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Community will create a home for Hospice

Steven Draper used his Pole Pics truck to photograph Hospice Prince Edward volunteers and Picton Rotary Club members on the day they embark on their dream to create a residential hospice.

With the help of many friends, Hospice Prince Edward has announced it will see its dream of establishing a residential care facility come true.
“Today we have reason to celebrate,” said Nancy Parks, Hospice Prince Edward Executive Director at a gathering of volunteers, friends and media last Friday. “Thanks to the very generous efforts of the Rotary Club of Picton and significant donations from many people in this community, Hospice Prince Edward will be establishing a residential hospice in Prince Edward County.”

Debbie Norton

In a heart-warming surprise, well-known former County resident Bob Norton quietly arrived at the gathering and made a pledge to Hospice Prince Edward of $100,000 in memory of his popular wife, Debbie, who passed away in April, surrounded by her loving family at Lissard House, a hospice in Cambridge.
Parks said she was moved by the pledge and noted Mr. Norton’s generosity was influence by how impressed he was with the care given at Lissard House.
“Bob and Debbie have many close ties to this community and the donation was made in her memory.”
Since 1989, Hospice Prince Edward has worked side-by-side with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals who help clients and families provide end-of-life care at home.
“With the establishment of a residential hospice, clients and families will be offered an alternative to home care, all under the supervision of the team,” said Parks. “The residential hospice will allow clients to focus on ‘living’ while being provided quality end-of-life care.
Parks said the facility will have a minimum of three client care rooms with private bathrooms and a family room. It will also provide a location for HPE’s wellness and therapeutic programs, specializing in palliative care and advanced pain management, bereavement support programming and volunteer training.
“HPE and Rotary will be working together to encourage the Ministry of Health to adopt a rural model for operational funding. Presently, the Ministry of Health funding is based on an urban 10-bed model throughout Ontario.”
“End-of-life care in a residential setting should be available in all communities, including rural communities,” said Birgit Langwisch, vice-president of Hospice Prince Edward. “The Ontario government’s mandate is to keep people, if they so choose, in thier homes using community support programs and services.”
Hospice Prince Edward provides physical, psychological, social, spiritual and practical support to individuals living with life-limiting illness, and to their loved ones and caregivers.

Artist Ruby Young with Stuart Brown and Annette Gaskin. The couple promotes artwork Ruby has donated for sale as a Hospice fundraiser in the form of note cards, posters and shopping bags.

Those are the reasons Annette Gaskin and her husband Stuart Brown have been volunteers for the past two years.
The couple moved to the County about five years ago just after Annette’s mother became seriously ill.
“We weren’t aware of Hospice,” Gaskin said, “But we were one of the first to become patients of the Prince Edward Family Health Team and it was Jocelyn Matthewman who told us about Hospice Prince Edward.
“We got a lot of support from people in the County who were always looking out for mom and we had three good years here with her. In the end, she died before we were able to get involved with Hospice, but we really felt that it would have made it better for all of us if we were all at home in a comfortable setting.”
Since, Annette and Stuart have become active volunteers who visit clients and they also help out with fundraising, operating information booths and in the office.
With some funding from the South East Local Health Integration Network, the Trillium Foundation, and a variety of fundraising activities and the generosity of concerned citizens, Hospice Prince Edward offers its services free of charge. In 2009-2010, HPE provided services to 193 Prince Edward County friends, families and neighbours.
“The Rotary Club and Hospice Prince Edward will create a solid foundation needed to plan and build a facility that will provide end-of-life care for our community,” said Parks. “We will set the highest possible standards for residential hospice care in this province.”

Donations to Hospice Prince Edward are always welcome.
Call Nancy Parks, executive director, at 613-476-2181 x4253
Visit the office at the Picton Hospital, Room 260.
Mailing address is P.O. Box 6132, Picton, ON, K0K 2T0.

Visit the Hospice Prince Edward website.

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