The upholstered chairs surrounding a comforting fireplace, the guitar tucked beside a piano in the welcoming great room, even the bright artwork — much of it local — hanging in the halls.
It was carefully planned that way.
Making the new St. Joseph’s Hospice building on Windermere Rd. cosy was key, because for the first time, clients in the ending stages of their lives will have 10 residential suites to call home.
“It will provide the care, the spirituality, the emotional supports that are required,” said St. Joseph’s Hospice chief executive John Callaghan, as he toured a reporter through the centre ahead of its opening Monday.
“Family and caregivers will know that their loved ones are in very, very good, capable, warm, compassionate hands.”
Until now, the hospice offered only day service; now it’ll offer overnight stays as well.
That home-y feeling begins at the door, with a view into the great room that features seating around a fireplace donated by the Sisters of St. Joseph, from whom the hospice leases the third-floor space, spread over two wings.
An open kitchen, where volunteers will prepare meals for residents and snacks for families, looks out over the dining area to the Thames River.
The river view is shared by half the suites, located a short walk down a bright hallway capped with crown molding.
Each suite features a living room space, where families can gather or residents can be by themselves.
There’s also a dedicated quiet room.
Next to each bed is a chair that converts into a bed, allowing loved ones to stay nearby.
Plenty of closet space keeps medical supplies out of sight, but still at hand for caregivers.
A spa offers a private place for haircuts. It also has a whirlpool tub with mesh seating, designed to help residents benefit from a gentle cleaning.
None of the features was an option at the former hospice site on Talbot St.
With growing demand existing services, and for residential hospice beds, the push to expand was made in 2005.
For pictures of the new centre and to read the full article, please visit The London Free Press.