Residential Hospice Proposed for Lanark-Leeds-Grenville

First public information meeting for proposed community owned, four-bed Rideau Tay
Residential Hospice. February 14th, 1:00-3:30 p.m., Camp Merrywood Lodge, Port Elmsley
Road

February 1, 2018, Smiths Falls/Merrickville--- A consortium of health and social services
agencies and interested citizens is responding to public input on local palliative care and end-oflife
care services by proposing the creation of a new, purpose-built residential hospice.

The patient and family centered hospice would be the first residential hospice in Lanark, Leeds
and Grenville, with plans to open by 2020 in Smiths Falls. If approved the residential hospice
would serve residents of Drummond North Elmsley, Merrickville Wolford, Montague, Perth,
Rideau Lakes, Smiths Falls, and Tay Valley.

“This proposal is in response to a strong grass roots movement in our community,” says Peter
McKenna, Executive Director of Rideau Community Health Services (RCHS), which is leading
the proposal. “As more and more of us consider what a good death means, a residential hospice
offers an important new choice in where and how we die.”

In Ontario, residential hospices provide a home-like environment with comfortable space for the
patient, family members and caregivers, at no fee. The emphasis is on spiritual, emotional, and
psycho-social needs at end-of-life, and a palliative care approach emphasizing comfort, care and
compassion, rather than cure.

“Our proposal is part of a much larger movement of residential hospice growth across Ontario,
and the timing is perfect because the province wants to expand what research and families’
experience is showing is an excellent end-of-life option,” says McKenna, who recently returned
from visiting the Kensington Residential Hospice in downtown Toronto.

He notes that while the province will provide part of the capital costs for construction and
operating expenses, approximately half of the capital and ongoing operating costs will have to be
covered by community fund raising, as with other Ontario residential hospices.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for these communities, and it’s going to take a lot of work,”
says McKenna. “The public information event will be the community’s first chance to ask
questions and begin the process of building the community team of volunteers for fundraising
and program development that will make our community residential hospice a reality.”

The public information event is sponsored by RCHS, the Perth and Smiths Falls District
Hospital, Community Home Support Lanark County, and the South East Regional Palliative
Care Network.

Contact: Peter McKenna, Executive Director Rideau Community Health Services