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YEAR 1: A DREAM, A NIGHTMARE – DR. JOHN BEAMISH

Dr. John Beamish, Medical Director of Hospice Peterborough, reflects on the first year at 325 London St. in his video ‘A Dream, A Nightmare.’

Hospice Peterborough extends their sincere thanks to Dr. Beamish. During the height of COVID-19, to limit the risk of exposure to the virus, Dr. Beamish cared for all of our Residents in our Care Centre for months, without a day off.

Dr. Beamish is also one of the founding members of Hospice Peterborough and a tireless advocate for hospice palliative care.  Our community has been so fortunate to benefit from his dedication and expertise for over 32 years. Thank you!

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COVID-19: Next Steps for Hospice Peterborough

As the pandemic storm begins to subside and life cautiously tackles a new normal, Hospice Peterborough will implement the next phase of our ongoing Pandemic Plan in response to the shifting COVID-19 climate.

We recognize the significant amount of uncertainty and apprehension that will follow as we navigate the process of clients, volunteers, visitors, and staff coming back into the 325 London Street location.

Acknowledging that at any time the community can be forced back into isolation and social distancing measures, nimbly and vigilantly we continue to monitor, adjust, and learn from each phase of this pandemic.

As echoed throughout this crisis by the Board of Directors and the Executive Director, ‘the health and safety of clients, residents, family members, volunteers, staff, partners, and community members is of utmost importance. Therefore, we will take each step slowly after significant consideration and consultation with health authorities and other hospices.’

We are all in this together, and we will get through this together… we all play an important role in the future recovery of our community.

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Neighbourhood Honour Guard

One of the struggles people are having in this time of Covid-19 is how to recognize important life moments normally shared with extended family and friends; this includes funerals and celebrations of life.

This is the story of how one family was able to honour their person given the restrictions Covid-19 is placing on social gatherings.

The primary caregiver in this story had participated in an honour guard at Hospice Peterborough for a person that had died in the Hospice Residence. When her husband died at home, she felt is was important to adapt this ceremony to create a neighbourhood honour guard. After the death, along with calling the funeral home the family reached out to friends and neighbours. Friends drove over to the home and neighbours came out onto the street observing physical distancing protocols. Some of those participating in the honour guard held signs with his name and others clapped in honour of the deceased and as a show of support for his family. When the funeral homes vehicle pulled away, the family got into their car and fell into line next and then all the extended family and friends that had driven to the neighbourhood joined the procession and escorted them to the funeral home. At the funeral home the family stood out front and waved to each of their friends as they drove past them. This ceremony provided a creative way to recognize a life well lived and to honour the family grieving in this time where physical proximity is challenging.

One of the tips the caregiver shared for making this work successfully was to think about it ahead of time and to have a rough plan. Public protocols continue to change daily, so it is not the time to have a rigid plan about what the honour guard will look like but having ideas about what is important to you and your family helps as you will likely not feel like planning to pull together people in the immediate time after your loved one dies. Things to consider ahead of time include:

1. Would I prefer to have my family member’s face covered or uncovered during an honour guard? Is there a special blanket or item I would like to have with my special person’s body during the honour guard? The funeral home can return these items to you after your person’s body is in the vehicle.

2. Who is a key person that can communicate the details at the appropriate time and contact everyone? The caregiver in this story, suggests people put together a distribution list that they could send the information out to by email or text rather than needing to communicate it person by person after the death.

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COVID-19 FREE Hospice Peterborough

The results of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) testing revealed all 20 staff, including Dr. John Beamish, Medical Director, are negative for the virus.

“While this news is reassuring, we were cautiously confident that we had followed all the infection control protocols to the best of our ability,” stated Hajni Hos, Executive Director.

“On Thursday, April 23rd, we disclosed to our community an individual with cancer diagnosis had tested positive with COVID-19 while being asymptomatic. We now believe that test was among the 22 local false positive specimens report by Peterborough Public Health (PPH),” stated Jodi Dunn, Manager of Hospice Residence.

Hospice Peterborough continues to accept new admissions to the palliative residence and will continue to screen residents, essential visitors and staff to its London St. location. In accordance with Hospice Peterborough’s COVID-19 Outbreak Management Plan the building has undergone deep cleaning and disinfecting, as outlined in the pandemic protocols, precautions, and procedures.

