Family donations enhancing West Lake's palliative-care practices
Refurbishments to palliative-care room providing additional comforts for family members
June 22, 2011
Donations from family members of former West Lake Terrace residents are being used to enhance the palliative-care area at the Prince Edward County long-term care home.
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During the past year, donations have been put towards installing a window between one of the home's lounges and the palliative-care room. The lounge has been transformed into a room where family members of loved ones receiving palliative care can rest or spend the night.
The window between the two rooms is fitted with vertical blinds, also bought with donations, which can be opened so families can keep watch over their loved one. The room also has a dresser that's been donated. The purpose of these added touches is to make the area "less clinical looking," says registered nurse Tracy Dowdall.
The upgrades are allowing "multiple family members to partake in the palliative-care experience, and because we have the accommodation to offer that room and the privacy of that room."
While staying in the lounge, family members also have easy access to refreshments and amenities.
Having this type of area for families to utilize is something Dowdall says she would recommend to other long-term care homes wishing to enhance palliative-care practices. Creating a homey, comfortable atmosphere for families is a step towards easing the palliative-care process.
Dowdall notes the home has received a lot of positive feedback from family members since upgrading the area.
"We have received poignant thank-you notes," she says, adding the benefits to the refurbished area are twofold.
"I'm not sure who benefits more from (the area's upgrades), the residents, who have a peaceful passing in a calm, beautiful environment, or whether it's the comfort the families get from being included in the process," she says.
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