Answering some frequently asked questions about hospice care & the services we offer.
What is hospice care?
Hospice care intends to improve the quality of life for those individuals living with a life-limiting illness or nearing the end of life. Our services are extended to the individual in need of care as well as their friends, family, caregivers and support groups.
Is hospice care right for my family?
Hospice care may be right for you if you, or a loved one, have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness. You do not have to be in the last days of life to take advantage of the services we offer; many of our community care clients and their family members come back to full health and recovery after battling an illness.
We offer support to individuals dealing with illness; caregivers of those who are ill; family members grieving illness or death; and those in their last days of life requiring palliative comfort measures either in-home or in our residence.
Is hospice care only for the elderly?
No. Residential hospice care is available to all adults in their last days of life, and our community services are available to all ages, children included.
What services do you offer?
We offer a variety of day programs, counselling, palliative care, and resident round-the-clock services for those suffering from illness and their families.
Support is available whether the individual is being cared for at their home, a Long Term Care Facility, or at Matthews House residence. After the death of a loved one, family members and friends are offered bereavement support in various ways.
Our services are broken down into 4 categories:
- Residential care: Individuals reside at the hospice until end of life. The average length of stay is 8.5 days.
- In-home palliative service: Offering support to caregivers and comfort measures for individuals at end-of-life.
- Wellness programs: Holistic and healthy lifestyle programs to support those living with a life-threatening illness.
- Bereavement support: Support for adults and children in their time of grief.
Where are you located?
We currently have two locations in Alliston, Ontario to serve the widespread needs of our community.
Our residential hospice - where individuals are welcomed to spend the last days of life in a safe, home-like environment with 24/7 access to professional medical care - is located in a cozy neighbourhood.
Our community hospice - where we offer day programs such as counselling and support groups - is located on Highway 89.
Do I have to live in Alliston to take advantage of hospice care?
We offer a compassionate approach and provide our services to individuals that live in Simcoe County, or have family residing in Simcoe County.
What is the environment like at Matthews House Residence?
We offer a home-like environment so that residents and their families can feel safe, secure and can relax. Guests have remarked that the residence feels like a visit to Grandma and Grandpa's house and feel safe to visit and focus on what really matters: time together.
Why should hospice care matter to me?
At some point in our lives, we will all be touched by life-threatening illness, death or grief. We all deserve the opportunity to life life to its fullest. Matthews House exists in your South Simcoe community delivering programs, without cost, and is here to help you, your family and your friends through those difficult times.
What makes Matthews House important in our community?
For the past 18 years, Matthews House has fulfilled its mission as a community organization dedicated to helping its clients live life fully everyday by offering volunteer-based services in home, in the residential hospice or in the community hospice.
Our community demographic is changing. More and more retiring urban dwellers are finding our South Simcoe community attractive. These baby boomers are aging and a need for a hub to house the inter-professional team who provide outstanding chronic disease management, community palliative care and end of life care is growing.
We have seen significant increases in our referrals and client interactions over the past three years.
Who is involved in providing hospice care?
We know that in order to provide excellent hospice care we must work as a part of an inter-professional team. We have always worked closely with our community health partners.
Our staff include Registered Nurses, Registered Practical Nurses, Personal Support Workers and we welcome Physician oversight.
What is the difference between a hospital palliative care unit and Matthews House residence?
Hospitals continually strive to make their palliative care units or suites as home-like as possible within their large acute care setting. A residential hospice specializes in end-of-life care.
There is peace within the ambiance of a home. Clients can eat when, where and what they want to eat. Kids are comfortable to visit and play with the toys. Families can wander in the garden or peruse the library. Pets can visit or stay. There are no visiting hours.
Are children admitted to Matthews House residence?
Applications are assessed on an individual basis. Residential paediatric hospice care can be very specialized with needs that require specific equipment or supplies, for the children to be cared for safely and optimally. Matthews House serves each family on a case-by-case basis in direct consultation with the child's community service team and Sick Kids Hospital. Adolescents who meet other admission criteria may be best served at Matthews House with the support of local paediatric palliative expertise.
Are children allowed to visit the residence?
All children are very welcome at Matthews House as visitors and are viewed as an important part of the family team.
What services does Residence Care include?
Residence care provides:
- 24/7 symptom care and management
- A space that feels like home
- Support for families
- Professional nursing care
- Physician oversight
What does in-home palliative care entail?
In-home palliative care service provides:
- Caregiver groups
- Sitting in vigil
- Comfort measures
- Companion visits
- Respite for caregivers
What wellness programs do you offer?
We provide support with advanced care planning. We also offer:
- Meditation and Mindfulness
- Therapeutic arts
What bereavement support do you offer?
- Adult grief support in groups and individually
- Families Grieve Together
- Children and Adolescent grief program
- Mens' group
How is Matthews House funded?
Matthews House is a registered charitable organization in Canada. We are funded in part by government support, however most of our funding comes from compassionate community members like you. Donations can be made one-time, monthly, multi-year and through wills and securities.
How much does it currently cost to operate Matthews House?
Our current costs are $1 100 000 annually.
Is hospice care cost-effective?
Hospice care is more cost-effective than acute care beds in hospitals; in 2010, the Auditor General of Ontario estimated the cost of acute bed care to be $1100 a day, while residential hospice care falls to only $460 a day.
How many people does Matthews House assist in a year?
Our 4-bed residence has housed 211 residents since 2013. In 2015/2016, Matthews House supported 99 clients in our residence, and 1664 individuals through a variety of community outreach programs.
What does CCAC or LHIN or HPCO stand for?
CCAC stands for Community Care Access Centre. These are local agencies that provide clients with information about care available in their area.
LHIN stands for Local Health Integration Network. These are the health authorities responsible for regional administration of public health care services in Ontario. NSMLHIN is the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN. CWLHIN is Central West LHIN.
HPCO stands for Hospice Palliative Care Ontario.