Regional palliative care home opens doors to public
Staff ready for first patients
Today and tomorrow, the newly opened Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence in Hudson is expected to welcome its first patients and their families. And though the home’s end-of-life purpose may be cloaked in sadness, an open house held last weekend was anything but.
It was an effort five years in the making, say an army of volunteerswho have worked tirelessly during the time to raise money, secure government approval at amultitude of levels and then promises of free labour. But last Saturday and Sunday, close to 1,000 people from the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region, Salaberryde-Valleyfield, theWest Island and beyond toured the home’s four completed bedrooms, its kitchen, family roomsand other areas.
Tours followed a ceremonial ribbon cutting and releasing of doves in the days before.
Valérie Villeneuve, communications and events coordinator, said most guests commented on the home’s “everyday” feeling during the open house that took place on September 11 and 12. possible once patients begin to arrive.
“We don’t want to disrupt our patients by having people walking around and taking tours.”
And some of the people who attended the open house were so captured by the serene atmosphere they inquired about reserving future spots.
“Most people were not even sick, they just asked if they could have their name on a list in case they do get sick,” Villeneuve explained.
The answer, by the way, is no, people can not reserve places in advance.
First patients arrive
Though the open house weekend was a happy occasion, the homewill begin to serve its long-awaited purpose in the region this week. Today, staff will welcome the first patient, while another should arrive tomorrow.
Villeneuve says welcoming days will revolve around one patient at a time. Patients are given a bedroom, she said, while other accommodations are set aside for family members should they wish to stay.
The residence will offer palliative care, or end of life support, to people who know they are in their final days.
Villeneuve says care and services will be geared toward each patient, to help them live their last days with respect and dignity. The home is also set up so families can be close by.
“Our staff is not here to cure anyone or to try to save them, we know what will happen. We are here to ease their physical, spiritual and mental pain.” The residence will accommodate four patients a year for the first year. After that it is expected to welcome up to 12 patients at a time. The average patients’ stay will last between two and three weeks, though patients can stay at the home up to four months.
Services, offered in French and in English, will be free for Vaudreuil-Soulanges residents and their families, though small costs for food will be charged.
The Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence is located at 90, rue Como Gardens in Hudson. For information, to volunteer or to make a donation, call 450 202-2202, or go to www.fssvs.org. Though public tours are no longer available, the centre will post photos from the open house on its website.
A ribbon cutting officially opened the palliative care home.
Sylvie Crevier, President of the Board of Directors, in front of the new Hudson home.