Throughout the pandemic, the community has continued to support Hospice Peterborough and its work, especially around supplying PPE.

Hospice Peterborough sends thanks to the following individuals, groups, and businesses who have donated lifesaving Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Karen Adams, Black’s Distillery, Suzanne Boyer, Bryan Cathcart Tracking, Sandra Clements – ReMax, Mike D’Angelantonio, Enbridge Gas, Giant Tiger – Lansdowne and Lakefield, Beverly Handlechner, Harco Enterprises, Kevin Hickey, Irma Hos, Merit Precision Ltd., Dorothy O’Brien, MPP Dave Smith, Sweet Peach Scrunchies, Rotary Club of Peterborough Kawartha, Vedra and Jim Hill, and Ventra Plastics.

It is with our heartfelt appreciation that we recognize and thank the Rotary Club of Kawartha Peterborough for their ongoing support and investment in Hospice Peterborough. Thank you for your gift of $1,200 to purchase life saving Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for our end-of-life residence.

“Please forgive us if we have missed any names, your gift is equally important and appreciated in keeping our residents, families, staff, and community safe,” noted Hos.

“Our number one priority has always been the care we deliver. The core of our organization continues to provide compassionate care, and to enhance the comfort, dignity, and quality of life of individuals and families. Thankfully, we have been able to continue to provide a safe home for residents, their families, and staff.” affirmed Shelley Barrie, Board Chair, Hospice Peterborough.

Decisions continue to be guided by the expert advice being provided by local, provincial, and national public health authorities; Peterborough Public Health, Hospice Palliative Care Ontario, and the Ministry of Health while monitoring and assessing next steps, escalating risks, and contingency precautions in consultation with Medical staff and partners.

To minimize the risk of community transmissions and for the safety of residents, their families, clients, volunteers, and staff Hospice Peterborough made the decision in early March to restrict entry to its London St. location to essential resident’s visitors and staff only.

Robust community programs and bereavement supports are continuing remotely and through one to one phone calls.

Hospice Peterborough strives to achieve transparency in its governance and will continue to update the community with details as they unfold.

“While we are not out of the woods yet, we continue to work diligently and vow not let our guard down against this horrific disease.” Stated Hos.

For further information, contact:
Hajni Hos, Executive Director
Hospice Peterborough
325 London Street
Peterborough, Ontario K9H 2Z5
705-742-4202 or hhos@hospicepeterborough.org

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COVID-19 Announcement – Hospice Peterborough

Hospice Peterborough has announced its first positive confirmed case of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The Organization has no additional suspected or confirmed cases. Peterborough Public Health does not consider this to be an outbreak.

“As always the health and safety of clients, residents, family members, volunteers, staff, partners, and community members is paramount,” stated Hajni Hos, Executive Director.

  “In keeping with Hospice Peterborough’s concern for the wellbeing of residents, their families and supporters as well as our staff, we have undertaken an extensive COVID-19 screening and testing protocol.   Through this process we have diagnosed an A-symptomatic COVID-19 positive resident, received in transfer from a facility that recently went into outbreak.   Awareness of this diagnosis has allowed us to maximize this individual’s comfort, while protecting their family and staff through isolation and other protective equipment measures and procedures.    We remain committed to our mission of providing optimal care to the dying, while supporting family and community through difficult times.”

Dr. John Beamish, Medical Director, Hospice Peterborough    

Since the beginning of March 2020 Hospice Peterborough activated its COVID-19 Outbreak Management Plan according to a ‘when’ and not ‘if scenario by implementing and following strict pandemic protocols, precautions, and procedures while monitoring and assess next steps, escalating risks, and contingency precautions in consultation with Medical staff and partners. Decisions continue to be guided by the expert advice being provided by local, provincial, and national public health authorities; Peterborough Public Health, Hospice Palliative Care Ontario, and the Ministry of Health.

Due to rigorous precautions staff and guests to the building have been provided with adequate PPE.

To minimize the risk of community transmissions and for the safety of residents, their families, clients, volunteers and staff, Hospice Peterborough made the decision in early March to restrict entry to its London St. location to essential staff and visitors only. Consequently there is no risk of COVID-19 through Hospice Peterborough exposure to community clients and volunteers.

