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Two Sessions Remain for Palliative-Care Speaker Series Focusing on Indigenous Communities

‘A safe place to ask questions, share stories and learn from each other’

Indigenous community health partners, frontline workers and family members still have an opportunity to join two final sessions of a free palliative-care speaker series that will focus on ‘Medication – To Give or Not to Give?’ (March 31) and ‘Health-Care Consent and Advanced Care Planning’ (April 16).

The speaker series, facilitated by the Central East Regional Cancer Program’s (CE RCP) Indigenous Cancer, has been ongoing since February and was created in partnership with the Central East First Nation partners.  

“The speakers will cover important topics in palliative care to help provide emotional, mental, spiritual and physical support to those from First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities living with life-limiting illnesses,” says Janice Kelly, CE RCP Indigenous Outreach Liaison. “Our previous sessions have drawn participants from a wide range of communities and have been a safe place to ask questions, share stories and learn from each other.”

Patti Stanton, Palliative Pain and Symptom Management Consultant through Hospice Peterborough, will be leading both final sessions.

In ‘Medication – To Give or Not to Give,’ the session will include learning the purpose of medications at end of life, acknowledging traditional medicines and how to best store/handle medication. This session will support caregiver and families with personal palliative-care toolkits.

In ‘Health Care Consent and Advanced Care Planning,’ the focus will be on issues such as advance planning about who will be your decision maker if you become unable to speak for yourself and why it’s important to write down the location of important documents such as passports, deeds, tax returns and insurance policies.

“Hospice Peterborough is grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Central East Regional Cancer Program for this important speaker series,” says Ms. Stanton. “I look forward to conversations and storytelling about these issues, which can sometimes be difficult to talk about, but are critical to discuss before something unexpected happens.”

Pre-registration for both upcoming sessions is not required. The March 31 session runs from Noon to 1:30 p.m. while the April 16 session runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Please email Janice Kelly at to access the meeting link or for more information. 

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Community Pulls Together to Raise More Than $26,000 for Hospice in Honour of Local Woman

‘For the Love of Jan’ fundraiser was created by family who founded and owns Paris Marine in Lakefield

In an overwhelming response to the local fundraiser ‘For the Love of Jan,’ the community rallied together to raise $26,566 for Hospice Peterborough in honour of the late Janice Paris. The Paris family, a well-known family in the community who are the founders and owners of Paris Marine in Lakefield, matched all donations made to the monthly giving program, up to $10,000, for the month of February. The fundraiser was a way to say thank-you to Hospice Peterborough for its services during Mrs. Paris’ sudden illness and when it was time to grieve only a few months after learning she had a rare type of leukemia.

“Hospice played a major role in assisting our family with Jan’s final days and we wanted to donate matching funds to get maximum financial support for the young adult and youth grief programs that are not currently government funded,” said Bill Paris, who was married to Jan for more than 50 years. “We’ve had an overwhelming response to the fundraiser and I have had my own personal experience with the help these grief programs provide. I appreciate how this program teaches you how to deal with emotions and understand how the brain processes grief.”

The funds will support youth in our community who have experienced the death of someone close to them and – often through arts-based activities – help them manage their feelings and behaviours. Through the pandemic, Hospice has continued to offer these critical services virtually either one-on-one or in small groups.

Hospice Peterborough executive director Hajni Hős thanks the Paris family for sharing their deeply personal story and for giving back to the community in memory of a loved one.

“It is fitting to direct these funds to children and teen groups in honour of a cherished mother and grandmother who devoted herself to her family,” Hős says. “When children in our community can better manage their grief, we all win.”

Jan Paris (far left) with her husband Bill, daughter Tracey, front row are twin daughters Julie and Deborah
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Hospice Peterborough Staff Receive First Round of COVID-19 Vaccinations

“Staff are grateful to be able to continue their work while ensuring client and resident safety”

Hospice Peterborough staff are counted among the first wave of organizations in Peterborough Public Health’s rollout program to receive the COVID-19 vaccination in Peterborough.

