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Carol Nagy – Hospice Niagara
April 11 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Hospice Niagara: Carol Nagy Executive Director (pictured above)
TOPIC: Helping people live well. Hospice palliative care in your community
Hospice Niagara works hard to meet growing demands
John Senn introduced guest speaker, Carol Nagy, Executive Director for Hospice Niagara. Carol began her career as a front-line social worker in child welfare in Toronto. While at the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, she helped to develop provincial training curriculums and programs in particular for Indigenous communities in Northern Ontario. She returned to Niagara in 2013 and now works with staff, more than 350 volunteers and a Board of Directors to help people and their families live well by providing exceptional and compassionate care to everyone, every where, every time.
Carol provided an excellent presentation about the present and future structure of Hospice Niagara and its role, both to the community in general and to end of life clients/families.
Such services are at zero cost. The costs are covered by active fundraising and certain government funding which Carol said has not increased.
Hospice offers walking therapy to help maintain mobility; a bereavement day camp for children and support programs for caregivers to help keep them strong and able to advocate.
Needs for these services are increasing by 45% per year with more than 50% of service needs coming from South Niagara.
There are about 250 intakes for services and about the same number leaving the service that strives to maintain an in-home environment.
Carol advised that in England, the entire cost of Hospice is covered under the NHS (National Health Service). Their system works within a ward style system as most patients prefer to be with other people.
Carol spoke about expansion plans for the south Niagara area meaning that, when completed in 2024, people in Niagara will be no more than 20 to 30 minutes from a hospice bed. She said that the Fort Erie hospice to be called Willson House will be located beside the new Gilmore Lodge long-term care home and Walker House in Welland will be located inside the renovated Foyer Richelieu, a bilingual long-term care home. Together they will add 20 hospice suites for people at end of life. Outreach services and bereavement care will also expand once these hospices open. Ground-breaking in Welland is scheduled for May 1.
The new facilities will feature larger rooms to accommodate mobility issues, newer equipment such as overhead lifts and spa-like washrooms plus guest and children’s quiet rooms. The additions hope to serve 900 clients per year.
The new facilities, along with the Stabler Centre in St. Catharines, provide supportive counselling for people and families, nutritious meals made by a hospice chef and wellness programs for people living at home with life-limiting illness.
Carol said that 350 volunteers give approximately 75,000 hours toward all aspects of the operation.
During an extensive question and answer period, Carol said that every week a waiting list of some 500 names is reviewed looking at family conditions, immediate needs and other factors to determine client priority.
She pointed out that volunteers are always needed. Volunteers are placed according to their personal experiences and strengths. The amount of training depends on the volunteer position whether it is in resident care or administration.
Carol, who was accompanied by Executive Assistant Pamela Mackie, provided a number of information pamphlets and encouraged people to check out www.hospiceniagara.ca for further information and to support their Close to Home fund-raising drive.
Hugh Gayler thanked Carol and presented a gift certificate in token of appreciation.