Society management

Lacombe Palliative Care Society to Feature Special Speaker October 5 – Rimbey Review

Helping families and patients with end-of-life care, the Lacombe Palliative Care Society was formed in the mid-1990s and today oversees two suites at the local hospital.

Board members are gearing up for special educational and inspirational sessions on October 5 at the Lacombe Memorial Center featuring master storyteller Rick Bergh.

The first session, which runs from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., is called “It’s Your Brain on Grieving” and the evening session, which starts at 7:00 p.m., is “Making Sense of Losses life “.

Everyone is welcome and a voluntary offering will be taken. No registration is required.

Bergh has many credentials ranging from working as a narrative therapist and ordained minister to being a bestselling author, speaker and workshop leader.

Organizers say the sessions are a great way to increase dialogue around grief and death in particular and the Hospice Palliative Care Society in general.

“The Hospice Care Society donated the money to buy the beds and all the furniture for the rooms,” said Diane Lindquist, society secretary, of the suites they oversee at the hospital.

“Alberta Health Services gave us the space to do that. So they belong to Alberta Health Services, but we keep the furniture up to date. We make sure this is the best palliative care we can provide in this environment,” she said, adding that hospital staff also work directly with patients and their families.

“We have noticed that everyone who has used these suites has enjoyed having this home environment so much,” she added.

“They can have their family there. Often their quality of life will also improve once they enter the suite, as they are supported medically as well as by their families.

Edie Biggelaar, the company’s former president, agreed.

Biggelaar, who was instrumental in the initial launch of the company, and Lindquist are retired nurses and both worked in the suites directly with clients.

Biggelaar has spent much of her career working in palliative care and is passionate about it.

“It’s very emotional work, but it’s also extremely rewarding,” she said. “You have to make it as comfortable as possible for that client.

“I loved palliative care (nursing); I loved getting to know the families and I loved trying to do my best for the patients. »

Lindquist added, “They feel like part of your own family because you get to know them so well.”

She said the society also supports educational opportunities for anyone interested in palliative care in the community.

This can range from classes on symptom management to helping the public better understand what palliative care can provide.

She said the Alberta Hospice Palliative Care Society also delivers this message every year. “We subsidize people who want to attend these (sessions),” she said.

Both women agree that discussions of death and dying are, for the most part, shunned in much of modern society.

“We don’t talk about it until we have to talk about it,” Lindquist said. This is where education can help. “You have to be educated about it and you have to accept the concept of death. You also have to be able to find hope in this context,” she said.

Meanwhile, Lindquist said the society is always looking for new members.

“If anyone has an interest, we’ll definitely welcome it,” she said. “We also want to thank the community for all the support they give us.”

According to the society’s website, the current membership consists of approximately 20 passionate volunteers.

“Some are from the medical community; others have experienced palliative care or hospice care for a loved one and enjoyed it so much they want to make sure other individuals and families have the same positive experience.

To learn more about the October 5 sessions or the Lacombe Palliative Care Society, visit

You can also find them on Facebook.