Grants at Work in our Community
For the palliative care hospices in our region, the past two years have been daunting on so many fronts, so many services we have taken for granted were unavailable. Despite the prior ongoing challenges of providing care in rural Eastern Ontario areas and the downtown Ottawa core, palliative care organizations rose to the occasion overcoming the challenges of not being able to provide in-person care to those individuals suffering from a life threatening illness.
A report published by Health Canada in 2021 explored the impact of COVID-19 on Community-Based Palliative Care. The report described the pandemic’s effect on already existing disparities in timely and fair access to high quality palliative care. It underscored the inequities for the homeless and rural and remote communities that resulted from isolation protocols and the shift to virtual care. At the same time, the report recognized the work of community care organizations for their speed and innovation in offering tools and shelter to their clients, especially the most vulnerable.
The following examples of OutCare grants that facilitated community care organizations in the Champlain LHIN to respond to increased palliative care demand in ways that were both nimble and innovative.
The Diane Morrison Hospice at the Ottawa Mission
In 2021-2022 the Diane Morrison Hospice saw a significant increase in the number of patients which risked overwhelming their capacity. With a grant from OutCare, the Hospice invested in additional electronic beds that were safer, more secure, and more comfortable than the manual beds they were replacing. These additional beds meant that the hospice did not turn away clients. These beds give patients the autonomy to adjust their beds themselves, giving them more autonomy. As well, the beds allow Hospice staff to move patients easily, without risk of injury to the patients or themselves.
Beth Donovan Hospice – Kemptville
With a grant from OutCare, the Beth Donovan Hospice recruited additional volunteers to increase the scope of their services. In one program, trained volunteers were paired with clients who had received bereavement counselling as a continuation of the service, ensuring an ongoing community connection for people who have experienced personal loss. Beth Donovan increased the reach of palliative care services in the area it serves, not only geographically, but through partnerships with churches and other community organizations.
Home Hospice North Lanark – Almonte
In 2021 HHNL received a grant from OutCare, to deliver music and art and craft therapy into the homes of their patients. When unexpected developments made the execution of their program impossible, they were able to pivot and fund several undertakings in the community among them educational materials, training events and patient attendant materials, creating tote bags for volunteers and grief kits. As a result of its outreach and training events, HHNL strengthened existing relationships and established two satellite office spaces for the program coordinator, thus extending its physical reach.
Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Program
Through a grant from OutCare CHPCP was able to convert their Practical Caregiver Training course to a virtual model. The CHPCP is offering the free 5-week virtual Practical Caregiver Training sessions on Monday mornings or Tuesday evenings starting October 10. For more information, visit Practical Caregiver Training – Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Program (champlainpalliative.ca)