January, 2020

The views fromt he resident’s rooms as Jessica’s House can be breathtaking no matter the season.  We enjoy our beautiful gardens with the water feature in the summer, the turning in the fall and most recently the snow covered grounds this month as winter has settled in. There can be something to said for the tranquility of a snow fall on a cold winter’s night.

Jessica’s House has a variety of “complimentary therapies” that are offered to our residents to help increase their comfort and to perhaps reduce what may feel like isolation.  Haircuts and massages have both been well used services and we are very pleased to have included pet therapy and regular musical guests to the hospice.  It is very peaceful to hear the sounds of voices singing or guitars safely playing to comfort and smooth not only our residents but their families as well.  We have hosted celebrations include a 95th birthday party and special wedding anniversary dinners.  It is our goals to ensure that his is really a “home away from home” providing a relaxed atmosphere for our residents and their guests.

Spiritual care can be an important aspect of end-of-life for many people, we are very pleased to welcome Laurie Nevin to the role of spiritual care support.  Laurie has been a volunteer at Jessica’s House since it opened in June 2018.  She is a kind and gentle person who will be available weekly to our residents for caring conversation.

We have found with families who are worried about what coming to hospice might be like; having a tour has certainly helped to reduce anxiety.  If you are considering your end-of-life plans and would like to come for a visit please don’t hesitate to call Tracy Snell at 519-235-0941 to set up an appointment for a tour. 

June, 2020

Jessica’s House is celebrating its 2nd Anniversary!  We are so humbled to have been able to care for close to 80 residents and their families since we opened in June 2018.  In celebrating this anniversary we are also very excited to share with you that we have received funding from the Government of Ontario! What does this mean you ask?  Across the province, residential hospices are never 100% funded when they receive government funding put rather they receive $105, 000 per bed per year.  We realize this sounds like a lot of money, but in reality this doesn’t quite cover the cost of the nursing support that is required to care for our residents.  So while we are thrilled to have secured government funding we must still continue to ask for the ongoing support of our community through fundraisers and individual donations.  We are so thankful for the support that has already been shown, supporting us while we continue to do the work of caring for those families who are managing challenges at the end of life.

It is our intention to continue to have two main fundraising events each year; Hike for Hospice in the spring and Handbags for Hospice in the fall.  We are so thankful that our first Hike for Hospice this year was able to raise $30,000!  This makes us all so excited for next spring when we can hike together than virtually as we had to do this year.  We will also work hand in hand with the South Huron Hospital Foundation to have joint fundraising, as well as the many supportive groups that have done 3rd party fundraising events to support us.  Thank you for all you have done to support us through these first two years!

Due to continued restrictions we have put the “Circle of Friends” support group on hold until we are safely able to welcome the community back into the hospice.  We will continue to update month to month in this article, but for anyone who is seeking support after a recent diagnosis please don’t hesitate to reach out to Jessica’s House anytime.

October, 2020

The leaves are changing and fall is certainly in the air, the change of seasons and shorter days remind us that winter is coming.  It can be a season of winter sport and fun for so many who love to ski, snowmobile and spend time in the chilly outdoors.  Unfortunately, it can also be a a time of isolation and loneness for those who feel stuck indoors not only because of the wintery weather but because of Covid-19 restrictions.

National Bereavement Day is recognized on the 3rd Tuesday of November each year.  This year it fall on the 17th.  We understand the value of marking this day in relation to sorrow and loss that we witness our residents and families experiencing at Jessica’s House.  Grief and bereavement are a part of the human experience, when we have loved we will indeed grieve.  As a society, we are so focused on the prolonging life and curing illness that very little though is given to what happens during our end-of-life journeys, including those who are left behind.  We hope to encourage people to bring this discussion to the forefront and allow time to grieve, to remember and to heal.

We will be hosting a virtual “Hope for the Holidays” Christmas bereavement workshop on Wednesday December 2nd. This is an opportunity to gather, albeit virtually, to talk about challenges of the holiday season and to offer strategies to support yourself and your family.  Christmas can be the most challenging time of the year for those who have had a loss whether it be this year or many years ago.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  Please contact Kim Winbow at 519-235-2510 or email kim.winbow@von.ca for more information on how to join in.

If your are tying to think of a way to acknowledge your loved one this holiday season, you are invited to participate in our “Angel Tree” program.  When you donate to Jessica’s House in the month of December we will hang a handmade ceramic angel on the beautiful blue spruce in the backyard. We hope this will become a yearly event to acknowledge not only those who have died at the hospice but through the community.  Please keep an eye on our Facebook page to early December for a video production highlighting this program and hear a few words for some of our special friends.

We owe a huge thank you to our gardening and maintenance volunteers who have been on site this week preparing the house and gardens for winter.  THANK YOU for all that you do!

While our live Handbags for Hospice event has been postponed this year, we are excited to offer a virtual auction for some fun and perhaps to buy a few Christmas gifts!  The auction will be open for bidding starting on November 13th and run through to November 20th.  Keep an eye on the Jessica’s House Facebook page and our website at jessicashouse.ca for more details.

Due to continued COVID-19 restrictions we have put the “Circle of Friends” support group on hold until we are safely able to welcome the community back into the hospice.  We will continue to update month to month in this article, but for anyone who is seeking support after a recent diagnosis please don’t hesitate to reach out to Jessica’s House anytime.