Nothing is more precious than having a caring hand to hold right up until your last breath.
We remain by our Elder Friends’ side until the very end – and even beyond.
DYING WITH DIGNITY
Our end-of-life-commitment is one of the pillars of our mission. It is one of the most meaningful and rewarding things we do for our Elder Friends. They can pass on knowing that their life has touched ours and that their time here will not have gone unnoticed.
Being present during these last moments is the greatest source of solace we can offer. It is an affirmation that they matter and will continue to matter to our extended family.
When an Elder Friend enters the final phase of palliative care, we make sure they are watched over and surrounded by love. Our volunteers and staff members take turns standing vigil by their bedside to make sure they are comfortable and that this last leg of their journey is as peaceful and dignified as possible.
“Being there for an Elder Friend as they draw their last breath is hard, but it is deeply gratifying to see how serene they can be at the end, and to know I’ve helped get them to that place.”
— Monique Bisson, volunteer, Little Brothers – Sherbrooke, who has provided end of life support for several Elder Friends
END-OF-LIFE COMMITTEE: COMPASSION ABOVE ALL ELSE
Palliative support is as important as it can be challenging. Fortunately, we are there to provide moral and logistical support to our volunteer companions. Committees made up of volunteers and specially trained staff members stand by them throughout the process and take turns sitting at the Elder Friend’s beside.
Our end-of-life support training program is available to volunteers looking to shore up their resources and skills so they can enter into the experience with assurance and composure.
“When my Elder Friend took a turn for the worse, I joined the end-of-life committee, just for her. As a team, we watched over her and, on her last day, her Little Brothers counsellor and I were there by her side. That was the first time I ever saw death up close. She was so peaceful. She gave me the gift of a better understanding and acceptance of my own mortality.”
— Sylvie Deshaies, volunteer, Little Brothers – Montreal
A LEGACY OF LOVE
The memories of our Elder Friends live on, even after they have left us. Every year, we hold special ceremonies to remember the Elder Friends we have lost in each of our chapters. This is an opportunity for the team members who knew and loved them in their final years to pause and reflect on their lives.
We also have cemetery plots available for our Elder Friends who wish to be laid to rest with their final, and often only, family at Little Brothers.
In cases like these, the true meaning of the concept of “never being alone again” can be fully appreciated.