Episode 3 - Grief and Bereavement with Special Guest Julie Martin Jansen from Hospice Wellington

Host - Sabrina Abdul

Special Guest - Julie Martin Jansen

Duration - 22:49



Episode 2 - Grief and Bereavement with Special Guest Julie Martin Jansen from Hospice Wellington Transcript


Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

Hello everyone and welcome back to the Get With The Grove podcast. Today we have a special guest, Julie. She is an advocate resource counsellor for hospice Wellington and she will be doing rural outreach to get supports to the rural communities. Hi, Julie, how are you doing today?

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

Well, I'm doing great. Thank you so much for inviting me.

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

I'm so excited for this episode.

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

Well, thank you. So I'm going to talk a little bit about what hospice Wellington offers. And so what's the first thing you think about when you hear the word hospice?

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

Death.

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

Right. So people think, oh, that's the place you go to die. So I want to talk today a little bit about changing people's perspective about what hospice Wellington does, because it's about more than that. It's about supporting people. So it's about supporting people who are palliative, so that they have that life limiting illness or disease that they've been diagnosed with. It's about supporting people who care for them, so the caregivers. And it's about supporting people who are impacted by the grief of a loss of a loved one. I think four times a year, we put out ‘at a glance’, which tells you about what programs we have that are up and coming for that timeframe. So right now for our fall programs, we have quite a few programs that are available for people to sign up for... But before I do that, I just want to give you a little history about hospice Wellington. So our mission in hospice Wellington is to provide and promote hospice palliative care for individuals and their families. So hospice Wellington started in 1980. And it was actually the community that got together and decided there was a real need for a place for people to go and die and to have those supports. So it was basically a gift from the community to the community. So our building is in Guelph and we have a 10 bed resident there that provides hospice palliative care for end of life. And so it's for those people who are at the end of life, which is usually about the last three months of their life. So they would come to our residential building to get those supports in that care.

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

And is that what you mean when you say palliative?

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

Well, palliative is- Hospice and Palliative are intertwined? So palliative is the onset of your diagnosis and it's basically 18 months. Or if you say to somebody that surprise question, would you be surprised if this person lasted longer than a year or lived longer than a year? If the answer is ‘yes, I'd be surprised that they've lived longer’. But if they if the answer was ‘no, I would, I would think that they'd probably only have about a year left’. And usually the doctors can kind of get around about a prognosis of that. And if they aren't, so then they're palliative, and we want to do it a palliative approach to care. So we want to help that person in their journey through their end of life and help them with what resources they need with helping them with, you know, kind of getting their things in order like, do you have a will? Do you have advanced care plans? Do you have somebody to speak on your behalf when you can't speak anymore? So it's getting those things in order and helping that person. The hospice, part of it is really that end of life that last three months. So that's what we try to provide the residents that we have in Guelph. We also have a community program that is the bottom part of the residential building. We have offices there and we do some community programs and some community- we have a palliative day program. Obviously right now with COVID, there's a lot of stuff that isn't running and we- but we are doing it virtually and I think there will be a place for virtual even when things start opening up better again, because some people are really enjoying the virtual part of it. And somebody who lives in Palmerston or Clifford may not want to drive to follow it. But they could do it virtually. So we are looking at hopefully to see how can we continue with some virtual programs. So they do have that on site hospice or palliative program. They have respite care. So if you are palliative, and your caregiver is with you and they need some support, what we would do is maybe get a volunteer to come in for an hour, either a week or every now and then whatever you need. It's about you as the person with what you need as far as resources, and we would get somebody in to help sit with you as a companion for an hour while your caregiver could go out and get groceries or do banking if it's like you know, your mom or your husband or wife. So we do offer those support as well. And then the other part of that is the bereavement and grief supports that after somebody has died, if you need those support, and sometimes your grief might happen six months later, like it might hit you, and then you really, you know, in that space where you do need some support, so we offer all of that stuff.

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

And what age groups are these supports available to?

