Community Service Agencies

Burnaby Community Services Community Resource Guide Provides a listing of programs and services in Burnaby and New Westminster. Copies of the guide can also be ordered online by visiting or by calling 604-299-5778. Burnaby Seniors Services Outreach Society: 604-291-2258 Caregivers’ program & newsletter Burnaby Seniors Resource Guide Red Cross Services Health Equipment Loan Program […]

Helping the Burnaby Hospice Society

   Donate 65% BHS operational support for programs and services funded through donations & grants Online payment: website Donate: cash, cheque, credit card, via phone Gifts-In-kind: food, beverage, event tickets, program supplies, gift cards Tax receipts issued for monetary contributions & fair market value for some gifts-in-kind Thrift Store: donate or buy gently used clothing […]

Helpful Tips for Coping with the Holidays

Acknowledge that Grieving is Work: Adjustment to the death of a loved one takes a lot of energy and can leave you feeling unable to fully meet all of the extra demands that come with the holiday season. Be realistic as to how much you can take on and delegate things that you do not […]

Adolescent Grief

Supporting Bereaved Adolescents The peer group is the primary source of support for adolescents. Family acts as a resource and a safe place, with the teen working to establish his/her independence. They begin to see and understand the effect that a loss will have on others as well as themselves. However, this ability comes and […]

Children’s Grief

Children’s understanding of death Newborn to 3 years Can sense the emotions around them Grief may be evident in changes in routine or irritability 3 to 6 years Think death is reversible, magical thinking Difficulty handling abstract concepts, such as heaven Process grief through play Regression May ask questions repeatedly 7 to 9 years Fear […]

Tips on How to Cope with Anxiety

Breathe deeply – When we are stressed, our breathing becomes more shallow, which increases tension in the body. By focusing on breathing slowly and deeply from the belly, the body will naturally start to calm down. Reframe Discouraging Thoughts – Pay attention to what you say to yourself. Challenge discouraging thoughts and replace them with […]

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

The hierarchical effect A key aspect of the model is the hierarchical nature of the needs. The lower the needs in the hierarchy, the more fundamental they are and the more a person will tend to abandon the higher needs in order to pay attention to sufficiently meeting the lower needs. For example, when we […]

Suggestions for Dealing with Overwhelming Emotions

Acknowledge the feeling: What is it that you feel? Why now? Where do you feel it in your body? Express the feeling: Become consciously aware of what you are feeling and then let the energy out by doing something. Let out anger by hitting a pillow, screaming, going for a run, throwing a ball against […]

Suggestions for Healing

Explore what the loss means to you and how it impacts your life. How the loss affects your image of yourself, your relationships with others, your finances, roles, status, your dreams and goals, your image of the past, present or future, and your values and beliefs. Surround yourself with people who care about you and […]

After the first year… then what?

Grief is different for everyone; like fingerprints and snowflakes, no two are alike. The first year of bereavement brings with it variety of reactions, sensations and challenges. As the anniversary of the death approaches, you may have expectations of yourself and how far you have come in your healing. On average, it takes an individual […]

Normal Grief

BUT You’re Absolutely Normal… Grief is a normal reaction to loss and it shows up in ways you might not expect: Irritable, short tempered, angry… at the doctors or nurses for not doing enough; at yourself; anger at being left alone; anger at having to take on new roles or responsibilities. Release anger through tears, […]

What do I do after the death of a loved one?

When a loved one dies, you may be too tired or upset to cope with the situation alone. What can you do? Take time to say goodbye at the bedside or as appropriate Determine who needs to know about what has happened Contact your support network for guidance and support Ask for professional assistance Contact […]

The Fears of Dying

There is an old 15th century folk saying that says: “To cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always.” Knowing the fears we experience as we are dying may be very helpful while providing comfort. 1.  Fear of the process Will death be painful? Will it be frightening? What will happen to my body? Body […]

The Dying Process: Final Hours

The physical and mental changes that you will be seeing may seem frightening and distressing. Each person’s death is different. Changes may occur quickly or slowly, may appear and then disappear only to reappear again. People die when they are ready. In general, people die as they have lived. If a person is cheerful and […]

The Dying Process: Stages

These are loose guidelines, please remember that everyone is different and not each of the items under the heading will occur. This may be helpful in starting important discussions with a partner, doctor, or family. 3-6 Weeks Prior to Death   Motor Falling due to resistance to accept help Need for more assistance with walking, […]

What a Dying Person May Wish to Know

Logistics: Make a Listing of: Bank accounts Investment accounts Insurance information Credit card accounts Other liabilities and loans Regular income and side income sources Usernames and passwords (e.g. Monthly expenses: utilities, insurance, mortgage, loans, etc. How to collect life insurance and other benefits, who to contact, etc. Important information: wills, deposit boxes, etc. Save […]

Managing Caregiver Burnout (Compassion Fatigue)

