The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation Sea-to-Sky Community Hospice is located adjacent to Hilltop House in Squamish.
Final preparations are now underway to officially open the new Whistler Blackcomb Foundation Sea-to-Sky Community Hospice in Squamish and the importance to the community hasn't been lost on staff.
The four-bed hospice, located in a significantly renovated wing at Hilltop Long Term Care Home, is expected to provide care to its first clients beginning in October.
Lyndsay Rowland, the hospice's patient care coordinator, says nurses who will be working on the unit began education on Monday. She says it's a “privilege" to be a part of something that will benefit the entire Sea to Sky corridor.
“Everybody is super excited," says Lyndsay. “We've been doing a lot of prep so everyone is starting out on the same page. We've been meeting the doctors and community players so that the nurses are getting to know the familiar faces and really starting to team build. There have been a few stressful days, but overall it's been such an awesome experience to be part of."
The hospice is possible thanks to $2.6 million raised by the community, through the Squamish Hospice Society, who Lyndsay says deserve “kudos" for making the project a reality.
VCH Coastal's executive director for long-term care and seniors, Keith McBain, echoed that sentiment.
“I think people can relate to hospice care. They know of loved ones who have passed and recognize the positive attributes that come with a hospice," says Keith. “The community really rallied around this hospice and because of that, we now have a welcoming space for families to use when they need it."
Key features of the new hospice include private bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms for patients, a central living and kitchen area, a sacred space and a fold-out couch so family members can stay overnight. The hospice also has a family laundry room and a shower/tub room. Staff have access to a nursing station, medication room and consultation office.
“We're really keen to see what this grows into for Vancouver Coastal Health and for the community as a whole," says Lyndsay.