-dollar Nuu-chah-nulth project

Ron Sivorot, business director at Kennametal’s Langford site, the Greater Victoria facility that made a component being used on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. (Jake Romphf, Black Press Media)
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover using piece made right here on Vancouver Island

Kennametal’s Langford plant’s tooth blank is helping the rover’s drill collect rock cores

To each their own pipe. The new sewer main during staging in James Bay before it was installed in 2018, to convey waste to the McLoughlin Point treatment facility. (Black Press Media file photo)
‘End in sight,’ for Victoria’s annual sewage overflows

Wastewater projects underway should end sewage overflows

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Island Health opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

The garage door doesn’t look like this anymore, and neither do my sister (left) and me. (Family photo)
Simpson: Home is where you know your neighbours

My mom has lived at the same address for 43 years, I have not

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

NIC Engineering student Johnny Marshall lowers a prototype oyster grow-out system into the ocean for testing in Campbell River. Photo courtesy NIC
NIC partners with Cortes shellfish company on oyster research

Study and testing hoping to mitigate the impacts of warming oceans on oyster mortality

The Chan family stands in front of the donor recognition wall at West Coast General Hospital with the new ultrasound that was purchased with their donation. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Doctor’s estate funds new ultrasound machine at West Coast General Hospital

Dr. Shiu Fai Chan worked at Port Alberni’s hospital for years

David Wighton is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as the winner of the Coaches Award. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Life-changing lessons shared after 55-year coaching career

David Wighton is the 2021 recipient of the West Shore Local Hero Coaches Award

Gabriel Swift, 23, is one of three Victoria filmmakers chosen to receive $20,000 Telus Storyhive grants to produce Local Heroes documentaries. (Courtesy of Gabriel Swift)
Three Victoria filmmakers producing ‘local heroes’ documentaries with $20,000 grants

Telus Storyhive providing $20,000 to 40 Western Canada productions

Saanich Fire Department. Black Press Media File Photo
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

Dan Law is Tofino’s new mayor. (Westerly file photo)
UPDATED: Dan Law elected mayor of Tofino

Cathy Thicke and Jacky Challenger earn council seats.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a personal support worker at the Ottawa Hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 in Ottawa. Doctors in Alberta have signed an open letter asking for prioritized vaccination of health-care staff who work directly with patients on dedicated COVID-19 units. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID vaccines for seniors in B.C.: Here’s how to sign up

Seniors 90+, Indigenous seniors 65+ and Indigenous Elders can book starting March 8

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Most Read