I hope you had a remarkable November and eagerly await the December festivities that are fast approaching.
This month I took a look into three hospice facilities to provide you with some information about the characteristics that you will likely consider when looking for the best environment for your loved ones.
We can all agree that maintaining quality of life is high on our priority list. A hospice atmosphere that manifests this priority should be filled with compassion, respect, peace, and the uttermost care for both clients and their loved ones.
Rosedale Hospice, Intercare Hospice, and Foothills Country Hospice all offer quality end of life care. Below I have touched on the following topics concerning each facility.
• Location and setting
• Facility mission statements
• Credibility and reputation
• Care team composition
• What makes them stand out
Rosedale hospice, a seven bed facility, is located in the NW sector of Calgary. The facility itself gives off a homey feeling and includes several peaceful areas such a garden, coffee lounge, and fireside room. As well, it mentions areas that are practical for visitors such as a kitchenette.
Take a look: http://www.hospicecalgary.com/content/rosedale-hospice
“Compassionate support when life changes” is what this hospice stands for. As part of Hospice Calgary and having 20 years of experience, the facility revolves around providing support, comfort, and expert medical attention.
“Nurturing community”, “keeping them stimulated and giving them honest information”, and “care” are some of the descriptors that stuck with me from an article written by a family whose loved one stayed at the Rosedale hospice.
Read their story here:
Rosedale has a stacked care team that focuses on holistic well being of the mind, body, and spirit. Nurses, physicians, spiritual supporters, volunteers, pain and symptoms mangers, and educational coordinators are among those who will be taking care of your loved ones.
What stood out for me is that Hospice Calgary offers support groups, especially for kids and teens, where they can find a safe support system to express themselves.
You can find them here: http://www.hospicecalgary.com/page/support-groups
Rosedale hospice is for those who have a cancer diagnosis and are no longer receiving treatment. Evaluation and referral is arranged through care teams in the hospital or through home care programs like us.
Intercare offers two hospice facilities, one more central at the Chinook location (14 bed unit) and one further south at the Southwood location (24 bed unit). Without much of a visual description of the facilities, the website shares that “Southwood Hospice now offers a place of solitude, sanctuary, prayer and meditation for residents, family, friends and staff — our Interfaith Chapel and Spiritual Centre”.
“Heart of Excellence” is what Intercare strives for. They claim to meet this expectation by being flexible with clients and families, providing counseling services, and providing educational components that educate not only those involved in the hospice, but also those in the community. Intercare has been up and running for around ten years now and it was nice to see an emphasis on “living life to the fullest in a secure, respectful and compassionate environment”.
The hospice team has a fair balance between medical caregivers and support staff such as social workers and spiritual coordinators. There is a clinical team leader who oversees operations and relays between residents, families, staff, and attending physicians.
What stood out for me is that they make their team very accessible and transparent. Their names and roles are posted on the website so you can see who will be responsible for certain areas of care. They also provide an online brochure:
Referrals are made via Alberta Health Services or through the family physician. Here is some more information from Alberta Health Services on the process that oversees overall hospice admission: http://www.hospicecalgary.com/sites/default/files/pdf/2015_05_22 Calgary Zone Hospice Information Sheet with map.pdf
Foothills Country Hospice provides a cozy country-like feel at its location in Okotoks. It has been up and running as a registered charity and not for profit society since 2008.
Their mission statement emphasizes “specialized, compassionate end of life care to adults and support to their loved ones”. They also mention embracing challenges and innovation, which is important so the latest and best approaches are utilized to take care of your loved one.
The founding medical director made a statement about Foothills Hospice where they highlighted the importance of community, expertise, and the preservation of dignity throughout the journey of being in a hospice. Furthermore, they also reference an all-encompassing approach that gives attention to the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of everyone affected.
I was very impressed with the amount of information given concerning each aspect of the care team. Each team has a comprehensive description of their role on the website. This includes the nursing care, medical care, spiritual care, grief support, social worker, educator, food services, housekeeping, and volunteer support. They also have an outstanding page about their board of directors and how their life has brought them to be involved with such a great facility. Check out their roles here: http://countryhospice.org/Inside_pages/Who_We_Are/overview.html
What stood out for me was that they provide a weekly animal therapy program. Animals come for loving visits and snuggle up with patients and their family members to take away some stress and put a smile on their face. As well, there is a guest suite operating on a first come first serve basis at the facility for those wanting to stay overnight with their loved ones.
Referrals are made by health care professionals in hospitals or the community for those having a terminal diagnosis with an expected length of life of less than 3 months.
When choosing the right place for your loved one, do not lose sight of what is important to them and to your family when it comes to maintaining the best quality of life possible. This is a journey that should be filled with love, comfort, dignity, and care.
With this post and some further research, I hope you will be comfortable and confident in your hospice decisions.