On behalf of the Board of directors and staff, I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new Executive Director, Michelle Hambly. We are very excited to have Michelle join the team, and look forward to the next chapter at Hill House, with Michelle at the helm!
I would also like to express my appreciation to all of the staff at Hill House—who have continued to work through the evolving stages of the pandemic—continuing to offer our patients and their families the support and care that they need as they approach the end of life.
This has not been easy, with the frequently evolving, and rigorous protocols demanded by the pandemic. These protocols are required to keep our staff and patients safe, but they can be challenging, day after day. In spite of this, our team has managed to find the time and energy to do some renovations in house, including widening doorways for improved accessibility, painting the patient care areas, and reorganizing our administrative space. A special thank you to the anonymous donor, who generously donated funds specifically to support this effort.
The dedication and enthusiasm of the staff at Hill House is amazing—they are so passionate about the work they do!
To our volunteers—we missed you in the early stages of the pandemic, and it was wonderful to welcome you back when we were able. You are such an integral part of Hill House, and we are so grateful for the work you do. Unfortunately, current restrictions again mean we cannot have you in the house—but we know that it won’t be forever!
To our donors and the community—thank you for your continued support of Hill House. I hope you have had an opportunity to read our recent newsletter, to keep you abreast of what is going on at the House. We missed gathering last spring for the Hike, but look forward to gathering again when it is safe to do so.
COVID-19 continues to impact the way that all of us live, as well as the way we provide care at Hill House. We are very grateful to our medical leadership team of Terrilynne Young and Dr. Brian Berger who have provided the leadership and support to our staff through this very difficult time.
Chair, Board of Directors
Dear family and friends of Hill House,
I would like to provide you an update on our precautions and response to COVID-19 for Hill House. We remain committed to our vision of sharing our compassionate approach to hospice care and creating comforting memories for everyone in our home while at the same time ensuring that we are responding to the pandemic in a responsible manner as guided by the directives from the Ministry of Health (MOH).
We are reaching out to you again, to let you know how Hill House continues to respond to and be impacted by the pandemic.
We are extremely grateful for our dedicated and committed staff who continue to provide essential services to those in need. We are also thankful for the continuous outpouring of support from all of you, to ensure that Hill House can continue to provide caring and compassionate services.
Hill House has and will continue to adhere to the guidelines and protocols as issued by the MOH to ensure that our staff, our patients, and the family members that visit the facility stay safe; their safety is of the utmost importance.
Please refer to the below for an update on our visitor, screening, PPE use, volunteer and COVID-19 testing policies based on the directives from the MOH.
Thank you for your continued support. Stay safe; stay strong.
As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to evolve, Hill House is taking additional precautions to keep patients, families, staff, referring physicians and volunteers safe. The hospice is committed to patient and family-centred end-of-life care and will make every effort to ensure the needs of patients and families are met during the implementation of this interim COVID policy.
Each client residing at Hill House is allotted four Essential Visitors. An essential visitor is defined by the individual client and is usually one or more individuals who play a significant role in a patient’s life.
Of the four Essential Visitors, only two may visit at a time per day (a 24-hour period) and one at a time may spend the night if they wish. Once the first two essential visitors arrive for the day, we ask that they stay until the end of their visit and not leave for meals or shopping or other interactions with the public and then return to the house. Thank you for your understanding.
When one of the clients is considered imminent then all four essential visitors may be present together and all four may spend the night.
**Imminent is determined by the nurse on duty and is characterized as dying within 24-48 hours*
Visiting hours for those that are not spending the night is between 9:00am-9:00pm.
The House is compassionately and responsibly restricting the number of visitors and visiting hours to reduce community spread, minimize risk to nurses, PSWs, volunteers and administrative staff as well service contractors. The current visitor policy may expand or constrict depending on directives from Public Health and/or Ministry of Health.
When visitors are in the house for a short visit or overnight/after hours visitor(s) they are restricted to the patient’s room, the upstairs washroom facilities, and a small sitting area in the living room. At any time, visitors may walk around the gardens or sit in the breezeway to stretch their legs and get fresh air.
Special visits can be made for clergy members, Rabi's, or any spiritual leaders or other compassionate services that will not count as one of the four visitors.
Any further visitors outside of the four essential visitors can come to the client’s window, the bed can be moved to the window and the window (but not screen) can be opened.
All visitors and staff will continue to be screened at the front entrance by a staff member. The current screening tool being used is as prescribed by the Ministry of Health or Public Health. All staff and visitors must have their temperature taken as part of the screening process as well as when leaving for the day. Any family member/caregiver/visitor who fails the screen, is denied access into the house, and provided alternative options to visit such as virtual visits.
We ask that all visitors call ahead with their expected visit time for that day, with at least 30 minutes of advance notice. This is because at times there is only 1-2 staff on duty; staff may be busy in a room and therefore visitors would have to wait outside to be screened in. Calling beforehand and giving your arrival time means staff will be prepared to screen you in and will reduce the time you may have to wait outside.
All visitors are required to wear a mask, eye protection, gown and gloves at all times when in the house. We will provide these supplies for any visitor that does not have them. For gowns, please leave them in the client’s room, if you are coming back the gown can be hung up and put back on when you return. If you are leaving for the day, please place the gown in the laundry hamper provided. We are continuously working to manage the use of resources and supplies and personal protection equipment for the safety of the House and those who are present. These guidelines are subject to changes based on public health guidelines and supply.
Any clients coming from hospital must have a negative COVID test before coming to Hill House. All clients are tested upon admission to Hill House and subsequently every 10 days. Family members and visitors are not tested at Hill House.
An unfortunate restriction that will now be put back in place, is that we will not be able to have volunteers in the House at this time. Our volunteers are truly the heart and soul of Hill House and we will miss them dearly.