Staff members started receiving the first dose of the vaccine on Saturday (March 6) and the goal is for Hospice staff to be fully vaccinated by early summer.

“We are immensely proud of how our staff has risen to every challenge during these extremely difficult times and we are pleased this vaccine is available to them so they can continue their work safely,” Executive Director Hajni Hős stated.

While residents at Hospice Peterborough will not receive the vaccination, all staff will be vaccinated and continue to observe social distancing and proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) usage to ensure the safety of clients, residents, their families, and each other.

Throughout the pandemic, Hospice Peterborough has continued to offer numerous programs and services for those in the community who are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, are at the end of life, and who are grieving. New educational programming such as the virtual Grief 101 series has also been added in response to emerging needs in the community.

“We would like to thank all our community partners, especially PRHC and Peterborough Public Health for the tremendous amount of work that has gone into coordinating and rolling out vaccines to the community,” Hős added.

Laura Zielinski, PSW at Hospice Peterborough, received her vaccine Monday morning at PRHC.
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Re-Opening Plan – February 2021

With Peterborough reverting to the yellow zone, Hospice Peterborough will begin to loosen restrictions slowly and carefully with the awareness that at any moment that could change based on COVID-19 positive numbers, and directives from Peterborough Public Health.

Hospice Peterborough will continue actively screening everyone who enters the building and medical-grade masks are required. Rapid PANIBO testing for staff and any reception volunteers that come back into the building will continue.

We hope to start having reception volunteers 2-3 days a week.

Currently HP has 6-8 beds open in the Residence which is being reviewed weekly with some flexibility depending on complexity of care. RNs/RPNs/PSWs working in other facilities can work at Hospice – unless they have cared for a known COVID-19 positive case or work in a facility that is in outbreak or LTC, in accordance with the Ministry of Health directives. Dr. Beamish, Medical Director, will continue to manage admitting.

Residence visitor numbers will be decided by the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) on a weekly basis.

Most programs will continue in a digital setting, or with a virtual option. Grief Groups will begin in-person with proper safety precautions taken including limiting numbers to allow proper spacing. The Palliative Care Community Team will continue with online and phone meetings with the possibility of in-person sessions taking place in the Hospice building.

Community and Administrative staff can return to the building one scheduled day a week, with most meetings still taking place over Zoom.

Heightened disinfection and cleaning continues throughout the building with some public spaces remain closed.  

We thank our community for the incredible patience and support they continue to show us throughout this pandemic. We are so grateful.

Hospice Staff in PPE

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Improved Health, Safety Measures to Protect Residents, Visitors and Staff at Hospice Peterborough

New measures include antigen testing for asymptomatic staff entering Hospice building.

Peterborough – To better protect all residents, visitors and staff, Hospice Peterborough is boosting its health and safety measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic by participating in a Ministry of Health pilot program.

The Employer Antigen Screening program provides antigen testing for all staff who enter the building from Feb. 1 to March 26, 2021. It involves a regulated healthcare professional taking a nasopharyngeal swab and delivering results on site within 15 minutes. Any staff with a preliminary positive will not be allowed to return to the building until they have a confirmed negative test. This test may provide false negatives 30% of the time.

“Although it’s not perfect, this test provides another layer of protection as it may identify an individual infected with COVID-19 who might’ve gone undetected through regular screening protocols,” says Hospice Peterborough Executive Director, Hajni Hős.

Other heightened safety precautions at Hospice include requiring all new residents from a hospital to have had a negative COVID-19 swab within 24 hours prior to admission and isolating these new residents for at least 72 hours. Residents admitted from the community will be isolated and tested on admission and remain in isolation. All residents will be tested again for COVID-19 on their fourth day after admission.  

To limit the number of people coming into the building, all community programs and services, are taking place via Zoom web-conferencing or phone. 

Residents are permitted two essential visitors within a 24-hour period and all visitors will be screened including temperature and required to wear a medical-grade mask. Currently, each resident may have a total of six essential visitors who can rotate through, two at a time, every 24 hours. This could change at any time.