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

We are doing 16 years old to whatever age after that, you know, 90 to 100 whatever you live to or, but yeah, so we are doing from 16 on the for children, there is other supports out there that would be able to help out with some grief supports and different supports that way. So I do have a little bit about palliative as well, where it's like I said, it's an approach to care that helps that person and their families that are living with that life limiting illness, but it wants to- for palliative, we want to provide that comfort, that dignity, pain management, and support to the best quality of life for that person. And we believe that the end of life care deserves as much beauty as the beginning of your life. So I want to talk a little bit about grief and bereavement as well, because that is a really tough thing for people to talk about. And we have some wonderful supports, we have an adult loss group, we have a spousal loss support group, and we also do some one on one. So if somebody doesn't want to be in a group, or they don't want to share their story, we can do some one on one support. And right now, obviously, their phone supports, we're hoping to get back into doing some in person, grief groups. And it's worked out really well having the virtual. And grief can be so lonely and isolating for the person, especially if they aren't sure or don't know how to talk about it. And I'm a big quote person. So I write down a lot of quotes. So in our in our ‘at a glance’, we have a little quote there that says sharing our stories of love and loss are among the most courageous of things we will ever do. Which is so true, because it is a really hard thing for people to talk about and share. And it's a very personal journey that you're on for your grief. And everybody grieves differently. And they, they mourn differently. But I always say talking about sadness and grief can help let out some of that pain. And sometimes that leaves more room in your heart to remember what you loved about someone.

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

Oh, wow.

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

Yeah, that's from a Nicholas Sparks book that I read. So I thought that was a really good quote so I wrote it down. So some of our other programs, I'm going to talk a little bit about those that we have. So I talked about the bereavement supports. So we also have a lot of wellness that goes with that. So we're helping the person with their wellness. And we do like that holistic approach, because we take care of the person, but also the family and caregivers and after loss. So it's the holistic approach to care. So we have, like I said, the phone supports, we have a wonderful group of volunteers that do a lot of that they do some Ambassador training. So they'll be coming to hopefully do an information night for families and for the youth here that will hopefully help them understand, kind of, what supports are out there that they could use. We have a peaceful yoga, so...

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

That sounds so interesting.

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

Yeah, Yeah, it does. So the yoga is offering a restorative opportunity to gently focus on your body alignment and breathing. So that's what they tried to do in the classes for that. We have, what we have is called well on your way, it's a sparks Connect. And it's a resource platform that has recorded meditations, mindfulness, and self compassion practises. So if you are- if you refer yourself or you're referred to our support, you can utilize our wellness supports as well. So that's one of the things that they could go on the sparks connect and have some of that and do it by themselves if that's something that helps them with their strategies.

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

Now, is there a fee associated with any of these programs?

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

Absolutely not.

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

Oh, it's amazing.

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

All our programs are at no cost for our clients and families because of generous donations from our community, so yeah, it's really amazing.

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

And does this include the support groups and all of that?

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

Yeah, all of our programs are at no cost, yea.

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

Perfect.

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

And another wellness thing we have is distance Reiki and so right now it's just a form of energy healing originating from Japan in the early 1900s. Reiki has no affiliation with a specific nationality or religion. And we do really pride ourselves on trying to encompass all groups, and all religions. And if we don't have the answers, we like to know that we'll find them for you specifically, if it's a different religious group, we'll try to help if that's something you need. So we do person centered, and we like to be very person approached, and it's not my agenda. It's about what the person needs. And so that's as far as helping them with resources is, you tell me what you need. It's not me coming in there saying, Well, I think you should get this, this and this, or you need to have this person and it's about what do you need? How are you feeling?

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

I think that's so important when you're at that stage in your life as well.

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

Yeah, and you need that support, and you need somebody to help guide you. And sometimes you have a really great support system with your family, and, and your community. And some people are very strong in their faith communities, and they're very helpful. And sometimes people don't have anybody and so it just, everybody has a different story.

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

Yeah.

