Huron County Councillors tour new hospice site - July 20, 2017
BY DENNY SCOTT
The Huron Residential Hospice may have some ground to break and an addition to construct before it’s operational, but, with the support of Huron County Council through the Warden’s annual Golf Tournament last week, it is closer to reality.
The ‘Moments Matter’ fundraiser for the Huron Residential Hospice was the single largest beneficiary of the tournament last Friday had more than 70 golfers participate.
The day also featured a tour of the future site of the Huron Residential Hospice, directly across Highway 8 from the Woodlands Golf Course where the tournament was held.
Warden Jim Ginn, in a press release for the event, said he was pleased to offer support to the hospice and believes it will enhance palliative care programs that already run in the county.
“This is a wonderful way for us to help make moments matter for folks across Huron.”
The site is just outside of Clinton and will be owned by Huron Hospice Volunteer Service (HHVS), a registered charity that will provide palliative care at the site.
In the same press release, HHVS Executive Director Shirley Dinsmore explained that a residential hospice has been part of the HHVS vision for more than 10 years and that the hospice will offer support for the entire family when facing palliative care options. The site will offer on-site staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week as well as personal care support staff. The model of care will provide day care and respite care programs as well as bereavement programs, pastoral care and volunteer visiting programs.
“Once operational, the Huron Residential Hospice will completely change the way hospice care is provided in this region,” Kathy O’Reilly, site development committee chair said in the release. “The home itself will serve as a hub for hospice services and our model of care is designed to work in partnership with existing programs to support patients and their families through the entire process of palliative care, dying, death and grieving, all while celebrating life and finding the moments that matter.”
On the day of the tournament, O’Reilly was on site to take visitors through tours of the house which will be transformed into a palliative care site starting with four beds and space for visiting families.
The home, which is owned by Rachael and Richard Kootstra, was chosen because it fits the “feeling” the organization wants for the location according to O’Reilly.
“It lends itself to the ambience that we’re seeking,” she said during the tour. “The feel, and the look is like a home and it can accommodate a number of families at once, allowing people to visit their loved ones.”
While the hospice, will be, first and foremost, a health care facility, O’Reilly explained that the sprawling grounds, which include seven acres behind the home as well as a pond in front of it, will provide ample space and privacy for families needing a place to visit their loved ones in palliative care.
The site has no basement, so it will be fully accessible, and, aside from moving some walls and building an addition for four beds, the house is already able to accomodate the hospice’s needs.
“We will be building a reception area to provide shelter from the elements, and adding a circular driveway, however the site is good as it is,” she said.
Much of the existing furniture, will be included. O’Reilly says it complements the home and adds to the atmosphere.
O’Reilly also pointed to some custom woodworking in the home, including a “tree of life” etched into one of the walls, as being aspects the hospice looks to keep.
Richard Kootstra, during the tour, explained that the “tree of life” was created by Herb and Joanne Van Amersfoort of Blyth.
The attached garage at the site will be transformed into a meeting space that could be used for small group events and a loft above the space will be used for administrative purposes.
The group has indicated it plans to purchase the property, but the deal hasn’t yet been finalized yet. That said, the $10,000 that was raised through the Warden’s golf tournament will likely go a long way in helping the project become a reality.
For more information on the project, visit www.huronresidentialhospice.com