Kitchener-Waterloo

New Kitchener hospice hopes to ease demands of aging population

Ten palliative patients will move into new homes this week as Innisfree House opens its doors on Homer Watson Boulevard in Kitchener, making it the Region's second residential hospice.
At Innisfree House, a new hospice in Kitchener, residents each have patio doors that lead to either a patio or courtyard. (Lisaard House website)

Ten palliative patients will move into new homes this week as Innisfree House opens its doors on Homer Watson Boulevard in Kitchener, making it the Region's second residential hospice. 

Innisfree House, located near Conestoga College, was built to ease the demands of its predecessor, Lisaard House in Cambridge. Last year, Lisaard House cared for 140 patients and turned away about as many people, said executive director Connie Dwyer.

"[The demand] is growing for sure," said Dwyer, in an interview with Craig Norris on the CBC's The Morning Edition.

"As the population ages and we grow, we think that demand is going to grow."

Innisfree House has ten rooms, all with their own patio doors, and nearly double the beds of Lisaard House, which has six. This brings the total number of hospice beds available between the Region and Guelph to 26.

Registered nurses and personal support workers will provide care 24 hours a day at the new hospice. Palliative care physicians and volunteers will also make regular visits to patients.

 The hospice also provides support to families, Dwyer said. 

"If we can take away that burden that they can actually sit with them and be the wife or the daughter or the husband and not have to worry, oh am I doing this right, am I doing this right, am I giving the meds on time. Take that away from them, so they can just be that person, " said Dwyer, adding that patients tend to spend 10-12 days at the hospice.

The new hospice cost $4.4 million to build, but it's still raising money with just 2 per cent of the funds to go. Donations can be made on the Lisaard House website.

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