West Lake-hospice partnership launched to enhance Prince Edward County palliative care

Meeting with family council to formalize collaboration ‘turned into a little support group’

West Lake Terrace and Hospice Prince Edward formally launched a partnership Sept. 10 during a meeting leaders from the long-term care home and hospice had with West Lake Terrace’s family council.

West Lake Terrace life enrichment co-ordinator Janie Denard along with Hospice Prince Edward service co-ordinator Jane Moon and executive director Karen Moore sat down with the home’s family council to learn what family members wanted to see from the collaboration and to chart a course.

Janie says a highlight of the meeting was that it spawned “really great conversation” about grief and bereavement and how every person handles these things differently.

The discussion then turned to how Hospice Prince Edward is aiming to connect with family members to help them work through the challenges that come with having a loved one in long-term care – and specifically how the hospice and families can connect long before a loved one enters the end-of-life stage.

“(The meeting) went very well and was very well-received,” Janie tells The OMNIway. “It turned into a little support group. We had some discussion about grief and bereavement and the different stages people go through, and how some of the spouses of our residents, especially those affected by dementia, are already in the grieving process.”

The foundation of the partnership is based on ensuring West Lake Terrace residents with no outside support from friends or family can receive a hospice volunteer to come to the home to tend to their emotional needs.

“When we have residents who have been identified as somebody who is not participating in a lot of activities, somebody who is not getting outside support, we now can make that phone call to hospice and set up a friendly visiting program with one of their volunteers, which is going to be a huge asset for us here at West Lake Terrace,” Janie says.

West Lake Terrace and Hospice Prince Edward began talks in July to create a way to enhance the quality of palliative care in Prince Edward County.

Given that West Lake Terrace is always striving to improve the quality of its palliative and end-of-life care practices, the interest from the hospice was great news, Janie says.

This is Part 1 of a three-part story.

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