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 quality of life for those diagnosed 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 are able to 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 own doctor if I enter hospice?
A: Hospice staff work closely with your family doctor to determine a plan of care.

Q: Does palliative care mean no more treatment?
A: When a palliative care team takes over the care of a patient, treatment doesn’t automatically stop. Treatment and therapies can continue, but they have a different goal. For example, if you have cancer, you still may be offered radiotherapy. The radiotherapy isn’t meant to cure the cancer, rather to help shrink the tumor so as to alleviate pain or discomfort.

Q: Is palliative care only for people with cancer?
A:  No, it is offered to anyone who is dying of a chronic or terminal illness. As well as cancer, this includes AIDS, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and many other fatal illnesses.

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 who is 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, but it’s about emotional and psychological support for everyone who loves and is part of the life of the dying patient. The palliative care team cares for the dying patient and his/her 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 specialty in medicine, just as is 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 are part of the team for as long as you are able to be.

Q: What do I need to bring with me when I move to Carpenter?
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 in. As well, we encourage people to make the room feel like their own. Please feel free to bring in photos, artwork, a special pillow and blankets. We want everyone to feel at home as much as possible.

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

Q: Can we donate food to the Hospice kitchen?

A:  Carpenter Hospice warmly welcomes food and beverage donations to our kitchen. We accept select non-perishable items, as well as store-bought fruit/veggie platters and baked goods. Due to Food Safety practices, fresh food items can only be accepted if made from a certified kitchen.

Related Links

The Canadian Virtual Hospice: www.virtualhospice.ca
Hospice Association of Ontario: www.hospicelifeline.com
The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association: www.chpca.net