Merritt Hospice has been providing service to the Nicola Valley since 1986.
Merritt & District Hospice Society is committed to providing support and understanding to the individual, their families, caregivers, and the bereaved. A Palliative Approach focuses on comfort and support to the person and family, optimizing quality of life. Merritt & District Hospice Society provides trained volunteers who support the emotional and spiritual needs of individuals and their families coping with advancing and life limiting illness.
Volunteers visit in the home, the hospital or the care facility, offering such services as bedside sitting, respite for the caregiver, companionship in the form of letter-writing, reading or other small tasks, and listening without judgement.
Merritt Hospice engages in public education for Advanced Care Planning, Serious Illness and goals of care conversations, and optimizes community supports and education surrounding bereavement and grief supports.
Merritt Hospice has been providing service to the Nicola Valley since 1986. We are a registered non-profit society and are a member of the BC Hospice Palliative Care Association, the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, and the BC Bereavement Helpline.
Volunteer Training Course -
October 14, October 21, October 28
9:00 am to 4:00 pm
$50.00 to cover cost of materials
Contact us at 250-280-1701 f
or more information and to register.
Free grief and loss support for individuals & families who are struggling with any loss that impacts their life. We currently have one-on-one support available until it's safe to meet in a group setting again.
Please call 250-280-1701 for more information.
Thank you to all who signed a memory butterfly for our heart of hope and love at the 2022 Merritt Quilchena Street Markets. We will release and honor the butterflies later this year.
Please stop in to our office behind the Merritt Post Office during office hours every Thursday 9:00-12:00 directly across from the Community Policing Office. We would love you to fill in a memory butterfly. Check out our resources and lending library.
The Merritt Hospice Society has been providing services to the community of Merritt for 35 years, supporting the terminally ill and their families since 1986.
You may be wondering, what is hospice? If you have never had a terminally ill loved one, you may be unfamiliar with the service this organization provides to those who are reaching the end of their life.
“Hospice is caring people working in cooperation with physicians and other members of the health care team to offer support to the terminally ill and their families,” said Jill Sanford, chairman of the Merritt Hospice Society.
“We also support individuals who are grieving, with one-on-one support and grief support groups.”
It is the firm belief of those within the Hospice Society that no one should die or grieve alone, and all work is done to support this belief. The Society is staffed by volunteers, and no clients are ever charged a fee for what is provided.
“All volunteers complete a three-day training session, a criminal record check and sign a confidentiality agreement,” said Sanford, who has been a hospice volunteer herself for more than 35 years.
“Our volunteers are adults from various backgrounds and experience, and are consciously paired with clients best suited for them. They are very compassionate individuals that want to make a difference, and enjoy helping people.”
Volunteers visit clients wherever they are in their journey, whether it is at home, in a care facility or at a hospital.
They offer services such as bedside sitting, where they provide conversation, or merely comfort, to someone at end of life who is bedbound; “time-out” for the primary caregiver, similar to respite care, as caring for a terminally ill loved one can often be physically and emotionally draining; companionship in the form of letter-writing, reading or other small tasks the ill person may not be able to do themselves, and also listening without judgement.
“We offer support for the friends and family with the client, including staying with their loved ones so that they can take breaks and feel comfort knowing their loved ones are in good hands,” said Sanford.“Quilts are donated to our society from the local ‘Quilters Guild’ and these quilts are given to the clients in care that are then passed on to the family to keep.”
Referrals for hospice support are made automatically by Home and Community Care personnel, but a friend, family member or the patients themselves are also able to make a referral. Hospice does not discriminate based on religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age of patient or type of illness. Anyone facing end of life is welcome to reach out to hospice for support.
The Hospice Coordinator will meet with the client and/or family to discuss how the program works and how it might best serve the client’s needs and wishes. Should the client or family agree to receive hospice services, a specific volunteer will be assigned to support the family throughout the journey.
The Merritt Hospice also provides other services including individual and group support.
“We also offer community education about various aspect of palliative care and grief support, and Advance Care Planning Sessions to the public,” said Sanford.
“We maintain a comprehensive lending library and we have been doing the ‘Celebrate-A-Life’ Memory Tree during Christmas for over 30 years.”
For those who have lost a loved one there is also ‘grief support’ offered by hospice volunteers. This may include oneon-one support or inclusion in the ‘Living with Loss’ confidential grief support group. ‘Living with Loss’ was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but plans have been made to begin the meetings again sometime this month. For more information, call 250-280-1701.
The Merritt Hospice is a member of the BC Hospice Palliative Care Association, the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, and the BC Bereavement Helpline.
If you, or someone you know, is in need of any of the hospice’s services, call 250-280-4040 for more information.
We offer grief support, palliative care support, and more. Read more >>
When you donate to us you help loved ones in need. Read more >>
Become a member and volunteer of the Merritt Hospice Society. Read more >>