Castlegar Hospice grants living wishes with virtual reality The local hospice society is granting living wishes using virtual reality. Suzanne Lehbauer, executive director of the Castlegar Hospice Society, started looking into virtual reality (VR) technology last February, after coming up with the idea during a volunteer training session. “We often talk about what we do for people at end of life and the regrets they have or things that they didn’t have a chance to do, and a lot of times we try and help them, whether it’s bringing pictures into their rooms or bringing plants in if they’re not able to get out into their garden. One year we did an entire Christmas in September for someone,” she says. “And the idea just came into my mind that we would be able to do so much more by utilizing virtual reality.” Then Lehbauer started doing research on VR technology and looking into funding opportunities. The Castlegar Hospice was able to secure funding for the program through the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) Community Initiatives program and also received funding from Telus, allowing Lehbauer to purchase VR equipment in August. “We’ve started out using the Google Daydream program, which seems to be the best one for what we’re looking for because, of course, we’re not looking for gaming at all. We’re looking more for the experiences. Also, it’s fairly light...Read More
Suzanne Lehbauer and Roger Simmons of the Castlegar Hospice Society spoke to the Regional District of Central Kootenay board last week requesting support for a new 10-bed facility in Castlegar. Suzanne Lehbauer and Roger Simmons of the Castlegar Hospice Society spoke to the Regional District of Central Kootenay board last week requesting support for a new 10-bed facility in Castlegar. The Castlegar Hospice Society has pitched the Regional District of Central Kootenay board on their project to build a 10-bed facility for people reaching the end of their life and an alternative to dying in a hospital. It will cost $3 singulair for allergies.6 million for a facility able to serve approximately 150 patients per year. “Adding lives to days,” is how the society’s Roger Simmons described their purpose. From a financial point, Simmons said hospice beds cost $300 per day, far less than $1,000 per day for a hospital bed. While the current need calls for 20 hospice beds, the 10-bed facility is a model copied from other societies across BC. The size is intended to keep a home-like feel. The society has a commitment from Castlegar city council in the form of deeded land valued at $241,800. Beyond that, Simmons said they are “talking to the deep pockets right now,” such as Columbia Basin Trust, Teck, Zellstoff Celgar and non- governmental granting agencies. Once the society has...Read More
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