In the hospice rooms at Ayre Manor, the amenities are designed to give a homey atmosphere for the end of life journey. (Tim Collins - Sooke News Mirror)

Sooke hospice services a ‘hidden gem’

Hospice care at Ayre Manor not well known enough, say officials

When Ray Sutherland was told he didn’t have long to live, he and his wife, Marian, were at a loss for what they would do.

The couple shared a home with their son, and Ray, concerned about what the experience would do to his grandchild, was adamant he would not die at home.

But the thought of having to go into a hospice facility in Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital was also not what the couple wanted, either.

Marian knew that the two hours she’d spend in the car each day would limit the amount of time she could spend with her husband in his last days.

RELATED: Expansion has stalled

That’s when they learned about what Marian Sutherland calls a hidden gem right in her own backyard.

“They told me that there were hospice beds in Sooke, at Ayre Manor. I had no idea,” Sutherland said.

“Here was this wonderful resource right in our community, and I’d never known that it existed. We have to change that.”

Kerry Williams, director of administration at Ayre Manor, said hospice care at the manor is not as well known as he’d like.

RELATED: Hospice beds announced

He said the two-bed space, created in 2017, has an occupancy rate that hovers around 60 per cent.

“The doctors in the community know about us, as does the Sooke Hospice Society, and they do make referrals to Ayre Manor,” Williams said.

“But unless people get a referral – if they are receiving care in Victoria, for example – they might not learn that we exist.”

Hospice care at Ayre Manor includes 24/7 care by RNs and LPNs who are specially trained in end of life care. Meals are provided, each room has its own washroom and private entrance and cots are provided for family members who wish to spend the night.

“When you go into our hospice rooms, the first thing you notice is that they are not at all like hospital rooms,” Williams said. “We want people to feel at home.”

Another important component of the service is that the physical care of the person in care is all taken care of by staff.

“When you have a loved one at home at the end of their lives a lot of energy goes into care. Feeding them, helping them go to the washroom, preparing meals, and a hundred other tasks. It can be exhausting,” Williams said.

“Once in Hospice, all of that burden is taken off (of loved ones) and they can focus on just loving that person and the emotional process of passing.”

For Sutherland, the experience at Ayre Manor was akin to being adopted by a surrogate family.

“All the staff were so wonderful. They allowed Ray to keep his dignity right to the end – his dignity and his humour,” Sutherland said.

“But people need to know that the service exists here in Sooke. If it’s not used, then there’s always a chance that it’s lost and that would be terrible.”

On Wednesday, Health Minister Adrian Dix announced that 15 new palliative care beds would be added to those that already in place at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

As well, Island Health, in partnership with Victoria Hospice, is adding eight new community hospice beds to Victoria Hospice, and seven new acute palliative beds, to create a new palliative and supportive care unit at the Royal Jubilee Hospital.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Kerry Williams, director of Ayre Manor, says the hospice space has an occupancy rate that hovers around 60 per cent. (Tim Collins - Sooke News Mirror)

Just Posted

Victoria police safely recover items stolen from Sikh temple

A man broke into the Khalsa Diwan Society Victoria and stole religious and ceremonial items

Mental Health: Stigma leads to a life on the streets

People with severe mental illness disproportionately impacted by homelessness

COVID-19: Immigrants face language, financial barriers during crisis

Citizenship events halted, permanent residency applications still being processed

Saanich police pull over 16 drivers over for excessive speeding over the last 30 days

Police implore drivers to be cautious, avoid risks to themselves and others

Mental Health: Planning for a crisis

Crisis planning lays out a blueprint in case hard times hit

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

VIDEO: Community rallies around Campbell River fire victims

Emergency Social Services volunteers logged over 100 hours in first day after fire

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Reality TV show about bodybuilders still filming in Okanagan, amid COVID-19

Five bodybuilders from across the country flew to Kelowna to move into a house for a reality TV show

B.C.’s top doctor details prescription for safe long weekend

Yes, it includes hosting an online cooking show

BC SPCA seeks help for abandoned German shepherd puppies

Donations have ‘petered out’ as doors are closed due to COVID-19

Most Read