Hospice Palliative Care Is Worth Celebrating, Now More Than Ever.

Hospice Quinte is celebrating the twentieth annual Hospice Palliative Care Week from May 4th – 10th with individuals and organizations across Canada. It is a time to celebrate and share the achievements of hospice palliative care throughout the nation, look at shortcomings and create bridges for these gaps.

Hospice Quinte Executive Director Jennifer May-Anderson says, “Individuals from all walks of life, including many from our very own community, benefit from hospice palliative care. Last year, 359 individuals and their families received end of life support through Hospice Quinte’s Visiting Hospice program. The in-home visiting program provides much needed respite for caregivers and a trained volunteer to visit with hospice palliative care patients in their residence, in hospital or in long-term care facilities.”

Although Hospice Quinte has closed their office to the public, staff continue to work to ensure vital programs and services remain uninterrupted.

“We are committed to ensuring individuals nearing end of life, along with their families and caregivers, continue to receive the important support they need,” adds May-Anderson. “To combat this time of social distancing, we have shifted the delivery of all our programs and services from in-person to providing them by phone. We also have a variety of online resources available on our website, and staff remain available by phone”.

The Premier’s office announced that hospices across Ontario have been declared an essential service within the health care sector. This speaks volumes and shows hospice palliative care programs and services are now needed more than ever given the health crisis we are being faced with.

The organization is also moving forward with its Hospice Quinte Care Centre building project, to construct a world-class six-bed hospice palliative care centre on Old Highway 2 in Bayside. As per the Government of Ontario’s announcement on March 23rd, “construction projects and services associated with the health care sector, including new facilities” can continue as planned.

The Hospice Quinte Care Centre is more important for our community than ever before. As hospitals are faced with the increasing shortage of beds, community-based hospices become increasingly more important to ensure people are in the right bed, in the right place, at the right time in their end of life journey.

Last year 27 of Hospice Quinte’s clients spent their final days in hospital, when they would have been eligible for a hospice residence. Five clients were forced to go outside of the community to receive end-of-life care in a hospice residence. In a full year of operation, the Hospice Quinte Care Centre expects to provide care to approximately 183 palliative residents based on an average stay of three weeks. As well, the Ontario Caregiver Association reports that for every palliative care client, approximately 5 family members are also supported. This translates into a total of 915 people per year who will benefit from the Hospice Care Centre.

The Hospice Quinte Care Centre will open its doors in 2021 and will provide no-cost, 24/7 care by a highly skilled multi-disciplinary team of physicians and allied health care providers who will focus on pain management and providing the greatest quality of life possible for those nearing end of life.

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“The care of the dying demands all that we can do to enable patients to live until they die.”

–Dame Cicely Saunders