Brief: Hospice On Wheels provides comfort to Revelstoke families

The Revelstoke Hospice Society has rolled out care carts called Hospice On Wheels, aiming to provide comfort to families visiting loved ones at care facilities.

Dana Orndorff, RN in acute care and Theresa Hamilton from Revelstoke Hospice Society stand with a Hospice On Wheels cart. Photo: Theresa Hamilton

The first Hospice On Wheels rolled out at Mount Cartier Court in 2019, a second was stationed at Moberly Manor in 2020, and most recently, a third at Acute Care in Queen Elizabeth Hospital. 

Care or comfort carts used in communities across Canada aim to provide comfort to families visiting loved ones at care facilities. The Revelstoke Hospice Society introduced the uniquely named cart, Hospice On Wheels, to Revelstoke, allowing families to focus on being present with their loved ones. Hospice On Wheels contains mugs, a kettle, coffee, tea, light snacks, games, and literature from the Hospice lending library. 

“It’s simple, compassionate, and not invasive if families want to be left alone,” says Executive Director of the Revelstoke Hospice Society, Theresa Hamilton. “Or alternatively, if they do not want to bother staff for a cup of tea or snack, the cart provides simple comforts, tastes, and smells.”

Hamilton says that many families have utilized the first cart at Mount Cartier Court in the last three years. She says the carts were especially helpful to residents isolated due to COVID.

“I think its best feature is that it allows family members to stay in the room with their loved one rather than having to seek out beverages, activities or books,” says Hamilton. 

Hospice On Wheels is an idea funded in part by the Revelstoke Community Foundation and a private donor. Hamilton says volunteers at both thrift stores supported the comfort cart idea — the volunteers at the Royal Canadian Legion Bargain Basement (who contributed to the care cart) and the Revelstoke Hospital Auxiliary Society.

Hamilton says the carts remind families that there’s a community of support. She says the hospice society has a network of volunteers available to support families during end-of-life and bereavement.

“Allowing people to stay with their loved ones comfortably is really important, and a small gesture can make a big difference for those experiencing vulnerable times,” says Hamilton.

This post was published by a member of the Revelstoke Mountaineer staff. Stories published under the staff byline include news briefs, stories that consist mostly of media releases, social media post shares, and stories by contributors with the author's name listed in the body of the story.