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

And that's our whole premise of hospice Wellington is your story matters. So we do like to know your story. And everybody has a story. And everybody has a different journey in what they go through. And we're just here to help support you through that journey, the best way that we can by offering what we can, and if we don't have it, like as my job so now my role as the advocate resource counselor now. So we were given money generously donated by an estate of Clara and Oscar Bookbinder. When they passed away, they both were at Hospice Wellington, and they left part of their estate to Hospice Wellington...

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

Wow.

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

To create this program that I'm doing, this rural outreach.

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

That’s amazing.

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

Because they felt that the- I mean, Wellington county is huge. I know, because I'm driving it. So it is, it's big. And you know, everybody thinks, oh, hospice, Wellington is in Guelph, it's that building in Guelph. I even had a chat with a doctor a few weeks ago, where I was explaining what programs we do. And he was, he was, oh, you, really? Wow, you were just the building and that’s where people go to die. So even people out in the community and doctors have that perception of that's what Hospice Wellington is.


Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

And I'm going to be honest, that's what I thought as well. When I first hear the word hospice, that's what I think. I don't think about supports available that they're there to help you, centred around you.

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

Yeah.

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

I just think of it as a place you go to peacefully pass away.

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

Yeah. So this is why I'm hoping to change everybody's perspective and get that word out there that we're all about more than that. And we really, in the end, all we want to do is help people in their journey of their end of life journey. So, so the rural part of that. So what my job is, is to do this outreach kind of projects. So what they did when they got this money from the Bookbinder estate, was that they got like a working group together. So they had people from all over, kind of, give input into what the gaps were in the rural areas. And so some of those things were that they needed somebody to go into homes and help support with palliative care. So when you first get that diagnosis, that life limiting illness, and that you know, your prognosis is that you probably have less than a year or a year to live. There's, if you're not, if you don't need the support, right away for nursing support, but you do need that emotional grounding and emotional support. That's where we're hoping to come in earlier at the beginning of that diagnosis to be able to help you with your navigating your journey to stay ‘what do you need’, here's, you know, I'm doing little care caddy baskets that will have some information in there. We're working on a little booklet that I'm hoping to have ready for September sometime to give out to people too to be able to write in Oh, here's my here's where my will is. Here's who's the executor. Here's where this is. And then a little journal book to write in your story, like, your memories and what you're feeling at the time and, and that might also help people through their journey to like today ‘I'm not feeling so good’ or ‘today was a really good day, my grandkids came to visit’ and put pictures in there. It's your memories that you're sharing in your journal. So, so we're hoping to have some of that ready to go.

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

Yeah, that sounds exciting.

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

Yeah. The other thing that was identified was they needed more grief to Supports in the rural communities. So instead of having, you have to go to the building and in Guelph. And with doing a lot of the virtual stuff right now, I think we have reached out to a little bit more people beyond Guelph. So it's been nice because we've actually had a few churches call in to identify that we'll really need this up here. So we're- actually, I'll be sending out some flyers, which I will be happy to send you to send out just to say that we're doing it, hopefully an in person group support up in Rockwood, Erin, Hillsburg. And then we're doing one to see virtually, if there's people that want to do a virtual one. And that's going out to all of rural, to see, you know, how many people really want this or need this. And I think people do not like to talk about death or dying. And that's not, it's a really hard, hard thing. And people feel like they're alone. And they're not, there's so many things and people out there that want to help you through that. And I think it's just erasing that stigma that you just don't talk about it or that it's just a personal journey. And for some people it might be but for others, having and knowing that those supports are out there is just maybe a comfort that you can have that so so yeah, and the desired outcomes of this rural kind of program or the rural outreach that we're doing is to build and maintain and sustain strong relationships in the community. So having partnerships, you guys you're called the Grove?

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

The Grove now, yeah.

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

And collaborations and partnerships with community members, service providers, different organizations, and maintaining that in the community beyond the this-. So this was a three year kind of project basically. So we're hoping to expand it beyond that, and get it going and really maintain those relationships in the community so that we can continue on forever, basically. And we want to provide that exceptional care to all palliative caregiver and bereaved clients in Wellington County. So, the other really awesome thing we have is a lending library. So something's-

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

That sounds so interesting. What is that?

