Construction starts on new hospice centre in Duncan

People in the Cowichan region in need of end-of-life care will soon have the option to receive community hospice care closer to home.

"Government is pleased to recognize this next step in the construction of Cowichan Hospice House," said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. "High quality, compassionate end-of-life care for British Columbians is a vital service and we are committed to supporting our community partners in bringing important projects like this one to completion."

The British Columbia government, through Island Health, will provide $1.4 million in annual operating funding, including medical staff. When completed in fall 2020, the facility will offer expert, compassionate care to people with advancing illness who can no longer be cared for at home.

"I am thrilled work is commencing on the Cowichan Hospice House, which will provide much needed compassionate end-of-life care for its patients," said Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo- North Cowichan. "This project would not be possible without the amazing team of volunteers, both past and present, who have always worked hard at advocating for our community. I am happy to say that this facility will take a patient and family first approach to care that will ensure everyone is treated with dignity and respect."

  • When the facility is completed in fall 2020, there will be a total of eight hospice beds to serve residents of the Cowichan Valley:
  • seven beds will be located at the new Cowichan Hospice House, five of these are net new beds;
  • two existing hospice beds currently located at the Lodge on Fourth long-term care facility in Ladysmith will be relocated at the new hospice facility; and
  • one bed will continue to be located at the Chemainus Health Centre.

Dedicated and specially trained staff from Island Health will provide nursing care alongside Cowichan Hospice staff and volunteers who will provide emotional and practical support for patients and families. Cowichan Hospice will continue to support people living with advancing illness and their caregivers whether at home, in hospital or in a long-term care home.

The new hospice house will be a home-like environment that will feature private patient rooms with garden views or walk-out patios, a pull-out bed for family members and a private bathroom. Families will have access to a kitchen, as well as to a family and children's play area. A larger room will accommodate people with larger families. A sacred space will offer room for quiet meditation or a sacred gathering.

Cowichan Hospice has committed to raise $8.7 million to build and furnish the new hospice care facility with a total campaign goal of $10 million, including funds to meet the increasing need for Cowichan Hospice services in all settings. With the outstanding support of individuals and community-based organizations, $4.6 million has been raised and $5.2 million is being provided by the Cowichan Valley Regional Hospital District. There remains $200,000 to raise to make Cowichan Hospice House a reality.

The region's five Rotary clubs are fundraising for the gardens at Cowichan Hospice House. The gardens will be created when construction is complete.

Read the full release here.