Quality of Life Matters at
HOSPICE CARE OTTAWA’S NEW RESIDENTIAL HOSPICE
You may not think a drive across town is taxing, but when someone in your family is nearing the end of life, it can represent time wasted when time is precious. That’s why the opening of Hospice Care Ottawa’s newest residential hospice, Hein House, is cause for celebration.
Located at 110 McCurdy Drive in Kanata, it’s the residential wing of Ruddy-Shenkman Hospice, and since September 26 it has been accepting patients. This means Ottawa’s west-end families can now access full-service hospice care, including palliative and end-of-life residential care, right where they live.
Already the welcome has been overwhelmingly positive, says Kristina Voth-Childs, communications coordinator for Hospice Care Ottawa. “ The community has stepped up and gone above and beyond.” Not only are people offering to volunteer, neighbours have helped out with the grass and gardening, she adds.
The new 12,592 square-foot addition has 10 hospice rooms and two short-term respite rooms, plus an interdisciplinary team to provide 24-hour hospice care. Each of the rooms has a bathroom, as well as access to gardens. There’s also space for loved ones to stay overnight. Family members and friends are encouraged to spend as much time as they like.
In this homelike setting, patients will receive physical, emotional and spiritual support with a focus on quality of life and comfort, as well as pain and symptom management. For people with life limiting illnesses who can no longer manage at home and who don’t want to be in hospital, Hein House is a life gift.
It’s also a community offering that has been a long time in the works.
Back in January of 2013, Friends of Hospice Ottawa and The Hospice at May Court amalgamated to form Hospice Care Ottawa, a community-based charitable organization that provides palliative and end-of-life programs and services to people living in the city.
In June of 2013 the organization purchased the McCurdy Drive property, a 3.6-acre site in central Kanata. Thanks to a fundraising campaign led by the Bruyère Foundation, over $6 million was raised for the purchase as well as the renovation of a former church on the property. In 2014 the doors opened to the Ruddy-Shenkman Hospice, where community hospice programs such as day hospice, caregiver support, volunteer training and grief and bereavement groups are offered. All along, though, the dream was to also provide live-in space for hospice patients in the west end.
Now it’s a reality, and cause for celebration. However, ongoing costs are also a reality. “We must fundraise over $1.8 million annually in order to continue to provide our services at no charge,” Kristina points out.
HOMES FOR THE HOLIDAYS
The next fundraiser is the popular annual Homes for the Holidays house tour. If you love architecture and design, you’re in for a real treat. Homes for the Holidays 2017 is happening November 17 to 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. It is a three-day tour of homes beautifully decorated for the holidays by local florists and designers. Guests purchase a ticket booklet that grants them access to the homes and special holiday stops. The eight elegantly decorated homes on the tour include addresses in Rockcliffe Park, Manotick and the Glebe. The holiday pop-up shop at the Irish ambassador’s residence is back by popular demand and available to ticket holders only. It will include a children’s corner, jewellery, holiday décor, arts and crafts and more. Lots of tantalizing food will be offered too, including preserves by some of the region’s top food purveyors. You can also tour The May Court Club, check out its gingerbread village and enjoy some apple cider and a cookie. Tickets are on sale now. See www.hospicecareottawa.ca or call 613 260-2906 ext. 222. ◆