Frequently Asked Questions

What is St. Joseph’s Hospice?

St. Joseph’s Hospice is a community based not-for-profit organization and facility operated by both professional health care providers and trained volunteers to provide individuals and their families with a place of comfort and support while facing the end-of-life journey. Hospice offers a two-pronged approach to care, (1) Community based Programs and Services and (2) a 10-Suite Residential Care Facility.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative Care is comfort care, or pain and symptom  management for patients with serious illnesses. It can take place simultaneously with treatment meant to cure the illness. Its main goal is to improve quality of life by providing expert pain management, eliminating side effects as much as possible, and caring for the patient’s emotional and spiritual  needs. Palliative care also helps the patient and loved ones communicate with other health providers to make sure the patient’s goals are met.

Is St. Joseph’s Hospice open to everyone?

Hospice welcomes individuals from all cultures, faiths and beliefs, serving the entire County of Lambton. Specially trained staff and volunteers will assist each individual and family according to their needs and in harmony with their beliefs and customs.

How is St. Joseph’s Hospice funded?

St. Joseph’s Hospice receives Government funding to provide palliative care services by an interprofessional team with palliative care expertise 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in a home-like setting for the individual and their significant others at no cost to the user.  Financial support from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care entails there is always one Registered Nurse (RN), one Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) and one Personal Support Worker (PSW) on staff.  We rely on donations from the community to fund 56%, or approximately $1.6 million needed annually to operate our Supportive Services.  It is the responsibility of the Fund Development Team to raise funds through our seven Signature Events, In Memoriam Donations and Third Party Events that help purchase items such as, equipment, supplies and furnishings for our Residence, as well as operational and administrative costs.

What Services are available at Hospice?

St. Joseph’s Hospice Supportive Services addressing grief and bereavement to all residents throughout the entire County of Lambton, free of charge.  In addition to these programs, Hospice operates a Palliative Care Clinic which has Doctors that will refer their patients to one of five Palliative Care Physicians to assist with their pain and symptoms. This is typically the patient’s first introduction to Hospice, a warm home-like setting instead of the often clinical hospital.  


Why does Hospice only have 10-Suites in the Residence?

St. Joseph’s Hospice Residence was built in 2009 with the maximum number of allowed beds mandated by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. It is considered to be the correct size to balance the efficiencies necessary while maintaining the residential feel.  Any more than 10 beds and a facility is considered to be a Long-term Care Facility.

What is the process to be admitted into the Residence?

Admission into the 10-suite Residence is solely the decision of the Palliative Care Doctors serving in the Palliative Care Clinic. They work closely with the patient’s Family Doctor and family to ensure care and comfort are honoured throughout the process.  

How can you support Hospice?
  • A pledge over a period of time
  • A one-time gift made by cheque or credit card
  • Gifts of securities and other personal property such as stocks, bonds, life insurance policy
How is Hospice going to handle the demand for services?

Since December 2009, and as of April 30, 2020 the Residence has had the privilege of serving 1,779 residents who passed through our doors.  This does not include the number of family members, caregivers that could take advantage of other services we currently offer. We do know that the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care is working to develop a hospice palliative care strategy that will help to address the growing needs of our aging population.  As Palliative Care continues to grow as an important area within healthcare, St. Joseph’s Hospice will continue to support every one who comes through our doors at one of the most vulnerable times of their lives.