GUEST SPEAKER:   Heidi Wilson the new Executive Director of Hospice Niagara.

 

  When Time is Precious

 

Hospice-Palliative Care is a special kind of health care for individuals and families who are living with or dying from advanced illness or who are bereaved. Hospice Palliative Care strives to help patients and families address physical, psychological, spiritual, social and practical issues surrounding the end of life and deal with their associated expectations, needs, hopes and fears. With emphasis on the dignity of the person, it aims to relieve suffering and improve the quality of life. 

 

Don Hetherington introduced Heidi Wilson.

 

Heidi joined Hospice Niagara in November 2006. Heidi was most recently the Regional Manager of the Heart and Stroke Foundation for the Hamilton Wentworth Area. Previous to that the Senior Executive Director of Assisted Living Retirement Homes spanning from Mississauga to Victoria . Her administrative health care career began at the Toronto General Hospital in Multi-Organ Transplantation on 1990.

 

Heidi is a mother of two and recently moved to St. Catharines in the spring of 2006. Heidi was attracted to Niagara for its culture and the close proximity to the wine region. Heidi has quickly become an active member in the community.

 

In July 2007 Hospice Niagara will open the doors to a new fourteen-thousand square foot community residential hospice on the grounds of Linhaven Home in St. Catharines The 10 private bedrooms will not only provide expert palliative care for those who do not require acute care, but also result in an annual savings of $1,527,525 to the Niagara Health System.

 

Hospice is not a place - it is a concept of care. Hospice aims to improve quality of life for people with a life-threatening or terminal illness from the time of diagnosis. The focus is on caring, not curing, and on life, not death. Hospice care extends to family members and caregivers, helping them to care for their loved one and to care for themselves.

 

Niagara has the oldest population in Ontario and is aging faster rate than the rest of the province. Hospice will p rovide supportive services to meet the physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs of clients and their caregivers who are living with a life threatening illness.

 

VISITING VOLUNTEER program has qualified volunteers providing non-medical, practical day to day support to individuals and their loved ones living with a terminal illness. This service is available in both English and French.

  
BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT program has volunteers providing one to one support through companionship to individuals coping with the loss of a loved one.

  
CHILDREN'S AND ADOLESCENTS' PEER SUPPORT groups meet 4-5 times and are available for children 6-12 years of age or adolescents 13-19 years of age who are grieving a significant loss. 


PALLIATIVE CARE INFORMATION AND REFERRAL SERVICE offers information on palliative care and related services in the Niagara Region. A Lending Resource Library is available to volunteers and the community. Speakers are available to provide education and information to community groups. 


DAY HOSPICE provides a weekly opportunity for terminally ill clients to enjoy a day of relaxation, companionship and comfort in a home-like setting
. A variety of personal services are offered such as massage, reflexology, manicures and gourmet lunch. After lunch clients can participate in the afternoon programs, or have a snooze on a couch if they prefer.

 

How we treat those who are dying in our community reflects who we are as a society. Hospice Niagara believes that each of us has the right to die with dignity, to have access to physical, emotional and spiritual care and to be granted the respect consistent with other phases of life.