April 11

Sharon Hill
Nov 04, 2013 - 5:36 PM EST
Last Updated: Nov 04, 2013 - 6:34 PM EST

A 10-bed residential home proposed for Leamington would more than double the size of the Hospice of Windsor and Essex County and give the county more hospice beds than Windsor.

A $6-million fundraising campaign has already started for the satellite campus for the local Hospice which has an eight-bed home in east Windsor. Executive director Carol Derbyshire said the Leamington home would be the first satellite hospice residential home in Canada.

“We are aiming for next October of 2014 to have it built. I know it’s a lofty goal but we feel we can do it and there’s great support in the county,” Derbyshire said Monday.

Along with fundraising, the local hospice is looking to recruit a small army of volunteers for the county. A volunteer information session will be held Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. at Leamington District Memorial Hospital.

There are about 600 volunteers with Hospice now and communications co-ordinator Laura Lemmon said more than 100 volunteers would be needed to help run the satellite campus.

Volunteers cook meals in the residential home, sit at a patient’s bedside, run the front desk, do some housekeeping or grocery shopping for a patient or they may be involved in fundraising events or driving patients.

Derbyshire expects it will cost about $4 million to build the 10-bed residential home, hopefully near the Leamington hospital. The other $2 million to be raised is to help with operating costs to go with Ministry of Health approval already received for operating funds for the around-the-clock care.

“The last couple of years approximately 40 per cent of the patients admitted have been from the county so if we build out in the county that will certainly free some beds up here in Windsor,” Derbyshire said.

More hospice beds are always needed. Last year there were 118 people who were on a waiting list for a residential home spot who died either at home or in hospital before being admitted, Derbyshire said.

Having a satellite home in southern Essex County will reduce the driving time and stress for families who had been coming to the Windsor site and will help the hospice outreach team of doctors, nurses and social workers who help families and terminally ill patients wanting to stay in their homes.

Lemmon said families are allowed to stay overnight with their loved ones at the Windsor home but the travel makes the situation more difficult. “From the feedback we got it’s just a lot for the family to deal with to have to go back and forth, back and forth, never know if they need to stay in Windsor,” Lemmon said.

The Windsor site takes up about a city block off Empress Street and is the largest community-based palliative care facility in Canada, Lemmon said. It got that billing not because it has an eight bed residential home but because the site also includes a wellness centre in a former school with 47 wellness programs, support groups or gentle exercise programs, a children’s home with social workers helping children who have a family member with a life-altering diagnosis, and a pain management clinic. Hospice helps about 1,500 people a year.

Volunteers planning to attend the Nov. 13 session are asked to RSVP by calling 519-974-7100, ext. 2272, or through e-mail at ceavolunteer@thehospice.ca.

Click here to visit the Windsor Star and read the original article

tags: hospice, leamington