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A Jewel in Our Community

The following is a story from Debbie Young, a member of the Abbotsford community.

My family has had two experiences this past year with Hospice within 6 months of each other.

My Mum’s baby brother, my Uncle Ron, was admitted to the Holmberg House this past February. He died just over a month later at 78 years old. I visited him often and I was so impressed with this facility and the staff, as were his family, they just couldn’t say enough good things.

Less than 6 months later, my 88 year old Mum transferred here from the palliative care ward. She arrived on August 1st and immediately felt like a burden had been lifted. The day after she moved in she was treated to a bath, a luxury she hadn’t been able to enjoy for many years due to back issues. She was so appreciative of the experience of being able to just sit back and enjoy a warm bath…she said, “I felt like I’d died and gone to heaven.”

She settled in here amazingly well. It became ‘home,’ and she would cruise the halls with her walker, often walking her guests down to the front door after their visit or sneaking over to the family kitchen to enjoy fresh baked cookies. She wanted to maintain her independence and loved doing her own laundry – she wouldn’t let me bring it home! She enjoyed playing the piano, sometimes down in the Fireside room or up in the family kitchen.

While on the palliative care ward, we had bonded with a couple of other younger women and their families. Natalie moved to hospice a couple of days before Mum and then Mum and Margo were transferred here the same day. Mum was more mobile than either of them and she would stroll down the hall to check in on them and they continued to support each other. Mum and I were very honored to be invited to attend Margo’s son’s wedding in the beautiful Serenity Garden. The staff worked with Margo’s family to help orchestrate this very precious memory for Margo’s family.

It was very special how our families came together to support each other. Unfortunately, both of these lovely ladies predeceased Mum.

The common ground for each of our families was that we were all coming to terms with losing someone we loved. We often spoke of how very fortunate we were to have our loved one in such a beautiful, caring environment.

While the beauty of the buildings is obvious, the real treasures are the staff and volunteers within these walls. Each of them work hard to make our loved ones comfortable, clean, well-fed, and feel loved and supported. The nurses here are a special breed…their dedication to and compassion for their patients (and their families) is just incredible. They are truly amazing people.

As a family member, I am extremely thankful for this facility and as an Abbotsford resident, I think we should all be very proud to have such a little jewel in our community.

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