Why is Hospice Needed?

At some time, in some way, we must all face the end of life, and most of us share a common hope – that when death comes to us or a loved one, it will be peaceful.

We hope to be surrounded by those we love, feeling safe, comfortable and cared for.

When our life has ended we hope that our loved ones, who are left behind, will be comforted and supported through their grief (Living Lessons 2011).

There is considerable fear, avoidance and denial around the end of life.  Hospice is here to support and educate the community about the value of acknowledging, savouring and sharing the time and the relationships each of us has left.

Who we are:

  • Oceanside Hospice Society (OHS) is a non-profit charity, established informally by volunteers from the community, many years prior to its incorporation in 1990.
  • We are community funded and volunteer-driven, with over 60 volunteers and four staff.
  • We serve individuals and their families who are facing end-of-life issues
  • Hospice is a philosophy of care that focuses on patient comfort and quality of life during the patients’ final months and days
  • OHS is an integral part of the interdisciplinary end-of-life team within the community, practicing a holistic approach to care
  • All resources coming from the community are put back into the community to offer services free of charge
  • Our Resource Centre for Palliative and Grief Support is located at 210 Crescent Road West in Qualicum Beach, and we have additional space in Coombs used for equipment loan program storage. We serve clients at the Hospice at Trillium Lodge, the Palliative Care Unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, in homes, and in the community.
  • Service is offered in the Oceanside communities of Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Nanoose, Deep Bay, Bowser, Qualicum Bay, Errington, Coombs, Hillers and Whiskey Creek
  • We are board members, volunteers trained in companioning, bereavement support, counselling, palliative vigils,  Reiki, massage and healing touch, fund development and event organization
  • We offer a wide range of life experiences and skills
  • All of those working with clients are trained to provincial standards. Volunteers offer practical assistance and supportive care to patients and families facing end of life issues
  • Volunteers focus on physical, emotional, social, spiritual and economic stresses which are experienced during the final stages of living, care-giving and bereavement.


Our Human Resources and Services:

With a staff of four employees and 60 volunteers OHS currently deliver the following services to the community:

  • Needs Assessment and Referral for Services
  • Equipment Loan Program
  • One to One Client Support Services
  • One to One Grief Support
  • Grief Support Groups
  • Grief Walking Groups
  • Caregiver Respite and Companioning
  • Palliative Vigil Team
  • Holistic Self-Care
  • Lending Library
  • Community Networking, Education and Training
  • On site Grief Counseling

We strive to provide links in the continuum of care by supporting care giving at home, in hospital, Trillium Hospice and at community care facilities

Often staff time can be significantly diverted to fundraising and event coordination efforts, so our challenge is to attain stable funding to allow professional volunteer coordination and continued certified client counselling.

Our volunteers are our greatest asset!


Supporting Our Families, Building a Healthy Future

Those of us who have chosen to live and work in the unique community of Oceanside hope also to continue living and receiving services within the community. A vast majority of the population does not enjoy the financial freedom to afford personal palliative care and hospice services at or near home.

Health care dollars are seldom targeted to small communities, going instead to larger communities where the statistical need is the greatest. Smaller, unique communities like Oceanside have a finite donor bank and rely more and more on private donations to ensure access to palliative care and hospice services.

As a non-profit charity, OHS is able to apply for grant monies through granting agencies such as gaming, United Way, New Horizons for Seniors and HRDSC. However, there is extreme competition for the not-for-profit dollar and grant award timing is variable, making budget planning more complicated.