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 A Community Partnership

Palliative Care In The Bow Valley

Palliative Care In The Bow Valley

The Proposed Concept aligns well with the economic and social objectives of the Town of Canmore because of the nature of the services the hospice will provide.  According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information report, Canadian Access to Palliative Care in Canada, people who receive palliative care earlier are less likely to visit emergency departments frequently or receive aggressive treatment at the end of life. 

Hospice Need in the Bow Valley

The Bow Valley Hospice will be ideally positioned to help further alleviate the increasing strain that the progression in the palliative care journey and end-of-life care for primary or acute care services.

As Canmore grows there will be increasing need to allow for end of life care in the community. This large land trust, set in a pastoral green space, at the foot of Three Sisters Mountain, yet close to Town, is ideally suited for the Bow Valley Hospice. It will serve not only those residents of Canmore but also the entire Bow Valley community. 

Palliative Care Society of the Bow Valley (PCSBV) 

The Palliative Care Society of Bow Valley’s vision is to construct a hospice for the purpose of providing and supporting ‘full-spectrum’ palliative and end-of-life care for the community of Canmore and the surrounding local Bow Valley communities. Services and programs from the time of diagnosis through to grief and bereavement support for the family and caregivers after the death of the patient will be incorporated. The Hospice will also include day hospice programs such as music therapy and physical therapy. Administrative offices for the PCSBV, staff and volunteer spaces will also be included within the building. 

It will be grounded in the principles that embody a caring, compassionate, and connected community. It will provide space for gathering and engagement for people facing terminal illness with their family and friends. It will provide mutual support and palliative care day programming and respite care for families. The Hospice will ultimately strengthen the community by providing local, equitable access to all Bow Valley residents requiring hospice care who would otherwise need to leave the Bow Valley for care in other urban locations. 

The Proposed Hospice Concept is contiguous to existing development and is in proximity to the town center, the focal point of the community.

The location and design of the Hospice will align with the Town's climate change initiatives.

The Proposed Concept is in alignment with palliative and end-of-life care accreditation standards.

Hospice Community Porch - Grass 1 Sky 5.jpg

Conceptual Design Only

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Conceptual Design Only

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Conceptual Design Only


Currently, those patients for whom residential end-of-life care is appropriate must leave the community of Canmore to receive care in a hospice. The landowners will donate approximately 0.8 ha (2 ac) of land to the PCSBV. The owners will also be providing all the required servicing. The Hospice will provide an exceptional benefit to the community and is supported by many in the community. A letter of support from the Palliative Care Society of the Bow Valley has been received.

Stakeholder / First Nations Conversations

PCSBV has spoken with many community stakeholders regarding rural hospice care in the  Bow Valley, including health care workers, medical practitioners, and other allied health care professionals to ascertain where the gaps in palliative care lie. Without exception, all spoke of the need for a residential hospice facility to avoid unnecessary hardship on families struggling with end-of-life issues by having to travel to Calgary or other urban centres for hospice care. Having a hospice located in Canmore addresses an enormous gap in services that will only increase as the population ages. 

Terminal illness affects people in all walks of life. PCSBV will provide services to terminally ill patients and their families, regardless of age, income, or gender including the provision of residential hospice palliative care, end of life programs and grief and loss support. The PCSBV programming and service delivery will be sensitive to diverse cultural practices in end-of-life care.

Members of the PCSBV met with Stoney Nakoda First Nations on many occasions since 2016 and discussed general cultural and spiritual observances related to palliative care in the planning process of developing palliative care programs and designing a Palliative Care House. From these conversations, the PCSBV established several recommendations in the design of a Palliative Care House, including but not limited to:

Ability to accommodate a full smudge ceremony in the Palliative Care Hospice.

Sacred space in the Hospice to perform various ceremonies.

One room designed to accommodate up to 25 family members with sleeping accommodation for a least one family member to stay overnight.

Provide education sessions and have protocols available regarding Stoney traditional cultural and spiritual observances for the non-indigenous health care staff and volunteer engagement.

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