Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions, we’re here to help. Below is a list of some frequently asked questions; however, please do not hesitate to be in touch should you not find what you’re looking for.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I access residential hospice care?

Admission to St. Joseph’s Hospice is based on the determination of eligibility made by Home and Community Care and the ability of St. Joseph’s Hospice to accommodate and support the care needs of individuals at the time of referral.

For those who are in the hospital, the Care Coordinator assigned to the hospital, along with the Palliative Care Referral Team, can work to explore options and eligibility for accessing a hospice bed. People can transfer to hospice from home, hospital or a retirement residence. Residents who live in a Long-Term Care setting will be cared for in their current surroundings at the end of life and are usually not transferred to hospice.

For more information regarding our residential care at St. Joseph’s Hospice, or to arrange a tour, please contact:

Wendy Boyle
Director of Residential Care
Phone: 519-931-3465

Do you have to be Catholic to access care?

No, Hospice programs and services are offered at no cost and are available irrespective of gender, religion, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or economic status.

How much do the programs and services cost?

There is no cost to those living with advanced illness, their family, caregivers or the bereaved to access the programs and services offered by St. Joseph’s Hospice. Our Community Engagement and Development Department work tirelessly to ensure we raise $1.4 million dollars each year to continue providing quality hospice palliative care in our community.

What does the hospice look like?

Our hospice home is designed to embrace the beauty of the natural environment and represents the compassionate community that surrounds it. It is a ‘home away from home’ where those nearing the end of life can receive the individualized care and support they need during this time. It’s also an inviting space where families can visit freely without the worry of day-to-day care. Please visit our virtual tour to see our hospice home.

What should I bring with me?

We welcome residents and their family to make their suite as personal as possible. Items to bring can include:

  • Mementos, photos and special keepsakes (personal furniture and large items cannot be accommodated)
  • Clothing and personal toiletries, such as lotion, razors, mouthwash, and toothpaste
  • Ontario Health Card
  • Ontario Drug Benefits Card
  • Any additional health insurance
  • A complete list of medications
  • Personal care documents
  • Power of Attorney information
Can I come for a tour?

Yes, please call our Director of Residential Care, Wendy Boyle, to arrange a tour at 519-931-3465 or visit our virtual tour online.

What is a Direct Support Volunteer?

St. Joseph’s Hospice is blessed with many skilled and caring volunteers who assist the staff with resident care, such as meal service, laundry, personal care, and companionship. They undergo a rigorous training program, complete with background and reference checks.

Can my family stay with me?

St. Joseph’s Hospice welcomes and encourages loved ones to stay with the resident if they wish. To support the comfort of our resident’s loved ones, we have provided the following features:

  • A private family washroom with shower
  • quiet spaces for loved ones to retreat if desired
  • A main gathering room with comfortable seating for relaxation or conversation with residents, family members, and other visitors. The common dining area offers tables and chairs to enjoy a meal, watch television, read, or work on a laptop or play puzzles or games.
  • A terrace with tables, chairs, patio umbrellas and seasonal horticultural arrangements
  • A Bistro available for family members to cook and enjoy meals

Family members are welcome to spend the night and sleep on the pull-out chair or couch in a resident’s suite.

What’s the difference between a hospice, hospital or nursing home?

A hospice is a home-like health care facility that cares for a resident’s physical symptoms along with their mind and spirit at the end of life.  Hospice has on-site counselling and other support programs for residents and family members. As a home-like facility, IV therapy, investigations and active (e.g. chemotherapy) treatments are not offered. The medical emphasis is on maintaining quality of life and comfort at the end of life, surrounded by family and friends.

A hospital can offer more active treatments, medications, and investigations.  The environment depends on the care setting, and differs accordingly.

A nursing home is a care facility for residents who require increased care, and who have a prognosis that may be longer than 3 months. The active treatments, investigations, and medications used depend on goals of care.

What food will I eat?

Resident mealtimes are flexible to meet the individual needs and requests of each resident. A menu will be made available to residents, and the nutritional services coordinator and kitchen volunteers will prepare resident meals according to their dietary needs. All meals are prepared in the residential kitchen by trained staff and volunteers. Only trained kitchen volunteers and staff are permitted to enter the residential kitchen. Specific food or diet-related inquiries can be directed to kitchen staff and volunteers.

Please note that breakfast will be simple, continental-style fare with toast, fruit and other basic breakfast items. Dinners and soups will be cooked in-house. Please feel welcome to bring your loved one their favourite dish or treat from home or elsewhere.

