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What is Hospice and Palliative Care?

Hospice and palliative care are concepts of care and are holistic approaches which addresses the mind, body and spiritual needs of individuals and their family. They are designed to provide sensitivity and support for those experiencing a life-threatening illness. Goals of care are to reduce suffering and to enhance the comfort and quality of life of individuals and their families. Hospice care is often referred to as palliative care or hospice palliative care. These terms all mean the same approach to care.

What is a Hospice?

A hospice refers to a place where an individual is cared for in life’s final journey. Hospice beds may be part of a larger facility or may be in a free-standing facility that offers a home-like setting which embraces the philosophy of hospice and palliative care. It may provide respite for a family caregiver and is an alternative setting for those who are unable to remain at home to die.

What is the Delta Hospice Society?

The Delta Hospice Society is a not-for-profit, charitable organization that provides specialized care and support for people diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and their families and for people experiencing loss by death. 

Is there a cost for services offered by Delta Hospice?

In Delta, thanks to the generous support of our community, care is available to all who need it and there is no cost for any of the professional or volunteer services.

Being a patient at the Hospice requires a ‘Per Diem’ fee which is set by the Ministry of Health.

What additional services are provided through the Fraser Health Hospice Palliative Care Program in Delta?

The range of services offered within the last 6 months of life includes:

  • Intermittent nursing visits for medical needs and medical care coordination
  • Help with personal care such as bathing and dressing
  • Specialist consultation for pain and symptom management
  • Hospitalization for acute symptom management
  • Access to the BC Palliative Care Benefits Program that provides coverage for certain medications, supplies and equipment in the home.

When is the right time for supportive care or the palliative approach to care?

It is helpful to learn about resources at the time of diagnosis or when a prognosis is confirmed. This helps individuals and families to plan for future needs. It allows for time to think and talk about options and choices, to consult with loved ones and make plans, which will support you through the course of your illness. Hospice and palliative care services such as pain management, symptom control, respite and caregiver support help to improve your quality of life and should be accessed early.

Does hospice and palliative care take away a person’s hope?

To the contrary, hospice and palliative care affirms life and regards dying as a natural process. Hospice and palliative care validate the hope of living each day to its fullest with emphasis on human dignity and preservation of the quality and sanctity of life.

Does Delta Hospice Society have an in-patient facility?

Yes, the Irene Thomas Hospice is a 10-suite hospice located in Ladner, British Columbia 
for people and their families in the last days or weeks of life. The facility provides a comfortable, peaceful environment with doctors, nurses, counsellors, support staff and volunteers who work together to provide excellence in palliative care. Information about admission to the Irene Thomas Hospice can be made by calling our Social Worker at 604-948-0660.

Where does Delta Hospice Society get its operating funds?

The basic operational funding for the Irene Thomas Hospice is through a service contract with Fraser Health. Third-party fundraising, Hospice Cottage Charity Shoppe, BC Gaming, and donations provide the funding for the community program and enhanced operational requirements of the Hospice.

Does a patient have a say in what kind of treatment and care they would prefer?

Yes. You, your health care provider and your loved ones need to talk about the various choices related to treatment and care to which you have access and the implications of such interventions. Hospice and palliative care are about options – choosing the kind of skilled, competent care that meets an individual’s particular needs and takes into account social and family situations. It is about choice, teamwork, care of the whole person, comfort, compassion, communication and quality of life.

Where do people live while they are receiving hospice and palliative care services?

People receive care wherever they live: at home or in the homes of relatives or friends, in care facilities, in group living facilities, in hospitals or in a hospice. Support is also offered to businesses and schools when there is a need.

What is bereavement support?

Bereavement support is care for people who are grieving the death of a significant person in their life. There is help available for understanding the grief reaction, coping strategies and peer support.

Delta Hospice Society has a strong bereavement program with full-time bereavement counsellors who facilitate a variety of bereavement support services. Regular phone contact as well as support groups are available for any who choose to participate. More intensive one-on-one counselling is available when there is a need.

Bereavement support is available for anyone in the community whether there is an anticipated or a sudden, traumatic death.