Miller Time!

Moog and Friends Hospice House.

People assume every community in Western Canada has a facility like Moog and Friends Hospice House.

They don’t.

There are hospice facilities and then there is Moog and Friends. Penticton is truly blessed to have a wonderful facility, truly a jewel of our city.

With this being National Hospice Week, now is the appropriate time to acknowledge the wonderful staff, executive, volunteers and community supporters of Moog & Friends. You know who you are. Thank you.

Several of my close friends spent their final days and weeks there. While most of us would prefer to stay in our homes for our last remaining days, Moog & Friends offers a wonderful environment and caring staff where all of the health-care issues are taken out of the family’s hands, allowing them to focus solely on enjoying remaining quality time with their loved one.

In addition to the patient, services are also available for family, including youngsters.

For most families, Moog House has been a Godsend.

Penticton was one of the last hospice houses built in B.C. If the province does decide to eventually open more facilities, they probably won’t be much more than a ward in a hospital.

Thanks to the efforts of volunteers, as well as incredible fundraisng support from our community, many extras have been provided — duvets, a renovated kitchen, a state-of-the-art bathtub (complete with jets and sound system), birdfeeders, home-cooked meals.

Every room overlooks the garden. Patients are encouraged to bring their own music that helps take them back to their formative years.

COVID has created its share of challenges, but the same compassion and care, I’m told, still exists.

Opened in 1998, the program’s purpose is to “alleviate suffering and to improve the quality of living for persons for whom curative treatment is no longer desired or appropriate.”

The wonderful house got off the ground thanks to the spirit and generosity of NHL goalie Andy Moog, a shining example of someone who used his celebrity status to help so many others.

The love our community has is obvious from the number of families who suggest Moog & Friends as a charity of choice for memorial donations.

Thank you to the Penticton & District Hospice Society for their incredible work and thank you to the staff for doing the what they do, so well and always with a smile on their face.

James Miller does column writing and page layout for The Penticton Herald.