Agape House To Celebrate 25th Anniversary

February 25, 2016

Agape House, the island’s only palliative care hospice facility, will celebrate its 25 anniversary on Saturday, February 27, with a fundraising ‘Hats and High Tea’ event to be held at the Fairmont Southampton.

The celebration will take place from 2.00pm to 5.00pm, with tickets costing $75; tickets can be purchased by calling 232-0859 or emailing friendsofhospice@bhb.bm.

BHB CEO Venetta Symonds said, ”Since opening in 1991, Agape House staff have cared for more than 2,000 patients.

“Although there was wide public debate on the need for a hospice before we opened in 1991, the facility saw 60 admissions that year. The following year admissions more than doubled, indicating that there was a clear need in our community for hospice care.

“That need has not diminished. Since 2011 the Agape House team has cared for more than one hundred patients each year. In 2014, admissions reached a record high of 135.

FoH - Hearts, Hats  High Tea

“Agape House staff specialise in caring for people at the end of their lives and are extremely compassionate. They focus on life and living, providing the necessary support to family and friends and assisting patients in living life to the fullest for the duration of their stay.

“We repeatedly hear from families that they were surprised at the lack of gloom at the facility. That’s something we want to stress in the community. We want to encourage people to seek our help if caring for a loved one near the end of their life is proving difficult.

“Families can visit with their loved one as often and for as long as they need to at Agape House. Families tell us all the time that they feel as if they have come “home” when they come to visit their loved one.

“Many members of the public may not realise that Agape House also provides pain and symptom management services. These patients might not be in the terminal stages and may be receiving treatment to fight a serious illness.

“As we celebrate the anniversary of Agape House, we must acknowledge Friends of Hospice, the charity that has supported this service since 1994. Friends of Hospice has provided over $5 million dollars in financial aid.

“This includes funding for inpatient services and full food service, as well as ancillary programmes which support patients after they’ve been discharged. Friends of Hospice is organising several events over the next few months to highlight Agape House and the services we offer there.”

Friends of Hospice Executive Director Cathy Belvedere said, ”The public is invited to celebrate the anniversary by producing poetry or artwork on the theme Being Alive. Deadline for entries is Monday 23 May 2016. Entries will be judged and the winning pieces will be announced in June, when renovations of Agape House cottage are complete. The winning pieces will be displayed in the renovated building.

view of Agape House

“Details of this contest are available on the KEMH Facebook page and on the BHB website. Details are also available at Bermuda Arts Centre at Dockyard, Bermuda National Gallery, Bermuda Society of Arts, DNA Creative Shoppe, Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art and Friends of Hospice,” continued Ms Belvedere

“Friends of Hospice also want to encourage the community at large to talk more openly about death and dying. In Bermuda we find that many people don’t want to talk about death. This is experienced in many countries, so we are not alone.

“People can be uncomfortable discussing anything to do with death and dying, but it is important as then individuals can say whether they desire to be or not to be on life support, as well as the more detailed items like funeral arrangements.

“In an effort to bring more openness to this topic, we will host an island-wide book club featuring the book Being Mortal by author Atul Gawande.

“This book gives a fascinating insight into the importance of community communication around the difficult topic of dying. Readers are quickly drawn into the dilemmas the author faced. At the end of the story, they resolve to start having these difficult conversations with their own families.”

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  1. It has been / will continue being somewhat a blessing to countless folks people.
    Thank you, “Agape House”and congratulation on this 25th. year of helping those in need…

  2. Congratulations to the Agape House, I would have loved to have been there for the celebrations, but due to other commitments I would not be able to attend.

    25 Years is a major mile stone and just to think that 25 Years later there is very few but still part of the original crew that started off from day one, I don’t like calling names because I get lost, but I remember being one of the first volunteers under the leadership of Russ ford, then Leonie Curtis, and Mrs Hillary Soares being the overall head.

    The Nurses like Shelly, Marionette, Essa, My darling Marilyn Monroe, care givers like Mamma Georgia Carter and her son Albert,the last Mamma Hermene Dill, as I said the list goes on and on, but the pleasure of working closely with all the workers,volunteers, patients and their families. was a joy even in the midst of sadness.

    starting out with the Agape house was not easy as it was a time that it mainly catered to those living and dying with the aids virus, and eventually other terminally ill patients with different sickness was also come up the hill from K.E.M.H, and over the years has evolved into a beautiful setting for all terminally ill patients to enjoy the time that they have left to live, but it was always a joy to see the few terminally ill that have come and through a what I like to call a miraculous act of God were healed and then left there not on a undertakers stretcher, but with their love one’s to go either back to K.E.M.H, or back to their homes.

    To all past and present workers,volunteer’s and please don’t let me forget the hard work and dedication of Minister Carolyn Armstrong and her husband Pastor Hank Armstrong, along with there constant work with the Agape House at once was known as star and later became what we now have as The Lighthouse next to summer Haven.

    I could write a book of wonderful heartfelt and sad memories of over 200 Patients alone that I had pleasure of knowing, from Star, to Agape house to the lighthouse. if I had it to do all over again, I won’t miss a beat.

  3. Brech says:

    Congratulations to this wonderful establishment… it takes very special people like the caretakers, Dr’s and Nurses and all those who volunteer their services to assist with the Hospice.

  4. Jane Davies says:

    Congrats to 25 years of wonderful service and wish you many many more you all are fabulous people and great caregivers I will always hold a special place in my heart for you all