• FAQs

Palliative Care aims to meet the physical, psychological, social, cultural, emotional and spiritual needs of each person and family.

The goal of palliative care services is to help people who are ill to live out their remaining time in comfort and dignity.

What is end of life care?

It’s an important part of palliative care.
 It’s for people who are thought to be in the last year of life, but this time frame can be difficult to predict. Some people might only receive end of life care in their last weeks or days.

Is palliative care just for people with cancer?

No. Palliative care can be provided for any individual with a life-limiting illness. Examples include: end-stage heart, kidney, lung, and liver disease or a progressive neurological condition such as ALS.

Is palliative care just for the elderly?

No. Palliative Care supports individuals of any age 19 years and older facing a life-limiting prognosis.

Does palliative care mean a person has given up?

No. Palliative care can be provided at any point in a life-limiting illness. Some people receive palliative care for years, while others will receive End-of-life care in their last weeks or days.

Aren’t people supposed to die in a hospital?

It is very common for people to die outside of a hospital. There is a myth or idea that once a person has received a life-limiting diagnosis that they die suddenly or remain in the hospital. The reality is that most individuals are most comfortable outside of a clinical environment.

Palliative care takes place in a range of settings including in a home, a hospital, a care home or a community hospice setting.

How do I get palliative or end of life care in the Central Okanagan?

Speak to your physician or another healthcare professional about how palliative or end of life care might help and how it can be accessed. You can also call the Hospice House and ask to speak to the Clinical Nurse Coordinator for more information. Support is also available for family members and loved ones of individuals who are ill.

Life at Hospice House

What are the requirements for admittance?

A discussion starts first with the health care professional(s) involved in your care who will support the admission process. The individual needs to be registered with the Central Okanagan Hospice Palliative Care Program, and have a family physician or nurse practitioner who will oversee care at Hospice House.

Why would you come to hospice house?

End of Life – As the disease progresses and care needs increase and/or complex symptoms arise that cannot be managed outside of a care facility.

Respite – A two week period of time that is booked when the caregiver is unable to care for an individual at home.

Pain & Symptom – When symptoms have become too complex to manage at home.

Speak to the health care professional who is providing your care to support your admission request.

Is there a waitlist?

Yes.  There is often a waitlist.  Individuals who are on the waitlist are triaged daily based on urgency.

How long can an individual be in hospice house?

As per the Ministry of Health criteria, community hospice beds are identified as short term beds with a 90 day maximum length of stay.

As per the Community Hospice bed agreement, “while in a Community Hospice Bed, your condition will be assessed on a regular basis by the health care team, including your Family physician.  If your condition stabilized, you will be discharged home with appropriate supports. If going home is not an option, you will be assessed for care in another setting.”

What if we cannot afford it?

A Temporary Rate Reduction is available through the Ministry of Health for individuals who would experience serious financial hardship if they were to pay the rate. Speak to a health care professional to request assistance to complete the application form. For more information see the resource page under financial options.

What are the visiting hours?

There are no defined visiting hours. However, care staff may limit access depending on the time of day or condition of the individual. We also support individual and family requests for restricted visits.

Are pets allowed?

As per the IH pet guidelines – Pets are limited to cats and dogs and must:

  • Be visiting a specific patient.
  • Be clean and well groomed.
  • Not be aggressive, hyperactive or difficult to control.
  • Be supervised and be contained with leash/cage, by the designated pet handler at all times.  This supervision includes any necessary care and clean up.
  • Remain out of common areas.

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