Wheatland & Area Hospice Society received a $7,000 grant for palliative care from the Alberta Government. The Society is one of 25 organizations across Alberta that received grants from the Alberta Government.

Wheatland & Area Hospice Society Chair Person Dr. Joni McNeely explained the money will be used to buy iPads, headphones, and data for palliative care. The Society partnered with the Strathmore Municipal Library to check in and check out the iPads, and they're expected to be available by October first. McNeely explained the iPads will have many uses.

"It allows volunteers and families to help a client access resources online. So those could be zoom meetings, which are support meetings. They could be online resources like living with advanced illnesses or grief support. They could be face-timing with family members who are distant. And it's always done in the comfort of the patient's own surroundings."

McNeely added palliative care can span many different time frames, as it's a case-by-case scenario to offer the best treatment.

"Palliative care is a specialty that addresses end of life care. In the past, end of life was often recognized to be one month to end of life, and now we recognize it to be when there's a diagnosis made. It could be years, to months, to weeks, to days, of care. Palliative care involves not only a medical team but it also involves family and friends, neighbours, community, and complementary stakeholders within the community, such as pharmacists, therapists, social work, and clergy."

This care is important to support people nearing the end of their lives and their families during a difficult time.

"People felt that there wasn't anything to do. In the past the conversation was 'go home, there's nothing left to do.' But now, we tend to think of palliative care as alleviating pain, providing comfort, making the best out of a bad situation, and there certainly is a lot that can be done for those weeks and months."

"Palliative care makes us stronger as a community, as family, and as individuals. Because we're recognizing not only is the beginning and middle of life important, but also the end of life."

To learn more about palliative care, you can visit websites like virtualhospice.ca or hospicecalgary.ca.

 Send your news tips, story ideas, pictures, and videos to news@strathmorenow.com