Caregiver burnout or compassion fatigue is profound emotional and physical erosion when the caregiver is unable to refuel and regenerate. Feeling “burned out” is physical and emotional exhaustion. It is possible to transform caregiver burnout and build resilience: Acknowledge the Compassion Fatigue in your life and take responsibility for your own wellness and nurture your […]

Keeping a Grief Journal

Get yourself a stenographer’s notebook, a diary, a lined journal, or some other notebook. Nothing else goes in this book … it is a record of your journey through grief. Keeping a journal such as this, allows you to look back and see the change and progress you have made, when weeks and months down […]

Helping the Seriously Ill

Families and friends are an integral part of caring for the seriously ill. It is important to continue clear communication. You will want to find creative ways to maintain your relationship as changes in condition occur. Recognize that you need to take care of yourself also. The following are some helpful hints: Touch – touching […]

Anticipatory Grief – Normal Feelings for Family and Caregivers

Living with and caring for someone with a life limiting illness is a difficult task. Family members are often surprised at the many thoughts and feelings that arise. These feelings may be intense and overwhelming. It helps to know some of the typical healthy reactions to such a stressful time. These feelings may recur as […]

Anticipatory Grief – What to Expect

During the stages of your illness, any changes in your condition will mean that you grieve for the gradual losses in your present lifestyle and your hopes and plans for the future. You may experience uncertainty about yourself because so few of your former activities and interests are available to you. This creates emotional stresses […]


The Rationale: Your mind and body are always affecting each other. What you are feeling and thinking will show up in how your body feels and vice versa. When a person is under a lot of emotional stress, the body reacts as it would in a state of danger or emergency; i.e. increased heart rate, […]

Tools to Calm the Mind and Body

Stress elicits a biochemical reaction from our mind and body. This reaction is part of our survival mechanism, but also takes a great toll on our mind and body. Our brain doesn’t know the difference between real and imagined, which often gets us into further trouble, but can also help us achieve greater levels of […]

Pain Assessment

In order to manage pain, it is important to assess the pain. The rating scale below is often used in place of the 0-10 verbal self-rating. Behavior is not always a good indicator of pain and lack of ability to comprehend or verbalize due to pain or other factors may add additional stress to accuracy. […]

Types of Pain

Total Pain: Cecily Saunders coined the term “Total Pain” to capture the all-encompassing nature of the pain experienced by those with a terminal illness. Psychological, emotional, social, financial, and spiritual pain contribute to the experience of physical pain. Physical pain can be made worse when other sources of pain are not addressed. This is another […]

Counselling, Groups, Workshops and Services

What else do we do? Individual Counselling and Client Advocacy Anticipatory grief counselling – dealing with the losses large and small along the way Bereavement Education Groups Loss & Grief Support Groups Healing Journeys Bereavement Walking Groups Wellness Workshops Community Education Referrals to other agencies in Burnaby Definition of Psychosocial Care Psychosocial care tends to […]

Volunteer Programs and Services

Volunteer Visits Burnaby Hospice Society volunteers provide emotional support and practical help to people who are facing a life-threatening illness, and informal respite support for those caring for them. Visiting volunteers are available mornings, afternoons and evenings at the Palliative and Hospice Care Unit at Burnaby Hospital and at St. Michael’s Hospice Centre. Volunteer support […]

Where We Work

Venues of Service Many services are available at our office with great transportation access. We also provide counselling over the telephone and have a companioning volunteer program that visits with clients on a weekly basis. Burnaby Hospice Society provides care through the Palliative Complex Care Unit at the Burnaby General Hospital and at St. Michael’s […]

Who We Are & What We Believe

Burnaby Hospice Society is long standing in this community and is dedicated to providing information, counselling and psycho-social support services to individuals with a life-limiting illness, along with their families and caregivers, and the bereaved. Through our services we endeavour to support and empower individuals to live with intention and experience meaning, dignity and quality […]

Palliative Care vs. Community Care

Public Palliative Care Program: Trained workers and volunteers visit patients and loved ones, offering support and helpful care Home Health: Nurses and personal support workers employed by Fraser Health Authority provide nursing care and personal care to meet your needs Private If you or your family wish to supplement the Home Health Care Program you […]

What is Palliative Care

It’s a special type of health care for individuals, patients, and families facing a life-limiting illness. Hospice Palliative Care helps patients to achieve the best possible quality of life right up until the end of life. Palliative Care is also called end-of-life or comfort care. Palliative Care does not necessarily end when someone has died. […]

Important Contacts

Family Physician _____________________ Community Care Professional ___________________ Social Worker ________________________ Burnaby Hospice Society Counsellor: 604-520-5024 Fraser Health Crisis Line: 604-951-8855 BC Bereavement Helpline: 604-738-9950 (M-F 9am-5pm) HealthLink BC: 811 or (24 hours) Home Health service line: 1-855-412-2121 (M-F: 8:30-4:30), to speak with trained staff who can provide on-the-spot service in multiple languages. For a […]