The one-bed Huron Shores Hospice facility at Tiverton Park Manor has officially opened and organizers believe it's quite an accomplishment.
Chair of the Hospice Board Cheryl Cottrill says the ceremonial ribbon-cutting (APR 11) culminated over 5-years of effort without the financial help of senior levels of government.
Cottrill says supporters have "Raised about $420,000 and it's going to cost about $180,000 a year to operate so we have two years of funding."
The one-bed residential hospice suite completes Phase One of the board's goals and will serve residents of Kincardine, Huron-Kinloss and Saugeen Shores.
Phase Two, opening a 2nd suite will happen when funding becomes available, likely in 2019/20 and the service area would be expanded to include Arran Elderslie, South Bruce and Brockton, assuming there are no residential hospices in those communities at the time of opening.
Cottrill says the initial suite is made up of a room for the resident and a family room where family members can stay with their loved ones.
Included is a kitchenette, couple of TV's, along with chairs and a coffee table.
The hospice includes a hospital bed for the resident, along with a recliner that automatically will lift the patient or a family member.
She says the whole idea is to provide dignity and comfort for end-of-life care.
Cottrill points out, without the community support that has been shown, it's likely this Tiverton facility would not have opened up.
Businesses and services throughout the region pitched in with money and donation of time and labour to get the suite built.
Cottrill says referral forms have now gone out to local doctors and they expect someone to be using the suite within the next week.
As time goes on, they expect the suite to be filled most of the time.
You can donate to the cause online at www.huronshoreshospice.ca as the group begins its fundraising efforts for Phase Two of the project.
So far they've raised about $20,000 of the $250,000 cost to add an additional suite when space becomes available at the Manor.