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

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep Saanich drainage pipe

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Police respond to successful Facebook scam on Oak Bay resident

Petty thievery in King George Terrace where plants, gargoyle are missing

Habitat for Humanity launches Victoria family challenge fundraising event

The Road To Home fundraiser set to be an activity-filled day

UPDATE: Incident near Mount Douglas Park ‘strictly medical,’ Saanich police say

Intoxicated person taken into police custody, brought to hospital

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Port Alberni will have a salmon derby on Labour Day after all

Alberni Valley Tyee Club reveals ‘socially distanced’ derby only for Labour Day 2020

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Suspicious fire quenched before reaching gunpowder in Nanaimo’s historic Bastion

Probe underway in basement blaze that erupted near where powder stored to fire signature cannons

Duncan model makes quarter finals in ‘Maxim’ magazine contest

Brandee Peart among top one per cent left in competition

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Fisherman snags barracuda off Vancouver Island in rare encounter

Ferocious fish, not native to Canada, was netted and released in Alberni Inlet

Most Read