Hospice Residence Care – Dina’s Story

Words can’t describe how happy we were when we received the call. After a turbulent journey in hospital palliative care and at home, a suite had become available for my Dad at St. Joseph’s Hospice.

When we first arrived at Hospice, one of the lovely nursing staff greeted us at the door and got us settled into Dad’s suite. We felt welcomed right away. With private balconies and spacious living rooms for families, the beauty of the space is like a home-away-from-home, but the people made the care extra special.

The nursing and support staff, physicians, and volunteers were patient, compassionate, and always accommodating. My Dad wasn’t the easiest resident at Hospice, but every staff member and volunteer took the time to get to know him, going over and above to make every moment matter. Whether that was an extra serving of his favourite meal, macaroni and cheese, or talking at his bedside till late at night, all of the compassionate people at Hospice made a significant impact on my Dad’s final days.

I felt like I was in a different world because this level of care was unlike anything we had received before. Hospice supported not only my Dad but also our entire family. I can’t begin to describe how comforting that felt for all of us while going through such a challenging journey.

Believe it or not, one of the most beautiful moments was the day Dad passed away.  The nurse called me at the office to give me the news. I was still in shock, even though this moment was inevitable. Private time with Dad was provided for our family with a lovely memorial tribute given by the staff at the front entrance where he was covered with a beautiful quilt. They even had a little frame with Dad’s name acknowledging his passing. The team read a beautiful passage we choose before he departed, and our family accompanied Dad down the elevator until he was put into the car and drove away. Truly a beautiful memory.

My experience with Hospice will stay with me forever. Although this was a difficult time, there were many happy moments and conversations shared by all of us with Dad.  Having been in an environment like Hospice allowed us to focus on spending quality time with Dad, and I cannot tell you how grateful we were to have this time without the added stress of his care.

It is this experience which gives me the strength to advocate for others. St. Joseph’s Hospice has helped me understand the final stages of our life journey in a more positive light. It has given me a renewed faith in people and about death. When I think of my Dad in his final days, I remember him in a positive way – all because of St. Joseph’s Hospice. My Dad could not have been in a better place, and our entire family will be forever grateful for the support we received from this outstanding charitable organization.