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

The lending library? It's at the building is-

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

It's in Guelph?

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

Yeah.

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

Okay.

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

However, there is- so it is in Guelph. So we have this wonderful library that has books on palliative care for caregivers for teens. For- we do have some children's ones and grief and bereavement, we have a vast- we have some videos there, we have a couple music tapes, but I am going to be kind of have a little lending library traveling library in my office of a car that I'll be traveling around to all the rural areas. So when I am needed somewhere I'm hoping to do little- be in certain areas on the same day every week so that families or the health the Family Health teams know that I'm there and everybody that you know I'll be working with will know that okay, Julie's in town on Wednesdays up in Palmerston, Harriston area, so if we need her for something, we can give her a call and I can drop off stuff. So I'm going to have this lending library in my car of books that people could, if I think, if I'm chatting with somebody, and I think ‘oh, you know this, I have a really good book that maybe this will help you’. And sometimes that's just enough to open up that door for somebody to say ‘yeah, I read that book and like I have some questions’. And sometimes that will help with- I spoken to with younger people too if they if they have that opportunity to read something, or see something, or hear something that might open up ‘yeah, I do have questions’ and so that they can come and chat with me.


Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

Yeah. And and how long would people be able to have these books for? Is there a timeline or just-

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

Well, that's a really great question and I haven’t really figured that out but I- you know, if I'm traveling around and you know, I would say whatever they need it for like, we can we usually have duplicates of some of the books. So I will hopefully we'll obviously just sign them out and it's a trust thing that any oh here you go, here's a book I'm just gonna write your name down and know that you have the book and then when you're done, or I'll chat with you in a month or so and if you are done with it and you want to give it back great if you still need more time, that's awesome too. I don't really have a set time for that but yeah.

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

And is there a specific book that's really popular from the Lending Library yet?

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

Um, that's a good question two because I don't know. But, I know what I’m taking out because I’m driving it around myself but I know the caregivers guide is, to me, is it really important book especially for the caregivers. I think that's one that does get, we kind of give that one away as well. We have that one for caregivers. But we also have that that people have signed out. I'm not sure if there's one specific one. And it just depends on what the person needs in their journey. Right. So if they're having- need some more grief supports, and they're people who like to read, they might take out some of those books. So yeah, I'm not sure if there's one specific that gets taken out a lot. But I'm going to look into that, because that's a really good question.

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

Yeah, I think the caregiver support one is definitely huge, because I feel like when you do get that news, as a caregiver, you want to be there to support that person as much as you can. And it can be very confusing, and you might not know how to best support this person. So I think it's amazing that you guys have that.

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

Yeah, and you know, and that's one of the other things we can help support the caregivers with is is just their wellness, because caregivers forget to take care of themselves.

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

Yeah.

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

And they sometimes they're the only person helping that person that's dying, or that's palliative. And so they forget that they need to think about themselves and take care of themselves. So we try to offer that respite so that they can have a volunteer come in so they can get out for coffee with their friends.

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

That’s amazing.

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

Or, you know, just to have that one on one time for themselves. And or even to get gr- Like you wouldn't think that getting groceries was a big deal. But when you, when you feel like you can't leave somebody alone, and you're afraid to, then you become very much that caregiver that doesn't look after themselves. So, so that's a really big thing for caregivers is that they, they do need to have some wellness and some, and care personal care, because they, they do have a lot of burnout with caregivers. And they try to do it all themselves sometimes. And they need to know that they have supports as well out there. So yeah.

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

That's amazing.

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

But I just want to thank you for having us on your podcast and allowing me to share what Hospice Wellington does. And thanks for listening because your story matters.

Speaker 1: Sabrina Abdul

Well, thank you so much for coming today. I definitely learned a lot in this podcast episode and I'm hoping that you can come into Palmerston and all our other hubs in Erin and Fergus more. But thank you so much for your time today.

Speaker 2: Julie Martin Jansen

Yes, thank you very much.