Trillium Foundation supports outdoor visiting space at Hospice Prince Edward

OUTDOOR SPACE- (CENTRE) Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith cuts the ribbon on a new entry way funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Smith is flanked by (From Left) builder Chris Koopmans, Hospice's Karen Mayer, Melanie Daley and Peter Matthewman. (Submitted Photo)

An investment into outdoor visiting space and a new entryway at Hospice Prince Edward by the Ontario Trillium Foundation was celebrated Friday.

Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith, Board Members, Staff, and builder Chris Koopmans gathered outside the County’s residential hospice at a social distance to celebrate an important milestone. The opening of Hospice’s outdoor visiting space and direct room access, generously funded by a grant from The Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Resilient Communities Fund of $30,000 over a six months period.

The outdoor area will ensure safer client visits,  provides direct residential room access and circumvents common areas. 

“Interactions with loved ones are an important part of palliative care, both for people who are dying and their families and caregivers,” said Smith. “This outdoor visiting space – supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation – is a real enhancement to Hospice Prince Edward’s residence. It will provide greater flexibility for visits, while promoting infection control through reduced traffic in indoor common areas.” 

Hospice palliative care is aimed at relieving suffering and improving the quality of life for persons who are living with, or dying from, advanced illness or who are bereaved. The goal of hospice palliative care is to provide comfort and dignity for the person living with the illness and their family. The COVID pandemic forced Hospice to implement a restrictive visitor policy, which was a necessary measure to keep families safe. 

“Our goal is for families to be together at end of life if that is what they choose, and turning loved ones away is contrary to our mission here.

“We determined if we had outdoor visiting space and the ability to relocate a hospital bed outside that families could not only safely visit in the warmer months, but it would improve the quality of life for our residents. We also determined if we could limit access to our common areas in the residence, we could better control and prevent infection from spreading. A solution for doing so was to install outdoor room access for our resident rooms so that visitors could come and go without crossing paths with anyone else, or entering into our high touch common areas,” said Melanie Dailey. ”The Ontario Trillium Foundation grant enabled us to do just that and Chris Koopmans set to work building these beautiful patios.”