Caring for our most vulnerable citizens and their loved ones
On any given day, there are people in every community coping with grief over the anticipated loss of someone in their last hours or the death of a loved one.
Many individuals in the Kingston area turn to Hospice Kingston at such times. For more than three decades, Hospice volunteers have helped grieving families and people with terminal illnesses cope with death and dying through the agency’s broad range of compassionate services. These include grief and bereavement programs, home visits, day programs for caregivers, and one-on-one counselling. Last year, the agency introduced tele-hospice, which uses technology to provide palliative-care services to people living at a distance.
About 200 people are helped by Hospice every month. Physician referrals are not required to access Hospice Kingston services.
The most important role of Hospice volunteers is providing comfort and companionship to individuals and families, through quiet listening and the loving presence of another human who is there solely for them.
“Compassionate community is about recognizing that as human beings we are really interdependent, not just emotionally but practically especially when we are vulnerable,” says Allen Prowse, who chairs the Hospice Kingston board of directors and is a member of the Compassionate Communities Kingston Canada (CCKC) steering committee.
“It’s about the community we live in and how we take care of each other. Hospice is all about that.”
This is an exciting time for Hospice. The organization has partnered with the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul to open a 10-bed palliative-care centre and residential hospice in Providence Motherhouse at 1200 Princess St. The residential program, part of a Providence Village planned by the Sisters, will allow people with terminal illnesses to receive round-the-clock support during their final days.
Hospice serves a wide geographical area that includes Amherstview, Frontenac Islands, Gananoque, Kingston, Seeley’s Bay and parts of South Frontenac. Hospice currently has about 200 volunteers and employs five staff members, although the number of staff is expected to grow when the residential program is up and running, possibly by the spring of 2022. All services provided to patients are available at no cost. On average, patients spent about 15 days in Hospice but the time varies from two days to two months, Allen says.
Under the banner Bereavement Services of Kingston, the agency works closely with Bereaved Families of Ontario, The Alzheimer’s Society and Arbor Memorial Funeral Homes to provide seamless grief and bereavement services to people in need.
– Ashi Jacob, Ancy Mary Paul Raj, and Balakrishnan Ravisankar
For more about Hospice Kingston, visit Hospice Kingston or call the office at 613-542-5013