With National Palliative Care Week almost upon us, The Townsend Smith Foundation (TSF) is in full support of recognizing the importance of end-of-life care for patients, their loved ones and the caregivers that support them.
National Palliative Care Week will be observed in Canada from May 5-11 this year.
The Foundation is currently raising funds to build a palliative care hospice to serve members of the North Halton communities in their final days. One TSF fundraising initiative will be its second annual Hike for Hospice on May 25, 2019.
Residential hospices are built by communities. Once a hospice is built, government funding can cover some of its operational costs. Largely, a hospice comes together with the support of private and corporate citizens in the form of donations of land, money, and expertise. At the moment, the Foundation is focused on finding a suitable property and raising the $3.5-5 million necessary to build a ten-bed facility for residents of Milton, Georgetown, Acton and the communities in between.
“Few people at the end-of-life actually require acute medical care, yet 70 per cent of deaths occur in hospital,” said John Barrett, TSF President. “Most people would prefer to die at home, but not all have the resources to make this possible. A residential hospice provides a peaceful, private space at no cost to residents and their families.
“Excellent hospice care is provided in Oakville and Burlington, with residents of those cities being a priority. Over a ten-year period, Milton District Hospital classified almost 600 patients as palliative. Only one received a hospice bed. With a combined population of almost 200,000, North Halton desperately needs a local option.”
Established in 2011, the Townsend Smith Foundation was named for the late Ron Townsend and the late Tessie Smith, both active Milton residents. The Foundation is a registered charitable corporation. For more information on the Townsend Smith Foundation, including how to donate, or participate in the hike May 25, visit their website.