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.
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.”
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
As we approach the holiday season in this strange age of COVID-19, we may be especially missing our loved ones who have died.
Beginning December 11, Hospice Peterborough invites you to honour your loved one by placing a Hospice dove with their name on it on the fence, outside Hospice Peterborough at 325 London Street, running along Reid Street. A large evergreen, generously donated by Treescape, will be lit to remind us all of the light created by the memories and love those who have died leave with each of us.
In the absence of being able to be gather in this time when the days grow colder and darker, Hospice is hoping this collection of doves and light will allow all in the community to come together in peace and safety. Hospice staff will mark the start of the event with a tree lighting ceremony which will be available on their YouTube channel and social media. Lights for the tree have been generously provided by Canadian Tire, Lansdowne Street, Peterborough.
The community is invited to print and decorate a dove for the people in your life who have died. The template can be found on Hospice Peterborough’s website. You can hang the dove yourself or bring it to Hospice Peterborough. Doves will be hung outside so please take this into consideration when printing and decorating your dove, also please understand that Hospice cannot return doves. The dove template can also be used in your own home to remember your person.
Hospice Peterborough wishes you and your loved one’s health and peace during the holiday season.
Tree generously donated by Treescape. Lights generously donated by Canadian Tire Peterborough.
If you or someone you know is struggling with grief, please call 705-742-4042 or visit hospicepeterborough.org.
While Hospice Peterborough may not have gone to the birds, the birds will now be going to Hospice Peterborough.
In a heartwarming show of community collaboration, the Peterborough Field Naturalists, led by member King Baker, and local business The Avant Garden Shop came together to donate multiple birdfeeders and a pole to Hospice Peterborough.
The bird feeders, which seed was carefully chosen to support native species through the winter, were placed in the residence garden. A hummingbird feeder will be added in the spring.
The addition of bird feeders is normalizing and will bring joy and comfort to the private residence gardens at Hospice. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that – it’s often the little pleasures, like watching birds that enriches our lives.
“The residents, their families, and even staff are going to receive such a healing distraction seeing the birds flit around outside their windows, especially in the upcoming months. Thank you to King, the Peterborough Field Naturalists and Brenda and Clayton.” Stated Alison Casey, Manager of Development at Hospice, as The Avant Garden Shop owners, Brenda and Clayton Ibey installed the birdfeeder pole.
The Peterborough Field Naturalists uses part of their annual income to fund projects chosen by members and approved by their board. King Baker, who was the driving force behind the donation, states he thought of Hospice Peterborough for this gift because of the meaningful nature of the work and how he believed it would truly make a difference to those who would watch the birds from their rooms.
Hospice Peterborough provides support to individuals and families who are at the end of life, facing a life-threatening illness, or grieving. If you or someone you know could benefit from their support, please visit hospicepeterborough.org or call 705-742-4042.
We are so proud to be a part of a community that rallies together to flatten the curve, allowing Hospice Peterborough to enter phase 3 of our Pandemic Re-opening Plan.
Changes are being introduced slowly and Hospice Peterborough continues to follow the expert advice of Public Health professionals, and direction from the Ministry of Health. We vigilantly monitor changes daily and decisions continue to be made with the safety of clients, residents, families, staff, and the community at large as our top priority.
Most support programs and palliative navigation will continue to take place virtually or over the phone, with home or in-person visits offered only by following a decision tree to ensure screening and safety measures can be followed. Programs that involve gatherings of individuals most at risk, such as our Day Hospice groups, will remain virtual. Group meeting areas are closed and the heightened cleaning and sanitization procedures remain in place throughout the building.
Although we miss our volunteers terribly, all volunteer activities are still on hold while we are carefully planning to restart low risk volunteer activities in our next Phase.
Visitor restrictions are adjusted weekly. Currently (as of July 31, 2020), each resident will be allowed 6 essential visitors (2-3 visitors at a time). All visitors are screened daily as they enter the building. Visitors are also able to meet with loved ones from the courtyard through a window as the weather permits. Staff are happy to assist in coordinating these types of visits. Additional visitors may be allowed in the last hours of life, and at the discretion of our Medical Director and Manager of Residence.
Frontline and residence staff are equipped with proper Personal Protective Equipment including masks, face shields, gloves, and gowns. Non-frontline staff continue to work mostly from home, with the option of time, scheduled ahead, in the office. Social distancing, wearing masks, and screening procedures extend to all staff as they enter the building.
We have been so moved by the community’s response during this pandemic which has allowed us to continue to support those living with a life-threatening illness, at the end of life, and dealing with grief.
While life goes on, so does death, and we are still here for those who need our care and support.
If you have any questions about our programs, support, or our pandemic plan, please call 705-742-4042.
Your financial support makes our care possible – please donate today.
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!
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.