Comfort, Care, Compassion: bringing residential hospice care to Durham Region

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Residential hospices coming to Whitby, Clarington

Durham Region Hospice launches $15-million capital campaign

DURHAM — Durham Region Hospice, a partnership between Durham Hospice and VON Durham Community Corporation, has launched a capital campaign to raise $15 million for the construction of two new residential hospices in the region.

A 10-bed facility in Whitby and a five-bed facility in Clarington will be built with funding through the Comfort, Care, Compassion campaign, which aims to better serve individuals who are facing a palliative diagnosis.

“Durham Region Hospice is committed to bringing residential hospice care to Durham Region, and is seeking donor support to make our vision a reality,” said Dr. Edward Osborne, physician at Lakeridge Health and regional palliative care lead for the Central East Regional Cancer Program and the Central East Local Health Integration Network.

“Over the coming weeks and months, we will be reaching out to individuals, community organizations, corporations and all levels of government to help us reach our goal.”

Despite a demand for an estimated 33 residential hospice beds in Durham Region by 2018-2019, the region is currently one of the only regions in Ontario without a fully operational residential hospice care centre, according to a release sent out on Feb. 20. This means that the only option for individuals living their final days is to remain in hospital or go home.

“Our health-care system has many supports in place to help us begin and live our lives well; however, that care, comfort and compassion should also extend into our final days,” Osborne added.

“As a community, let’s come together to bring this much needed resource to Durham Region and ensure a full continuum of high-quality care throughout all stages of life.”

Residential hospice provides meaningful care at no cost to residents or their family members in a supportive, homelike environment, while reducing health-care costs across the system. Hospice residents are cared for by an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals and volunteers who provide assistance with pain and symptom management and comfort measures, while they and their families have access to counselling, and emotional and spiritual support in an environment that promotes quality of life.

Both the Whitby and Clarington sites will offer private rooms, free parking, unrestricted visiting hours and the ability to live freely, including flexible meals based on each resident’s choice, continuing to live with pets, bathing/showering at leisure, going outside as desired, and access to a wide range of non-medical service and program options including spiritual and emotional supports.

“We’re really confident that with the support of the community — Durham Region, Whitby and Clarington — we feel there will be strong support,” said Melodie Zarzeczny, chair of the board of directors at Durham Hospice. “We’re confident that we’ll reach that goal.”

“Most people have a good birth, and a good life. We want to make sure, if there is such a thing as a good death, the residents of Durham Region get it,” she said.

The Comfort, Care, Compassion campaign is running in tandem with the Building for Compassionate Care capital campaign that was launched last October in support of the planned Oak Ridges Hospice in Port Perry.

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— With files by Jennifer O’Meara

by Parvaneh Pessian

Parvaneh Pessian is a reporter for Metroland Media Group’s Durham Region Division. She can be reached at . Follow her on Twitter

Email: Twitter

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