Centenarian and then some: Dorscie Paterson set to turn 105

Longtime Langley resident continues to advocate passionately for hospice care in community

On the cusp of turning 105, longtime community advocate Dorscie Paterson doesn’t mince her words.

The key to longevity, Paterson says, is to get off your fanny and do something good in the community.

“Keep busy,” she says. “Keep your mind going. Study. Think. And if you see something that needs help, or you can do something about it, like I did about the (Langley) hospice, do it! Don’t stand around. Do it right now. Don’t sit on your backside and hold your hands.”

Paterson’s friends took her from her care home at Langley Memorial Hospital to Katy’s Restaurant in Langley City, for a pre-birthday brunch/bash on Wednesday, Jan. 17, eight days before she celebrates another milestone.

“We just wanted to get together to honour her,” said Maj. Samuel Fame from the Salvation Army.

Dorscie greets the visiting Times reporter by grabbing his hand, forcefully pulling him towards her, and planting a big kiss on his cheek.

Feisty as ever, Dorscie answered bluntly when questioned what it feels like to be nearly 105.

“The same as I felt when I was 16, what do you think!?” she says. “What do you think, I’m old age?”

Just years ago, Dorscie was still driving and volunteering at the Langley Hospice.

She was living at home on her acreage until she broke her hip in 2016.

Dorscie is one of the original founders of the Langley Hospice Society and has spent the better part of three decades advocating for a stand-alone hospice residence for Langley.

Hospice care is a passion of Dorscie’s and she has a singular goal: to live to see a new hospice built on the grounds of LMH.

“Then I’ll go and die,” she said. “That’s what I have planned.”

New Hospice

The Langley Hospice Society is looking for community support to help raise an additional $1 million to furnish and outfit the new hospice.

The hospice residence will:

• increase the community bed count to 15 private private rooms — an increase of five beds from the 10 semi-private rooms currently available in the interim residence;

• include the addition of Langley’s first bariatric room so that these patients can access palliative care in their home community rather than being transferred elsewhere; and, according to the society

• save the health care system up to $476,000 annually with better patient flow out of acute care, and decrease waitlists to access the Langley Hospice Residence.

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