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First stand-alone community hospice announced

Working out of a converted convent in the Crestwood community for the past 25 years, the Pilgrims Hospice Society has provided comfort to people in their last stages of life. Now the society has plans for a major leap forward in hospice care.
hospice story
Architectural rendering of the Roozen Family Hospice Centre.

Working out of a converted convent in the Crestwood community for the past 25 years, the Pilgrims Hospice Society has provided comfort to people in their last stages of life. Now the society has plans for a major leap forward in hospice care.

The organization has launched a $15 million Home for Hospice Campaign to build Edmonton's first stand-alone residential community hospice. The Roozen Family Hospice Centre will offer specialized end-of-life care and grief support in a relaxed and family-friendly community hospice with all the comforts of home.

The new facility will feature 12 residential hospice suites providing 24/7 specialized nursing care, integrated with counselling and program space to support the end-of-life journey for patients and their loved ones from diagnosis, through death and grief.

"While important services have been provided, the aged building was never suited to providing 24/hour residential hospice care that the new purpose-built facility will," says Monica Robson, executive director of the society. "The Roozen Family Hospice Centre will be purpose-built to look and feel like a home.

"The centre will have ambient lighting, temperature control, private washroom and furniture that can accommodate overnight stays of loved ones. Spa-like therapeutic tub rooms, private and shared dining and living spaces and access to a courtyard will complement the residential hospice experience."

With an aging population, increase in chronic disease and the need to reduce pressure on and costs associated with acute care resources, "this model of care and support is well-timed to enhance community support and our healthcare system", she says.

Care in the hospice residence will be delivered by registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and healthcare aids. Specially trained volunteers enhance the delivery of support and care working alongside hospice staff.

Based on an average stay of 17 days, these 12 suites could offer over 200 individuals per year, plus their families, a quality end-of-life experience, the society says.

The new  centre will be built at the current Pilgrims Hospice location at 9808 148 St. The society will operate out of a temporary space while the new facility is under construction.

"Contingent on reaching fundraising targets, we plan to start construction in August of 2019 and ideally open Edmonton’s first stand-alone residential community hospice centre in late 2020," Robson says.

Pilgrims Hospice Society operating budget is currently supported through donations from individuals, planned giving, foundation funding, corporate giving, special event revenue, and some support through municipal operating funds and Alberta Health Services service contracts.

"The Roozen family deserves credit for stepping up and generously committing the cornerstone funds to initiate the campaign to  build Edmonton’s Home for Hospice. The Allard family continues to champion the project along with a growing number of community leaders at every level.

"It really is a community driven project at this point and we will need the support of community to see it through," Robson says.

For more information about the Home for Hospice, go to www.homeforhospice.com