Home and the Holidays … and other precious times
Published on: December 5, 2018
At a time of year when many Canadians hope to be home for the holidays, imagine the desire for home during those limited, precious days when it comes time for end-of-life care. Compassionate care at home, or in a home-like environment, lifts the spirits and quality-of-life for a child or adult living with a life-threatening illness.
When Luke’s family could no longer take care of him at home, a friend recommended Emily’s House – where they could access 24/7, doctor-supervised clinical care, symptom management, and recreational programs, all in a home-like environment. Luke’s parents explain: “Nobody wants to be going to hospice, of course, but when we arrived, I really was relieved. I knew it was the right place for Luke. It was a family-focused place where they had rooms for our daughters to stay. The whole family could be together. They give support in so many ways. I see Emily’s House as being a safe haven, and a real refuge. We have hope that more families will be blessed by this place, just as we’ve been blessed.”
For clients in their own home in the community, our Philip Aziz Centre (PAC) hospice programs have a similar dynamic for supporting, impacting and uplifting individuals and families. As one volunteer shared: “My hospice client mentioned that PAC has reduced his fear and anxiety for the future of his family. He may be feeling ‘down’ most of the time, due to the side effects of chemo radiation, but he feels he has friends at PAC who can help him: people he can depend on. After visiting him for many months, I have seen how the family’s well-being has dramatically improved. This is due to the help from PAC, and resources from other agencies working with us. I was touched by the new hope and lively talk in their home as their situation improved. I am amazed that the team approach can work so well, and make such a difference for a family facing an extremely challenging medical situation with very limited personal resources.”
Research studies show that only 15% of Canadians have access to palliative care: 75% of Canadians would prefer to die at home, yet almost 70% of deaths occur in a hospital. In Ontario, many people have occasional access to some palliative care in the last thirty days of life. But, for the majority, it’s not the full range of services needed, such as the psycho-social support, caregiver support, spiritual care, and medical respite that we offer through Emily’s House and PAC.
To help provide timely access to our hospice program supports – for children, adults, siblings and caregivers — please donate today.
MATCHING GIFT – Double the impact of your giving when you give the gift of hospice. Donations received by December 31, 2018 will be matched (up to a total of $50,000 by one of our private supporters).