Death vigils have been held for centuries by family and friends who gather to offer their presence and support to not only the terminally ill but also to their family. Today, we often see folks with no family nearby to keep that vigil.
The Central Okanagan Hospice Association (COHA) offers 24/7 vigil services by providing fully trained volunteers who may come hours or days before death to provide a calm presence, listening ear, shared silence, inspirational music, and more, while altering the approach depending upon individual needs.
Vigil volunteers are very special people who have themselves had experience with those at the end of life and are familiar with ‘the dying process’, which is different and unique to each individual.
Vigil Service volunteers make themselves completely available to the person who is at the end of life and to their friends and family if they are close by.
At the present time, there are 37 trained and dedicated Vigil Volunteers who are part of this incredible service which is provided in homes, long-term care facilities, at Kelowna General Hospital and at Hospice House.
COHA and the many families they have served are honoured that these wonderful people have decided to share their time and considerable talent with us as we strive to meet the needs of the terminally ill and their families.