“We sincerely apologize that due to COVID-19 restrictions and our emphasis on keeping residents and staff safe, our usual open-door policy for visitors is restricted,” Ms. Hős says. “For those residents in the last day or hours of their life, Hospice Peterborough will carefully and compassionately consider allowing more essential visitors as well as visiting beyond regular visiting hours.”

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For the Love of Jan

While grieving the loss of a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother, the Paris family thanks Hospice Peterborough for helping them cope and initiates fundraiser in honour of Jan Paris, pledging to match donations

Bill Paris has more than 50 years of wonderful memories that he made with his late wife Jan.

He recalls meeting her when they both attended Crestwood Secondary School, marrying a few years later and, as a younger man, coming home from an excruciatingly long day at work at Paris Marine and finding Jan sitting on the couch with their newborn twins Julie and Deborah – one in each of her arms nursing a bottle – while she rocked their two-year-old Tracey with her foot.

Jan and Bill Paris

“She was a great mom and a wonderful person – very giving, very kind,” Bill says. “We had a wonderful life together.”

With their three children, Bill and Jan built many memories together boating on Clear and Stoney lakes, winter skiing in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec and enjoying time together as a family, even if it was only playing a game of cards.

Later in life, Jan was a healthy and vibrant woman at age 73 who enjoyed volunteering, painting, taking trips with her husband to their second home in Florida and spending as much time as she could with her beloved grandchildren Avery, Ethan and Kensington. After getting an all-clear from a physical in July 2019, Jan began feeling tired more often by November and had to start putting on a jacket even when it was hot outside. She also started feeling tired in the afternoons and wanted to go to bed earlier in the evenings.

By mid-December, a bone-marrow biopsy at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto confirmed she had Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Bill explains that the chances of having this disease at her age is less than 17 in 100,000.

In typical fashion, Jan didn’t complain. She remained tough, positive and loving until her final days, which she spent at home surrounded by family.

Through their journey, the Paris family has come to realize the importance of Hospice Peterborough and the many services it offers from when a loved one is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness to when it’s time to grieve.

“I don’t know how we would’ve gotten through this without Hospice Peterborough,” Bill says. “It’s the kind of organization that you don’t know much about until the time comes that you need them.”

In memory of his wife, he is initiating the ‘For the Love of Jan’ fundraiser for Hospice Peterborough – asking others to join the monthly giving program and pledging to match all donations up to $10,000.

The fundraiser will direct all donations to programs that support children and teens – an area for which Hospice Peterborough receives no government funding.

The groups support youth in our community who have experienced the death of someone close to them and – often through arts-based activities – help them manage their feelings and behaviours. Even through the pandemic, Hospice continues to offer these services virtually either one-on-one or in small groups.

Hospice Peterborough executive director Hajni Hős thanks the Paris family for sharing their deeply personal story and for giving back to the community in memory of a loved one.

“It is fitting to direct these funds to children and teen groups in honour of a cherished mother and grandmother who devoted herself to her family,” Hős says. “When children in our community can better manage their grief, we all win.”

The Paris family is well-known in Peterborough as they own Paris Marine, a family-owned third-generation boating centre in Lakefield that was started by Bill’s father Jack in 1947.

Bill grew up in this area and recalls meeting Jan when they were both 18; she was his first serious girlfriend.

After high school, Jan became a registered nurse, eventually working in the surgical unit at the former St. Joseph’s Hospital, and Bill went to work for his father. They married in 1970 and welcomed Tracey in 1974.

Afterward, their doctor told them they likely wouldn’t be able to conceive again; they welcomed their twins in 1976.

Jan Paris and daughter Kensington

Life was good for the young family who lived in Young’s Point as Bill worked at the busy and growing boating centre and Jan joined him in 1980 by working in bookkeeping.

They were also busy supporting the community as Jan and Bill were volunteers with Festival of Trees and both involved with local Rotary and Kinsmen clubs. They both also volunteered at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peterborough, each being a mentor for a local child in need.

But, as always, their first priority was family.

When their daughters went off to university, it was bittersweet.

