The Best Life Demands a Good Death 

Gary Switzer Essex Hospice openingThis April is an important month for local hospice services as it marks the launch of two hospice care locations in the Chatham-Kent and Leamington regions. As you may recall, in June of 2013, the Erie St. Clair LHIN Board approved program funding for a 10 bed hospice in Leamington and a 10 bed hospice in Chatham-Kent. After almost three years of hard work by our community partners and residents, the doors of the new buildings are now open.

Getting to this point was hard work, and it’s also important work. Hospice offers patients comfort, dignity, and respect in their final days. Hospice services won't heal the body, but it will help to heal the hearts of those going through a difficult time. The new beds are another step in ensuring everyone has better access to end-of-life services; whether those services are in home, hospital, or the community.

Across the country there is a great deal of discussion going on about peoples’ rights to end-of-life services. As a nation we are having the important conversations about palliate and end-of-life care, physician assisted dying, and access to hospice services. Just as important as this conversation, are the family conversations we need to have about Advanced Care Planning. April 16 is National Advanced Care Planning Day; a day to take the time to start having, or continue to have, conversations about each of our future health and personal care wishes.

The topics of death and dying can be difficult for many, if not all of us, to deal with. Luckily we have people across our region whose dedication, caring, and unlimited compassion can help bring light to even the cloudiest of days. If you, or a loved one, is looking for more information on local hospice services, please contact the CCAC’s Palliative Care Consultation Team at 1-888-447-4468.

Gary Switzer
CEO, Erie St. Clair LHIN