Deep cleaning and disinfecting, has been taking place since the beginning of March and will continue. At this time Hospice Peterborough is not accepting new admissions.

Community programs and bereavement supports are still being offered virtually.

Hospice Peterborough strives to achieve transparency in their governance and will continue to update the community with details as they unfold.

We have planned for the worst – we have been hoping for the best and in true Hospice Peterborough fashion, we have communicated each and every COVID-19 development and occurrence with our stakeholders and community since the beginning. This is YOUR Community Hospice and we its caretakers. You have entrusted us to this privilege and we are passionate about the delivery of hospice palliative care – in good times and throughout the bad.” Stated Hos.

For further information, contact:

Hajni Hos, Executive Director

Hospice Peterborough

325 London Street

Peterborough, Ontario K9H 2Z5

705-742-4202 or hhos@hospicepeterborough.org

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COVID 19 STATEMENT:

Guided by the expert advice being provided by local, provincial, and national public health authorities Hospice Peterborough will continue to monitor and assess next steps and precautions in the coming days and weeks.

Effective immediately until further notice:

  • All community groups, volunteer supports, presentations, and meetings are cancelled.
  • Only essential Hospice Residence family members are limiting visiting hours 11am-7pm on weekdays and 11am-5pm on weekends (subject to change).
  • We are actively screening everyone who enters the building.
  • We have postponed our April 25th Gala and May 3rd Hike for Hospice events until the fall 2020.

Hospice Peterborough remains committed to its mission in supporting individuals and families at end of life, through life-threatening illness and grief. We will monitor and adapt as the COVID 19 outbreak evolves. Please check our website for updated information.

We appreciate your patience and understanding, and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Sincerely,

Hajni Signature

Hajni Hos, Executive Director

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Hospice Peterborough Planning Survey – A chance to share your ideas!

Hospice Peterborough (HP) is developing a new multi-year strategic plan, and we want to hear from you!

Your feedback, perspectives, and ideas will shed light upon important issues and uncover the most promising opportunities for HP.

Please take 10 minutes to complete the survey here: Hospice Peterborough SURVEY. It is available until Friday February 21, 2020 at 5:00 pm.

Anyone who is connected to Hospice Peterborough is encouraged to participate. Most of the questions are multiple choice and easy to complete and we also allow an opportunity for comments.

Hearing about your experience is important to us. Completing this survey is an important way for you to engage in and contribute to HP’s future directions.

Please share the survey with your networks who may also be interested in participating.

Hospice Peterborough Survey

Thank you for your participation and dedication to Hospice Peterborough.

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Strange Thoughts for 2020

New Year’s is often a time for reflection on the past year of chaos and a determination that this year will be different. The realization that this determination hasn’t been all that effective in keeping the chaos at bay brings a new sense of realism into the thoughts for 2020. Perhaps it is the shocking reality that the calendar has more bookings of medical appointments than social ones that allows the thoughts to head in the direction of life and death. More influential however, is that in my day to day work at Hospice I am confronted with life and death issues. John Lennon said, “life is what happens when you are busy making other plans”, and we rarely are prepared for the questions of life and death that we will need to face at some point. At the risk of being accused of morbidity, let me introduce some interesting family discussion at the beginning of this year that may cause some interesting and provocative thinking around this topic.

http://www.engagewithgrace.org/ is a website dedicated to engaging society in some of the most significant discussion we can have. The members are commitment to asking 5 questions around end of life issues that need to be asked and answered by family members. Here they are. Take the time to explore with your family. It may be some of the most important New Year discussion you will have.

1. On a scale of 1 to 5, where do you fall on this continuum?

2. If there were a choice, would you prefer to die at home, or in a hospital?

3. Could a loved one correctly describe how you would like to be treated in the case of a terminal illness?

4. Is there someone you trust whom you’ve appointed to advocate on your behalf when the time is near?

5. Have you completed any of the following: written a living will, appointed a healthcare power of attorney, or completed an advanced directive?

Our discomfort with talking around end of life issues only makes this time more difficult when it comes. What if braving this conversation now allows us to understand one another’s wishes so that we can be sure that decisions made later will be the best ones? Besides we may learn things about one another in the discussion.