Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Isn’t hospice where you go when there is “nothing else to be done”?

A: Hospice is the “something more” that can be done for the patient and their family to improve the quality of life for those with a life-limiting illness. It is about living life as fully as possible until death. Staff and volunteers work to relieve symptoms and offer physical, spiritual, emotional and psycho-social support to help the family and/or caregiver during illness and bereavement.

Q: Is hospice care expensive?

A: At Carpenter Hospice, we can offer all of our services and programs at no cost to our residents, program participants and their families. Hospice care is high-quality palliative care and less expensive than conventional care per day.

Q: Can I keep my doctor if I enter hospice?

A: Hospice staff work closely with your family doctor to determine a care plan.

Q: Does palliative care mean no more treatment?

A: When a palliative care team takes over a patient’s care, treatment doesn’t automatically stop. Treatment and therapies can continue, but they have different goals. For example, you may still be offered radiotherapy if you have cancer. Radiotherapy isn’t meant to cure the cancer; instead, it helps shrink the tumour to alleviate pain or discomfort.

Q: Is palliative care only for people with cancer?

A: No, it is offered to anyone dying of a chronic or terminal illness. As well as cancer, this includes AIDS, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and many other fatal conditions.

Q: Does palliative care mean very close to death?

A: Palliative care isn’t offered according to the amount of time you have left to live, but according to how much you need the services of a palliative care team approach. Someone transferred to palliative care may die within days or weeks, or they may live for considerably longer.

Q: Will my family be able to help in palliative care?

A: The care at the end of life isn’t just about physical comfort, it’s about emotional and psychological support for everyone who loves and is part of the dying patient’s life. The palliative care team cares for the dying patient and their family and friends in an inclusive environment.

Q: Will I lose all control if I agree to palliative care?

A: No. Palliative care is a medical specialty like cardiology, pediatrics, and obstetrics. None of the specialties take over; they specialize in helping the patients under their care. If you are a patient in palliative care, you are consulted and part of the team for as long as possible.

Q: What do I need to bring when I move to Carpenter Hospice?

A: We strive to make the hospice as “home-like” as possible. We are happy to supply residents with everything they need. However, if someone has a personal preference for certain products (like a favourite soap or shampoo), you are welcome to bring those. We also encourage people to make the room feel like their own. Please feel free to bring photos, artwork, a special pillow and blankets. We want everyone to feel at home as much as possible.

We request that families not bring in furniture or electrical items, such as heating pads/electric blankets, fans or space heaters. We have inspected and CSA-approved fans and heaters available on-site.

Q: Can do I donate food to the Hospice kitchen?

A: We appreciate our community’s generosity. To ensure we can use your donation or answer any questions about what can be donated, please reach out to John Gilbert at 905-631-9994, ext. 118
or by email at

Related Links

The Canadian Virtual Hospice:
Hospice Association of Ontario:
The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association:

The Carpenter Hospice