Meals may be served in the seating area in the Great Room if the resident is able, in individual resident suites, or outside on the terrace, weather permitting.

Each suite is equipped with small refrigerators. They are available for use by residents and families for personal food and drink items brought in by residents/visitors. Please use or discard all items in the fridge in a timely fashion. For health and safety reasons, homemade treats prepared outside the residential kitchen may not be served to residents other than your own family member/friend.

Family members and visitors are responsible for providing their own meals and are encouraged to take breaks away from the hospice, whenever possible, for their own emotional and physical wellbeing. Family members who bring their own meals in from outside the hospice are welcome to use the facilities in the Bistro.

Complimentary coffee and tea will be available for family members and visitors and, when available, soup and baked items may also be served. Food prepared for families and visitors will be clearly labelled and placed on the counter in the residential kitchen or in the Bistro.

Is laundry provided within residential care?

All bed and bath linens are provided by St. Joseph’s Hospice and are laundered on site by staff and volunteers. We kindly ask that family members manage resident’s personal laundry.

Where is St. Joseph’s Hospice?

We are located at 485 Windermere Road in 18,000 square feet of space within two wings of the 3rd floor of the Sisters of St. Joseph’s Residence and Congregational Centre. St. Joseph’s Hospice rents this space from the Sisters but operates independently.

View our contact page for more details.

Please note: St. Joseph’s Hospice is a fragrance-free facility. Please respect the health of our staff, clients, and residents.

Is there parking?

Yes, free parking is available on-site. View our contact page for more details.

Can I bring my pet?

Yes, pets are welcome to visit. We ask that they have up-to-date vaccines, be well groomed, and be of gentle temperament. Pets are to be supervised and, on a leash, or in a travelling case. You’ll find dog treats and a water bowl in the Great Room for your pets’ comfort, but we ask that the pet owners provide adequate food, water and outside bathroom trips when visiting.

How do I coordinate my medication if I’m living at St. Joseph’s Hospice?

When a resident is admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospice, please bring all medications from home to the nurse to record. All resident medication will be ordered by the admitting physician and dispensed through Yurek Pharmacy. If a non-Ontario Drug Benefit Plan covered medication is being considered, it will first be discussed with the resident—including price—or, if not capable, discussed with his or her Substitute Decision Maker. All medications are kept securely locked in the medication room. If a resident requires laboratory tests, St. Joseph’s Hospice will coordinate these services for the resident.

What are the visiting hours?

Family and friends are welcome to visit at any time. If visiting between 7:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m., please locate the doorbell at the entrance of the building and a nurse will be happy to escort you in. Please remember to sign in and out at reception for all visits.

Can I bring my children?

Yes, we welcome families of all ages and sizes to visit with their loved one. We have a children’s grief cart complete with activities and games to support their understanding of the end-of-life process and assist with saying goodbye.

Can I bring food?

Yes, you are welcome to bring, cook, and store food in our Bistro. Each suite is also equipped with a small fridge.

Am I able to access hospice services and counselling even if my loved one did not die at hospice?

Yes, if you are a member of the London community, and have had a loss due to illness within a two-year period, you are eligible to receive St. Joseph’s Hospice Supportive Care services.

Who facilitates your grief and bereavement programs and services?

Qualified staff and trained volunteers facilitate supportive care programs and services. Take a look at the support groups, wellness programs and counselling programs and services within our supportive care brochure.

How do I register for Supportive Care programs and services?

If you have experienced a loss due to illness within two years and are a resident of London you are welcome to contact our Supportive Care Administrative Assistant at 519-931-3474 to schedule an intake appointment.  During your intake appointment you will be introduced to all the Supportive Care programs and services available to you.  At the end of your appointment you will have an opportunity to register for programs and services that are of interest to you.

What is a hospice?

Hospices are community based organizations and facilities run by both professional health care providers and trained volunteers to provide individuals and their families with a place of comfort and support while facing the end-of-life journey. Hospices offer a two pronged approach to care; community-based programs and services and residential care.

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is also known as comfort care or pain and symptom management. It can take place simultaneously with treatment meant to cure the illness. Its main goal is to improve quality of life by providing expert pain management, eliminating side effects as much as possible, and caring for the patient’s emotional and spiritual needs. Palliative care also helps the patient and loved ones communicate with other health providers to make sure the patient’s goals are met.

Why are the beds limited to 10?

The number is mandated by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. It is considered to be the correct size to balance the efficiencies necessary while maintaining a home-like environment.