Langley’s Dorscie Paterson was never one to sit around and let her life go by.
Just a few months ago, she turned 106, and is still in good health.
“Life has been marvelous. My mother always told me, ‘You don’t sit in groups and discuss how, you just do it.’ Don’t wait,” Paterson emphasized.
The Langley senior has been a longtime founder, volunteer, and advocate for the Langley Hospice Society – giving about 35 years of her service.
She spent the better part of three decades advocating for a stand-alone hospice residence in Langley, alongside the board, staff, and volunteers at the Langley Hospice Society. The group’s efforts payed off when the 10-bed interim hospice residence opened across from Langley Memorial in 2004.
And now, Paterson eagerly awaits another milestone that the hospice society has been advocating for – the groundbreaking of the Langley Hospice Society’s new 15-bed hospice that is set to go up this year.
“When they put that 15-bed in, I said ‘I want to go in there and die,’” Paterson joked.
Paterson has been passionate about hospice for much of her long life, and said she has fond memories of singing to hospice patients while she volunteered to provide support and companionship to patients and their families.
Her reason for volunteering in hospice is simple.
“You’re told from the time you’re little to look after others,” Paterson said.
“They get good care [from hospice nurses], their friends can come and see them. It’s because of the care they get. That’s why we need hospice.”
Advocating for hospice space hasn’t been without its challenges, as Paterson explained. Prior to the opening of the 2005 hospice she was told it couldn’t be done.
Paterson added the hospice society had “arguments and fusses, when it got to the point where we needed those beds.”
“You don’t get things started Saturday and get it done Monday,” she said. “If it’s a good, worthy, interest you have, and it’s going to help someone or help some people, however you go at it, do it.”
Through the years, Paterson has supported countless hospice patients, but it’s also evident she has supported her own needs as well.
Paterson said she’s always been active, whether it’s swimming, or dancing, or walking. Her only health scares have been a handful of chest colds, and a broken leg a few years back.
After she broke her leg, she was moved into the Cedar Hill care home, where she continues to live.
“I’ve always been strong. And I’ll never be any other way,” she added, with a clap of her hands.
After sharing her life achievements with the Langley Advance Times, Paterson modestly stated, “It’s nothing to brag about.”
Paterson doesn’t have much planned for her future birthdays yet, although she mentioned her friends and family usually visit her for a party.
She has a handful of grandchildren and great-grandchildren to keep her youthfulness alive.