“We had always devoted so much time together as a family but now it was a chance to do more things together,” Bill says. “We were very much in love.”

They travelled to different countries including honeymooning in Barbados and visiting Japan, the Caribbean, the Virgin Islands, England and the United States, eventually buying a second home in Florida.

“We just loved being together,” Bill says. “We were inseparable.”

The couple was in Florida when Jan started feeling unwell and after flying back to Canada and getting the diagnosis, doctors told Jan she may have only a few months to live.

“They asked Jan what she wanted to do and she said: ‘I want to go home,’” Bill explains.

At home on her beloved Stoney Lake, Jan spent time with her family and, although she was weak, never lost her quick mind and was still able to socialize and play cards with her daughters who came to be by her side.

“Jan never mentioned the disease and didn’t cry and didn’t talk about it,” Bill says. “She was focused on her family.”

During this time, Hospice Peterborough was invaluable, he says, as staff helped connect Bill and Jan with supports and healthcare workers including nurses who could provide care at home. Bill adds it was reassuring to know that, if needed, Jan could’ve opted to stay in the homey and comforting Hospice end-of-life residence instead of in a hospital.

“But we were lucky that she was able to come home,” he says.

When the family was reeling from grief, Bill recalls getting a letter from Hospice Peterborough offering grief recovery groups but felt so raw at the time that he threw the letter in the garbage.

The Paris Family

He says he’s glad he eventually did call and was connected to support groups, which were offered over Zoom because of the pandemic.

Over the course of 10 sessions, Bill says he found it cathartic to hear other people’s stories and to learn more about how the brain behaves during grief and how certain things, such as a song or photograph, can be an emotional trigger.

“I couldn’t listen to music for a very long time,” he says. “But I’ve learned how to counteract those emotions.”

The groups also offered suggestions of how to say goodbye to a loved one, even sometimes writing a letter. “Thanks to these sessions, I’m in a much better place now,” Bill says.

He encourages everyone to donate to this fundraiser and is looking forward to matching donations, knowing the money will help others who, right now, may not know they too may eventually need these kinds of life-changing services.

It simply makes sense, he says, for Jan’s memory to inspire a fundraiser for an organization that helps so many people in our community learn how to cope through loss.

“Jan was always smiling, always laughing, always helpful,” Bill says. “She was the most positive person I knew.”

If you would like to donate to Hospice Peterborough through the ‘For the Love of Jan’ fundraising drive, please click here to find out more information. The Paris family will match all donations made before Feb. 28 up to $10,000.

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New Pandemic Precautions and Restrictions at Hospice Peterborough

Hospice Peterborough will re-enter Stage 1 of COVID-19 Response Plan in response to provincial lockdown.

At Hospice Peterborough the health and safety of our clients, residents, their families, volunteers, staff, and the community at large remains our number one priority.

As such, Hospice Peterborough will be returning to Stage 1 of our 4-level COVID-19 Response Plan. Our COVID-19 precautions and restrictions will be changing December 26th to comply with the direction of the provincial government and our local Public Health partners.

Effective December 26th until further notice:

  • Visitation is limited and is determined weekly by our outbreak management team
  • Visiting hours for essential visitors will be 9am-5pm with some exceptions
  • We ask that visitors be local as much as possible
  • Visitors from high-risk areas are asked to provide a recent negative COVID-19 test
  • Hospice Community Staff will be working from home as much as possible
  • All in-person volunteer activities will be on hold
  • All community programing will be offered virtually or over the phone
  • Everyone entering the building, staff included, will be screened and asked to wash their hands and wear a mask
  • Increased cleaning and sanitation will continue throughout the building

These changes were made after careful consideration and guidance from local, provincial, and national public health authorities, and Hospice Palliative Care Ontario. We remain committed to supporting efforts to minimize the spread of the virus through increased screening and limiting person to person contact, especially around people with already complex medical conditions.

Throughout the pandemic, Hospice Peterborough has continued its mission of supporting individuals and families at the end of life, through life-threatening illness, and grief.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the realities of COVID-19.

For additional details or clarifications, please call 705-742-4042.

Thank you.