HHA's Changemaker of the Month
Pam Keetch (June 2018)
Pamela is a dog lover that got to know the Home Hospice Association by reading about The Bello Project; now she is a big part of the family by championing HHA in Ottawa.
Pam has been through a home hospice care experience with her father, and she imagines how much easier it would have been if HHA programs where available at that time. With that in mind, she expects to make a difference in her community by volunteering and helping HHA to reach those who need assistance.
Spoiling her dogs and enjoying the simple pleasures of life is very important for her.
Tell us about yourself and what is important to you, when it comes to HHA, and why?
I am a recent retiree, live in Ottawa, and share my home with my three very spoiled dogs. Living well and doing my part to help others are very important goals in my life. I contacted and joined HHA in 2017 after reading about The Bello Project online.
My pets are a huge source of love and companionship for me. I feel that helping terminally ill patients to keep their pets with them during their illness is so important; I would only hope that this sort of program would be available to me when needed.
My father was blessed to be able to stay and die at home as he had wished (in 1993); however, the burden of his care throughout his illness and during his dying fell directly on the shoulders of my mother. There were minimal services and supports available to her, and no family members lived in the same city to be able to help her. I can only imagine how much different it could have been if HHA programs had been available to offer support and assistance to her and our family.
How do you feel your work in what you are doing with HHA is having an impact in your community or all the communities HHA serves?
I hope that by offering my assistance with The Bello Project, the volunteer engagement team, and by championing HHA in Ottawa that I am making a difference that will help others both in my community and the global HHA community.
What fills you with joy and how do you feel you bring joy to HHA?
I enjoy the simple day to day pleasures of life - gardening, walking with my dogs, reading, cooking and observing the beauty of nature. I hope that the calm and gentle spirit, that a living a good life provides me, also benefits those that I interact with in my daily life.
What hopes does your work with HHA give you for the future care of the dying?
I truly hope that my work with HHA will help build programs and provide the needed support to those in my community who wish to remain at home throughout their end of life journey, as well as offer assistance and services to the families and loved ones who are struggling with grief and loss.
Pam’s favourite quote is:
“Be bold enough to use your voice, brave enough to listen to your heart, and strong enough to live the life you’ve always imagined.” – Unknown