Maison McCulloch Hospice first in line for 'respite bed' pilot project

The executive director of Maison McCullogh Hospice says the push to let hospices apply for capital funds from the province has finally paid off. The hospice will see dollars to add six respite beds to its Sudbury facilty.

Sudbury facility to receive 6 dedicated spaces for caregivers looking after loved ones in end-of-life journey

The McCulloch hospice expects to begin construction on a new addition this summer, which will accommodate ten additional patients. (

Maison McCullogh Hospice in Sudbury will be part of a provincial pilot project to address the need for respite beds in end-of-life care homes.

"Respite beds are beds to help caregivers take care of their loved ones," Leo Therrien, executive director said.

"So loved ones will be able to be admitted here [for a period of time] for additional support to give a break to caregivers who care for them at home."

The money for the project is part of a $2 million funding package announced earlier this week by the Ontario government, which will also an investment in the hospice's expansion plans, to double its current 10 beds.

Therrien is encouraged to be part of the pilot project, and said that overall the funding announcement was a long time coming.

"This is the first time in Ontario that respite beds will be funded in a residential hospice ... We've been working with the government for a while to convince them to start this funding."

Until the announcement, facilities had to draw on municipal funds or the private sector to fund respite care, Therrien said.

He added the Liberal funding announcement was the catalyst they needed to secure funding from other sources.

"Until the province announced we were getting the was hard get donors in the community to commit," Therrien said.

Now Therrien is fielding calls from other cities looking to set up respite bed options in their facilities.

"A number want to put respite beds in their new buildings because there is a need for it," he said.

"There's a lot of need for people at home, but there's caregiver burnout also."