Caring for the Terminally Ill
Every day at our hospices, we hold the hands of people who are dying. We provide the opportunity for everyone to have a comfortable and dignified death, supporting each person until the end and helping them to be at peace.
At St. James Community Service Society, we believe that everyone who is terminally ill deserves an end to their lives that is dignified and as pain-free as possible. Hospice care offers an end that is neither hastened nor postponed but provides relief from suffering through patient-centered care.
Last year, 130 people stayed in our hospices in East Vancouver. May's Place, which has six beds, was the first freestanding hospice in BC when it opened in 1990. Cottage Hospice, with its flower-filled gardens and views of the North Shore mountains, offers ten beds in Burrard View Park.
Operating funds for the Hospice Program come from the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and are supplemented by the fundraising efforts of the Society.
We are currently looking for volunteers to help with fundraising initiatives that support our hospice program. For information on volunteering, please contact Lucy Isham-Turner at 604-606-0306.
650 North Penticton St.
Coordinator: Marion Bromley: 604-606-0327
May's Place Hospice
333 Powell Street
Coordinator: Cielo Napcil: 604-606-0381
Frequently Asked Questions:
Hospice care refers to the physical, emotional and spiritual care offered to those who are in the final phases of life due to terminal illness. Hospice is usually appropriate when a person has a life expectancy of three months or less and when medical treatment is no longer an option.
For us, that means compassionate comfort-care of the person as a whole, not treatment of the disease. We aim to alleviate symptoms, maximize quality of life and provide a warm and home-like environment for residents and their loved ones.
Respite care is the provision of short term, temporary care for people who need it for medical reasons (on the recommendation of a physician), or for temporary relief of caregivers from responsibilities associated with caregiving.
After an assessment to determine that a person is appropriate for hospice, a physician, homecare nurse or social worker can make a referral to a PAL (Palliative Access Line) where hospice placements are coordinated.
Hospice fees are set at $30.90 per day. Statements are sent out early each month for the previous month's fees. Payment options include payment by cheque or through a pre-authorized payment from your bank account or credit card. Please ask the nurse for the relevant form to be completed. If you are receiving Income Assistance, the Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance will pay your daily fees directly to the hospice.
If you cannot afford the fee, talk to your social worker or home care nurse.
- Do you offer spiritual care?
We can arrange spiritual care from a variety of denominations, or you may invite your own spiritual care advisor to visit you as you wish.
- What else do I need to do?
It is important to discuss your wishes regarding your care with your family and doctor. This will help you to determine if hospice is right for you. It is also a good idea before coming to hospice to prepare your will and to make decisions about whom you would like to manage your financial affairs.
- Can I have a tour of the hospice?
Of course - we'd be happy to show you around. We schedule 20 minute tours in the early afternoon, any day of the week. Please contact the nurses’ station at the hospice to arrange for a tour.